It’s all about finding out what works best. The Turning Winds difference is grounded in an innovative hybrid approach and our skilled, caring, and dedicated team working tirelessly to give our teenage clients the best care possible. We help teens rediscover themselves, and they leave treatment with renewed hope and a belief in their own abilities. Our sophisticated program blends the benefits of a wilderness program, a residential treatment center, and a boarding school.
But it doesn’t stop there. Things change over the years and a good treatment program makes adjustments and improvements accordingly. “Twenty years of experience and 20 years of having different kinds of kids come into our treatment program means we’re strategizing and we’ve done that a lot,” says program director Enoch Stump. “We’ve seen hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of kids with different kinds of challenges.”
Whenever a new challenge arises, it has to be addressed. “We sit and we talk as a team and we say on a regular basis, we’re about to learn something new about the best way to address this challenge that’s constant,” Stump explains. “It’s humbling to be a part of Turning Winds and understand that as much experience as we have and the knowledge that we’ve gotten from the past residents and the experiences and the great staff we’ve had, we’re always trying something different and trying something new.”
Turning Winds is very transparent with families about this approach. “I tell the families right at the very beginning when you work with people, you get a lot of different things,” says Stump. “We’re going to be really transparent and do this together. We’re going to do it alongside you.”
“We’re going to talk with you about what we think is best practice, and what we’re going to try,” says chief operations officer Carl Baisden. “And we’re going to learn,” adds Stump. “If we don’t like something and it’s not going the way it should, we’re going to look at each other and say, ‘it’s important that we get it right.’ And we’ll strategize and come up with something else.”
“Like much of the treatment industry out there, at the beginning, Turning Winds followed a kind of cookie-cutter approach—one size fits all,” remembers Baisden. That has changed completely in the last two decades. “We’ve really nailed this thing to a science of taking individual kids and applying a unique individual treatment approach to 36, even 40 kids at a time. And we have the adequate resources and the staffing—now it’s a beautiful thing!”
“We spend a lot of time talking with families and sitting in treatment teams with an academic representative or a therapeutic representative or a director and genuinely brainstorming with an open mind, asking ‘What does this kid need?’” explains Stump. “The family dynamic at Turning Winds means we can move with what we think is right for the kid quite easily. The directors and the administrators are actively involved with the kids and their families and the staff. And so we get to make the decisions to offer the best treatment in a pretty fluid fashion and don’t have any red tape that we’ve got to jump around to get those things done.”
The “Tarantula” Kid
The key to getting things done and helping kids is a therapeutic relationship. A few years back, the Turning Winds team was trying to help a young man who didn’t seem to fit into the treatment milieu. He had isolated himself at home and pretty much lost hope. He had stopped engaging at his school. And then he came to Turning Winds. “What you look for early on is making connections. It’s all about relationships—with staff and the other kids, his peers,” says Baisden.
“At first, he was withdrawn and had a hard time getting out of his bed and his room,” remembers Stump. “He wasn’t willing to put any kind of roots down in treatment.”
“It was the relationships that drew him out and brought hope back to him. We learned that it’s relationships that create that buy-in. We made all these plans and tried different clinical work and clinical modalities,” Baisden recalls. “It just needed something simpler than that. And so what we came up with as a team was a strategy to motivate him with a reward system. This kid loved reptiles and spiders. He had several pet tarantulas at home.”
In the end, the team decided to print a picture of a tarantula that was divided into sections. Every time the client met an objective or a goal that he and his clinician were working on, he could fill in a little section of this tarantula image with the goal that once it was completely filled in, the team would allow his family to send a pet tarantula to Turning Winds.
“Everything changed,” remembers Stump. Suddenly, there was hope.”
“It was that connection and watching other people in his life extend themselves to him and offer themselves to him in the way that we did. This kid still comes back and visits us all the time,” x`says Baisden. “That young man is just one of a number of kids over the years that it’s clear you can look back and you can see that this one individualized intervention is what made the difference.”
Instead of a cookie-cutter approach, the Turning Winds team offers individualized opportunities to their clients. “These kids need a chance,” says Baisden. “They need an opportunity to be successful.”
At Turning Winds, it’s the people who make the difference—staff, and patients. We have built a team of some of the world’s finest academic, therapeutic, and medical 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.