The Stars Program Inspires Treatment Progress

Turning Winds is a family-run full continuum of care for mental health issues combined with a therapeutic boarding school for teens. We believe the success of our teenage clients is based on a combination of therapeutic and educational approaches that provide the best possible outcomes for each patient we treat at our school. 

The therapeutic approaches at Turning Winds include character education, health, wellness of body and mind, therapeutic and academic success, and outdoor therapeutic experiential education.

One motivational element of our therapeutic approach is the Stars Program. “It represents different mile markers that these kids can achieve,” explains chief operations officer Carl Baisden. His expertise and strengths include program development, organizational leadership, and a unique ability to inspire change in clients, their families, and his colleagues.

And the Stars Program is all about promoting change. The mountaineering-inspired markers our teenage clients can achieve are called Start, Trail, Approach, Ridge, and Summit. 

“What makes the Stars Program special and different from other level systems is that it’s the kids’ process, says Baisden. “When they come in on their very first day, when they go through orientation and the intake process, they’re handed their little “Stars” folder and it basically is designed to put them in the driver’s seat of their treatment process.” 

The stars program does not require participants to achieve the Summit level in order to be able to go home. “You don’t even have to achieve the Ridge level to go home,” says Baisden. “It is really all up to them. They can go home at the Trail level if they really want to—thankfully that never happens but there’s no requirement for them to achieve any of the mile markers.”

The Stars Program is all about personal validation and improving self-confidence. “At each marker, they are assigned tasks and responsibilities,” explains Baisden. “And when they do those things, they get signatures from appropriate representatives within the organization. As they fill in the required signatures, they achieve that milestone. So, it’s really milestones, not levels. It’s markers of their notable progress that they can see for themselves.”

Once patients achieve a milestone, they get to keep their achievement star. If they reach the Ridge stage, they stay there, even if they happen to make a misstep later on. Clients don’t lose the success they’ve had.

“So, the Stars Program is really aimed to give the kids daily wins because at the end of the day, this process is designed to help increase their self-worth, their self-image, their self-esteem and there’s no better way to do that than to have them win,” says COO Baisden. 

And it’s winning, not just once, but winning repeatedly day after day. And as the kids do that, they validate themselves. “I can’t build worth in another human,” says Baisden. “Only they can do that. I’ve never seen someone think their way into being a better human. I’ve never seen someone talk their way into being a better human. It’s always action—it requires work. The Stars Program puts them in the driver’s seat and sets up everything they need to do to achieve their goals in black and white, right in front of their eyes.”

At Turning Winds, it’s the people who make the difference—staff and patients. Over the course of more than twelve years, we’ve built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals, all of whom share the same goal: to help teens re-engage meaningfully with their lives, families, and their futures.

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.


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Picture of John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden Jr is the father of seven inspiring children, and he is married to Kara, the love of his life. Together they have created a family-centered legacy by leading the way with early childhood educational advancement. John loves to write and is an author of a children’s book, An Unlikely Journey and plans to publish additional books. Show More

John is a visionary in his work and applies “outside-the-box” approaches to business practice and people development. He is the Founder of Turning Winds, along with several other organizations. He has extensive experience launching and developing organizations. His skills include strategic planning, promoting meaningful leader-member movement, organizational change, effective communication, project management, financial oversight and analysis, digital marketing and content creation, and implementing innovative ideas through influential leadership. As a leader, John seeks to empower others and brand success through collaborative work. His vision is to lead with courage, grit, truth, justice, humility, and integrity while emphasizing relational influence rather than focusing on the sheens of titles, positions, or things.

Finally, John is passionate about life and promoting equity among those who are often overlooked because of differences that frequently clash with the “norm.” He lives in Southern Idaho and loves the outdoors and the life lessons that can be learned in such an informal environment.

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