The Turning Winds model of care is based on therapeutic support in a setting that emulates a functional family system. Since its founding, the idea of family has remained a foundational precept of the program. Staff is carefully selected based on their ability to comfortably and productively operate within the home-like, non-institutional atmosphere of the program and to exceptionally and consistently model values.
Turning Winds uses a solution-oriented program that empowers our clients to become the engine behind their recovery. We provide a blended approach, utilizing both outdoor experiences and indoor environments to prevent treatment fatigue and increase engagement. A big part is developing a relationship of trust between patients and therapists, and we have a special ability to foster those connections given our fun environment.
“The one thing the staff coming to work here have in common is that compassion they have for the kids,” says Turning Winds therapist Kim Sparks. “We have a strong desire to help. We are truly compassionate maybe because a lot of us probably struggled with the same stuff when we were younger. So I think we can definitely relate to the kids, and they know we can relate because we’re all human, and we all made mistakes when we were younger.”
Peer mentoring is another strong element of the treatment program at Turning Winds. “As kids come in at a higher level of care, they’re learning basic ways to cope and regulate their emotions,” explains Sparks. “They learn how to take on leadership skills, such as having more accountability to themselves and to their peers, and their families.”
The relationships forged at Turning Winds don’t just disappear at discharge time. Many alumni stay in touch with their trusted therapists long after their discharge. “Kids often reach out to us,” says Turning Winds CEO Owen Baisden. “They call and text us and give us updates on what’s going on in their lives.”
Some had such a positive experience that they would like to give back in return. “A young woman from Texas who left here four years ago called the other day to let us know that she is finishing college and she invited us to her graduation. She wants to become a therapist and wanted to know whether she can do an internship with Turning Winds. Those kinds of phone calls are the icing on the cake for what we do,” says Baisden. “It means a relationship with us is still meaningful for them.”
“Former students reaching out to us is actually quite common,” says chief operations officer Carl Baisden. “Just the other day two kids reached out to me. It usually starts with a text like ‘I’m struggling.’ and they want to know if I have a minute to check in with them.”
As it turned out, one of the former clients had a relapse. “She was pretty down on herself but by the time we finished the call she was pretty happy again and it wasn’t about what I gave her then but it reminded her of the experience at Turning Winds that she had when she was here. She realized she hadn’t actually lost it all. It’s not like climbing a mountain and falling all the way down again. The skillset she obtained at Turning Winds made her realize it’s more like she got stalled in her ascent and had to resolve the issue before she could continue climbing to the summit,” explained Carl Baisden.
Turning Winds alumni always have somebody they can call if they struggle. “If they get stuck, they turn to the people they trust and the people they have connections with. This is precisely why we have a relational treatment model. Without those relationships, those kids would not reach out to us,” says Carl Baisden.
“We had the good fortune to stay in touch with many of our kids over the last 20 years. Many also come back to visit and our owners and directors look them up when we’re traveling. Every time I travel for work, I look up who lives in the area to get in touch, have lunch, and re-establish that connection. We also try to be there for life events. I have been to many college graduations and weddings.”
Our mission is to rescue teens from crisis situations, renew their belief in their own potential, reunite them with their families, and put them on a sustainable path to success. Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If your call isn’t answered personally, one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.