Turning Winds: A Clinical Model Built For Success

At Turning Winds the clinical services are unique since we extend treatment beyond the confines of four walls. We could not think of a better setting to apply our therapeutic approach than the serene landscape of northwestern Montana. We have taken the best elements of care from wilderness therapy, therapeutic boarding schools, and inpatient treatment to create a one-of-a-kind residential treatment center. 

The hybrid character of the Turning Winds program fills in the gaps left by other treatment options: “I’ve been in all kinds of treatment settings, outpatient, inpatient, private practice, and public settings,” says John Gordon, MD, Turning Winds’ medical director. 

“The thing that I like the best about it is that it can be long enough to really help young people. These days, most psychiatrists just do short-term hospitalization, usually about a week, which isn’t very much time to deal with anything but a crisis,” says Dr. Gordon. “And a lot of kids here have been in other programs before where either it wasn’t long enough or there was too much resistance from the adolescence part to make it useful. So it’s a possibility of a kid being here for up to a year and allowing them to make relationships that they may not have found ways to make with people. Usually, it takes about five months before people really decide, kids really decide whether they’re going to really make use of the program or not.”

Chief operations officer Carl Baisden also emphasizes the advantages of a hybrid model of programming. “Turning Winds is not a therapeutic boarding school, but we offer therapeutic boarding school services,” he says. “Turning Winds is not just a residential treatment center, but we offer a residential treatment center level of care. And so we more medically and clinically identify as a residential treatment center than we do a therapeutic boarding school. But most people, when they think of residential treatment centers, they think of short-term, intensive residential treatment. Turning Winds obviously has the benefit of that intensive residential experience on the front end and then allows them to stay, to continue to work, so they can avoid that revolving door of treatment.”

Sometimes a child needs a change of environment to get away from negative influences, break old habits, and gain new perspectives. Turning Winds provides a safe, nurturing refuge with staff able to counter low self-esteem.

“Our design from the very beginning is, get a win, get another win, get a win,” says clinical director Jared Sartell, LCSW. “We won’t let things happen if we think that they might take a loss. And so we create a structure, we have a design that promotes, walk into this and you’re just going to crush this. And with the parents, you’ve messed up with your kid, probably in some way. Here’s how you can walk into this and crush it. And have everybody walking away feeling like, man, I really like that person. I’m really glad that I got to talk to them. And then you completely rewrite the dynamic of their relationship.”

If you allow enough time, the rewards will come.

“All of a sudden you see a huge advancement where they’ve progressed and you go, okay, now it’s intrinsic,” says Turning Winds therapist Melody Schrader, PCLC. “Instead of doing it to gain whatever privileges, they don’t even realize that their motivation has changed. First, they were doing it because of these extrinsic factors. And then pretty soon they’re going, ‘I think, I just want to make these better choices.’ And it’s very cool to watch because you do see positive results. So, it’s a gift to be able to be part of the entire program and go, oh my gosh, we’re making a difference in lives and it’s tangible.”

Over the course of two decades, Turning Winds has 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. 

Our clinical team has the experience and expertise to create a customized experience that promotes healing, builds confidence, creates understanding, and provides your child with the tools necessary to succeed after their graduation from Turning Winds. 

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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