Daniel’s Healing Journey: Turning Winds Therapeutic Boarding School

Like many of the families we’ve helped, Daniel’s story before joining Turning Winds was fraught with challenges.  His mother, Amanda, describes their household as overwhelmed by chaos—marked by Daniel’s self-isolation and substance abuse. Despite years of therapy, Daniel had closed himself off from seeking help.


Amanda had never heard of a therapeutic boarding school before finding Turning Winds. Our unique treatment program combines the best parts of residential treatment, traditional boarding schools, and wilderness therapy. This therapeutic boarding school approach creates a life-changing experience for teens who need help. We designed our program to help teens make lasting positive changes. In short every teenager that graduates from Turning Winds gets a unique transformative therapeutic boarding school experience. 

Amanda’s discovery of  Turning Winds opened a new chapter– she first heard about us on social media. She chose our treatment program because of the outdoor recreational component (similar to wilderness therapy) and the access to male therapists and instructors since she felt that was best for Daniel.

“The simple, singular focus of our treatment program is to help each student improve their self-image and their self-confidence and change the behaviors that have been hindering their growth by teaching them to create stable patterns of living through education, process groups, and individualized treatment planning,” says Turning Winds CEO Owen Baisden.

The Turning Winds therapeutic boarding school program is modeled after a healthy family environment with strong role models and structure paired with an academic focus and clinical individual, and group sessions. Amanda was immediately impressed with our therapeutic yet home-like environment. “Every time I walked in there, it felt like home to me.” She could also rely on strong support. “The first time, I walked in with 16 pages of questions and I remember them saying, don’t worry we’re gonna get through all your questions. When I left, I really felt I was giving my son a gift and for the first time in a long time I saw a glimpse of hope.”

How Turning Winds Helps Teens Heal: Therapy, Support, and Structure

Daniel stayed over a year at Turning Winds and Amanda went to bed every single night “knowing and feeling that my son was in a place that was safe. He was with people who loved him and he was with people who supported him—on the good days and the bad days. It’s huge to have that feeling of peacefulness.”

Like many other clients, Daniel took a few months to buy into the treatment program and start to heal. Our long-term treatment approach allows clients to form relationships with people that would not have been possible for them otherwise. When Amanda visited Daniel two months into the program she was delighted to see some changes. “My son introduced me to all the other kids. I couldn’t believe it—he never wanted to introduce me to anybody before, he didn’t even want to talk to me.”

About four months into the treatment and therapeutic program Daniel asked his mother whether she wanted to attend a therapy session with the group. “I want you to see what we do here,” he told Amanda. He was beginning to take ownership of his recovery. “I could start to see my son being polite and respectful,” she remembers.


When Daniel had been with Turning Winds for about six months, his grandfather passed away and he had to come home for the funeral. Amanda was delighted to realize how much her son had changed. “At the service, Daniel got up for each person who came to pay their respects. He looked them in the eyes, and talked with them. I remember saying to myself, that if this had been six months prior, I would have been mortified, because my son would have sat on his chair, angry and refusing to talk to people.”

Amanda could see Daniel’s confidence level going up all the time. “I remember him calling his brother and telling him how important it is to go to school, that he had to do good and respect his mom, things I never heard from him before. At the family weekend—for the first time ever—he asked me about my life, my work, and how things were at home. And he genuinely wanted to hear the answers. I started to see empathy from him. At Turning Winds, my son learned what healthy relationships actually look like.”

Finding Connection: Daniel Rebuilds Relationships

Daniel’s attitude toward school changed dramatically as well. “The teachers at Turning Winds
really instilled confidence in him. Unlike other therapeutic boarding schools, the Turning Wind’s academic approach made it possible for Daniel to successfully completed two years of high school in just one year ” Amanda says. “No matter how many times I told him, he was smart, it took the Turning Winds teachers who pushed him, inspired him, and made him feel that he could do it.”

Eventually, Daniel decided on his own that he wanted to go to college. “That was a huge change, the kind of confidence he had in himself,” says Amanda. “To see him stand up on his graduation day and thank the staff for pushing him to be better, showing gratitude for the friendships that he made, even thanking me. ‘I want to thank my mom for this opportunity,’ he said. ‘Turning Winds is not a punishment, it’s a gift,’ he proclaimed—something I had told him along the way. He stood up there and spoke with confidence and sincerity—it was truly amazing. I never would have thought that this child could change this dramatically in twelve months.”

TURNING WINDS Therapeutic boarding school: A Legacy of Transformation

Over the past two decades, Turning Winds has been a pioneer in combining therapeutic boarding school and residential treatment to help many families overcome what seemed impossible odds. Our mission is to rescue teens from crisis situations, renew their belief in their 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.

Note: To protect the privacy of individuals the names have been changed.



Share This With Your Friends

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
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.

Sign up to receive Turning Winds community news