Therapeutic Services


Turning Winds is dedicated to providing each student with the very best therapeutic services. Our clinical staff structure a variety of therapeutic activities based on the specific needs of the individual. Therapeutic measures are student-focused and family-centered within a healing and supportive environment.

We Believe

  • Lasting behavior change involves personal growth and character development.
  • Successful therapeutic treatments are goal and outcome directed.
  • Therapeutic treatment should be a reality- and strengths-based, while also unconditional, supportive, and based on the individual needs of the student and family.

Further, it is our goal to:

  • Assist the student to develop the character virtues of integrity, humility, direction, respect, responsibility, industriousness, verbal assertiveness, family connection, environmental awareness, service, gratitude, and forgiveness.
  • Encourage students to explore their own resources (internal and external) and apply personal strengths to various areas of life as they develop a better understanding of themselves, their peers, and their environment.
  • Increase the healthy autonomy of the student while promoting a better integration into the family and adult roles the student is moving towards in society.
  • Assist the student’s return to live successfully within their family system after successful completion of the program.

Civic And Social Expectations

The Turning Winds students demonstrate:

  • The ability to be contributing members of their community.Respect for themselves, their fellow students, the faculty, and staff, as well as their school and community.
  • Respect for themselves, their fellow students, the faculty, and staff, as well as their school and community.Recognition and understanding of the benefits of diversity in their school and community.
  • Recognition and understanding of the benefits of diversity in their school and community.Integrity while participating in all academic and social activities.
  • Integrity while participating in all academic and social activities.A strong sense of self-discipline, which enables them to act responsibly.
  • A strong sense of self-discipline, which enables them to act responsibly.

Socialization And Peer Contact

Turning Winds creates a highly social environment which provides peer-to-peer and student-to-staff interaction throughout the day. Turning Winds is co-educational: girls and boys participate together in the program. As in all aspects of the program, the overarching goal is to maintain a safe, healing, and productive environment in which students can become better prepared for successful lives after each departs from Turning Winds. Although students can earn increased trust with staff and peers, there is always a level of supervision and an ability to address inappropriate behaviors.

One aspect of social life at Turning Winds that differentiates itself from what most students have experienced is that they are encouraged to approach relationships as opportunities to explore new positive behaviors. Each student is encouraged to use relationships as opportunities to learn more about him or herself in terms of the interpersonal problems he or she may tend to gravitate towards.

Turning Winds creates relatively safe opportunities to experiment with new and healthier behaviors for interacting with the student’s environment. For example, students who have desperately appealed to delinquent peers by engaging in negative behaviors and promoting a “negative” image of self can discover what occurs when he or she decreases defensive tendencies and presents as a more positive, mature, and human aspect of self.

Some students experiment with admitting to peers that they have significant self-doubts and that feelings of inadequacy have often limited their achievement or motivated them toward unhealthy behaviors. In essence, Turning Winds affords adolescents the environment to heal and gain relationship skills that many adults are never able to experience themselves.

Personal Growth Components

MOTIVATIONAL ACTIVITY (MA): M.A. is a daily activity that focuses on personal virtues and character traits designed to produce successful outcomes.

DIALECTAL BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (DBT) GROUP: DBT helps people manage overwhelming emotions by teaching the skills of distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.  

GENDER SPECIFIC GROUP: This group is a weekly time to discuss sensitive topics in the safety of peers and staff of one’s own gender.

PEER-TO-PEER FEEDBACK GROUP: This group is a weekly time that allows students a safe and structured environment for providing each other with feedback regarding positive (healthy) and negative (unhealthy) behavior patterns.

ADDICTIONS GROUP: This group is a weekly time to educate students about a variety of addictions while providing an opportunity to examine personal experiences and learn to identify triggers and effective coping skills.

TEAM BUILDING GROUP: This group is a weekly activity that provides a safe environment for students to develop the belief in self and increase trust in others.

BIBLE STUDY GROUP: This group is an opportunity for students to study the Bible under the guidance of TWAI staff members. Students wishing to participate in this weekly group must have parental consent.

VIRTUE GROUP: This group is a weekly time to discuss the virtue of the month and discussions are based on the twelve virtues at the core of the TWAI approach.

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY: Individual therapy sessions are conducted on a weekly as needed basis. It is a weekly time for the clinician to sit down one-on-one with the student and address individual issues.

CAREER COUNSELING: As appropriate, and generally for more advanced and mature students, career counseling provides direction in focusing on choices and opportunities for career options.

Family Workshop

The Family Workshop is an essential and required part of the Turning Winds program. Family Workshops are scheduled for the families of students who are nearing the point of commencement from the Novice Phase.

The workshop is aimed at assisting parent’s preparation for the child’s reintegration into the family system. Representatives from the program, as well as guest speakers, provide information and instruction regarding approaches and methods for the continuation of the student’s success. The information is designed to increase understanding regarding the barriers that may exist in effective parenting and how those barriers may have interfered with a healthy parent-child relationship in the past.

The instruction is developed to assist parents in becoming more aware of and effective at supervising, encouraging, supporting, and following-through with positive reinforcement; in addition, this workshop teaches ways to utilize appropriate logical consequences rather than a “punishment” mentality (an authoritative rather than an authoritarian approach).

Family Therapy And Parenting Skills Building

Family therapy is an essential part of the overall program and participation is required. Initially, students address their own individual problems in individual therapy. After making significant progress in individual therapy the emphasis shifts toward family therapy in order to address issues such as improving relationships between students and parents, improving parenting skills, and preparing the child for successful reintegration into the home environment.

Family therapy is conducted with the child’s individual clinician and is tailored to each family’s individualized needs. Family therapy is conducted through phone calls, during the on-site family workshop, and during regularly scheduled parent visits to the program.

Impact Letter

Each parent is required to write, and have delivered, an Impact Letter at the time of their child’s arrival at Turning Winds. If it is not possible to have this letter delivered at the time of the child’s arrival, see that the letter arrives at Turning Winds no later than five days after the child’s arrival.

The Impact Letter is to be addressed to your child. The content of the Impact Letter should be strictly limited to addressing the following points:

  • A concise statement of why he or she is attending Turning Winds 
  • A concise statement of why he or she is attending Turning Winds A full account of the basis of your concerns
  • Descriptions of the child’s problem behaviors, including the length of time the child exhibited those behaviors and the negative effects on others
  • Also, include what was most disturbing to you regarding the possible negative results of your child’s behaviors
  • Include a statement of what you expect your child to change and learn during his or her enrollment at Turning Winds

Be sure that the letter contains a summary of all of the child’s significant negative behaviors. It should be a straightforward and plain accounting of the problems. The tone of the letter should be firm and authoritative. Involved parents and family members (such as siblings, grandparents, etc.) may choose to each write separate Impact Letters or may choose to write one letter together within the recommended timeframe.

Address the main points of the Impact Letter by communicating in a specific and direct manner, do not suppress your concerns or be apologetic. The letter should not analyze the problem or present them in a way that downplays the child’s active role in their negative behaviors.

Make it clear if the child’s behavior was a source of great concern, disruption, expense or discord within the family without harassing, guilt tripping or manipulating him or her. These harmful tactics interfere with a child’s ability to receive the central message of the letter and to take mature responsibility for his or her actions.

The Impact Letter does not have to be long, and in fact, a shorter and more concise letter may be better. This approach gives the child a chance to take responsibility for more general issues and to supply the details on their own. Many parents can say what they need to express in just two pages. Here are a few examples:

Drug use: You have been abusing drugs (marijuana, alcohol, cocaine; we suspect several other drugs). This runs the risk of legal problems, health problems (including drug-related violence, motor vehicle accidents, etc). Your drug involvement has been at the expense of pursuits that are positive (school, family relationships, sports, etc.) Drug use exposes you to a lot of negative influences and opportunities. Our family has been in constant turmoil, in large part because of your drug-abuse lifestyle.

Defiance and Disrespect at Home: You have a pattern of defying our household rules. You have gone out with whom ever you chose, to go wherever you wanted, doing what you wanted and returned much later than we consented. You have been unwilling to do basic household chores. When confronted, you have responded disrespectfully. You have lied to us a great deal and lost our trust in your word. These behaviors are unacceptable and are a significant part of why we needed you to attend Turning Winds.

Poor Academic Effort: We do not require that you perform at a higher level than you are capable of, but you clearly have been putting forth very inadequate effort in school. At this rate, you will not be able to finish high school, a very basic expectation and one that you certainly can achieve.

Depressive symptoms: You have shown several depressive symptoms over the past year. You have withdrawn from people that were important in your life. You do not look happy or content. You have stopped taking part in your previous hobbies and interests. You no longer show any interest in where you are going in life. This comes from my own observations as well as comments from your siblings, friends, teachers, counselors, et cetera. You have not gone along with treatments that we offered you (therapy, medication, etc.).

The preceding material presents general guidelines. It is essential that you write your Impact Letter in your own way and in your own voice, while observing these guidelines. TWAI staff can help you through this assignment. This letter is an essential part of the TWAI program and is vital in helping your child.

Impact Response Letter

Students are required to respond in writing to their parents’ Impact Letters. They must show understanding and acceptance of the problem behaviors identified in the Impact Letters. They also must show understanding of why these behaviors were inappropriate and unacceptable, and show some practical preparation in order to discontinue these patterns.

Disclosure Letter

Students are expected to use their Disclosure Letters to list and describe every negative behavior they have ever done. They are instructed to disclose their actions and choices, to explain why each behavior was unhealthy, and then outline why and how they plan to keep from repeating such behaviors.

Check Your Understanding


1. T/F Therapeutic measures are student-focused and family-centered within a healing and supportive environment.

2. T/F The Family Workshop is an essential and required part of the Turning Winds program.

3. T/F Each parent is required to write, and have delivered, an Impact Letter at the time of their child’s arrival at Turning Winds.

Multiple Choice

4. The following groups are offered at Turning Winds:

a. Addictions Group
b. Virtue Group
c. Gender Specific Group
d. All of the above

5. Which of the following is not good to include in the impact letter:

a. A concise statement of why he or she is attending Turning Winds
b. The justification for the child’s negative behaviors
c. A full account of the basis of your concerns
d. Include a statement of what you expect your child to change and learn during his or her enrollment at Turning Winds.

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