Fabulous article about the importance of

Fabulous article about the importance of wilderness therapy! http://ow.ly/4L8U30gXjXq


Spotlight: Ascend Healthcare

Ascend Healthcare provides residential treatment to teens with a focus on evidence based therapies. The critical roles that family and empowerment play in one’s journey to recovery are crucial to us in establishing a deep and meaningful connection with our clients. We offer comprehensive educational services so our teens are equipped with the necessary self-esteem and support systems to last them well beyond their tenure at our facility. Among the many disorders that we treat are: substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and trauma.

Family- Family –Families meet individually with a therapist on a weekly basis in person, or via videoconferencing if need be, in order to work on interfamily relationships. Weekend family days offer a multifamily group experience and the necessary tools to support one another and know they’re not alone.

There is passion in the behaviors that become unmanageable and require treatment. Harnessing the intensity and the passion of a teen and helping them practice self-care and turn that passion into something rewarding is our goal. At Ascend we take on the passions of each teen and give them an avenue to express it and learn a new skill. We identify the voice of the internal critic that stifles their progress and offer support, encouragement and teach them to internalize a healthy voice.

Empowerment– The goal of the program is to empower each teen and their family to continue healing via the new strategies and skills they have learned. Continue their passion project, continue to use the skills they practice that have helped them identify their feelings and take responsibility to self soothe in a way that builds self-esteem and self love. We have a strong emphasis on discharge planning to help families transition to the next step successfully. 

Interested in participating in a new research project? Adult Perspectives on Totalistic Teen Treatment: Experiences and Impact

Invitation to Participate in Research

Project Title:  Adult Perspectives on Totalistic Teen Treatment: Experiences and Impact

IRB Approval Number: UF-IRB201701655

This is an invitation to participate in research conducted by graduate student, Mark Chatfield, of the Family, Youth and Community Sciences department, at the University of Florida. Mr. Chatfield is supervised in his research by his advisor, Dr. David Diehl.

Who is eligible to participate

Adults, aged 18 and over, who were in an intensive treatment program in the United States while under the age of 18, are eligible to participate.


For the purposes of this study, intensive programs have been defined by the following qualities:

  • Communication between residents, and with the outside world, was under strict control and contingent on good behavior.
  • Youth in the program were expected to monitor each other and/or report each other if they broke the rules.
  • The program philosophy emphasized the need to totally change or be completely saved.
  • To progress through the program, residents were required to complete a series of prescribed stages, phases, or levels of treatment.
  • Youth were required to participate in group sessions that involved confessions and/or confrontations.
  • The program had a strict system of rule enforcement, punishments, and/or inflexible consequences.
  • For some length of time, all aspects of life occurred under the authority, supervision, or permission of the program.

Adults who were in a treatment program that could be described by these characteristics are eligible to participate no matter how good or bad their experience was. This study is designed to assess a wide range of opinions and perspectives among adults who, for ANY reason, were placed in a program of this nature before the age of 18.

Purpose of the research.

The purpose of this study is to learn how such treatment methods were experienced and how the effects and impacts of those experiences are perceived and described by research participants.


What you will be asked to do.

This is a two-stage research project.


Online Questionnaire

In the first stage, all who are eligible are invited to participate in a brief online questionnaire that takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. No compensation will be provided for participation in this stage of the project.


Phone or In-Person Interview

In the second stage of the study, a small number of participants who completed the questionnaire and are interested, will be invited to participate in a one-hour interview that will be audio recorded with their permission. Most of the interviews will be conducted by phone but participants who live in the Gainesville, Florida area may choose to be interviewed in-person if they prefer. After the interview, participants who would like to receive a $15 gift card will be asked to provide a mailing address.



Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. You may complete the questionnaire without providing your name. If you are interested in participating in an interview, you will be asked to provide your first name, phone number, and email address. You will not be asked to reveal your last name. Any identifying information you provide, such as your email address and phone number, will be assigned a code number and no one other than Mr. Chatfield and his faculty supervisor will have access to the code’s key. When the study is completed and the data have been analyzed, the list of codes will be destroyed. Your name and your contact information will not be used in any report. Any future publications about this research will not personally identify or disclose your identity.

Voluntary participation.

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. You may refuse to answer any question without explanation.

Right to withdraw from the study.

You will have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without consequence.

If you would like to participate.

If you would like to participate, you may review the informed consent form and access the online survey at this LINK. If you know of others who might be interested in participating in this research, please share this entire invitation without editing. If you have any technical problems with accessing the survey, or if you would like more information about this project, please contact:


Mark Chatfield

Graduate Student

Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences

University of Florida

(352) 519-2792




***Contact megan@natsap.org for a copy of the IRB Approval Letter***

Music Mentorship Program is an Immersive Experience at Elevations

Originally born from a small group once a week, our Music Mentorship Program has become one of the most advanced in a Residential Treatment Center environment.

Elevations RTC works with GeNote to offer a specialized therapeutic experience. Offering a wide array of therapeutic services, we try to create experiences that resonate the most with our population. One of these positive experiences has been the Music Mentorship Program.

The benefits of the Music Mentorship Program for our students are the result of years of research and evidence based practices. After taking part in the Music Mentorship Program, our students often experience positive effects such as better sleep, reduced stress, and improved focus. They have also experienced an improvement in their recovery from physical activities and mentally draining experiences. All of this from our Music Mentorship Program!

Numerous students involved in the GeNote program have self-reported and been observed to improve sleep patterns and mood over time. Their affects, attitudes, and daily abilities shifted, helping them to address other issues for which they are seeking treatment.

“How we do GeNote has a big positive effect that makes me feel like I do have purpose. It also helps me process things that talk therapy and EMDR doesn’t. GeNote has also helped me widely in the area of sleep, by helping me fall asleep quicker, sleep through the night, and enables me to wake up in the morning not feeling grumpy and groggy.”

-Matthew, GeNote Student

“When students are able to decrease emotional vulnerability through being able to sleep through the night, they are more likely to utilize Mindfulness and Wise Mind while interacting with others. Utilization of these tools is especially helpful with complicated/emotionally involved family relationships.”

-Anna Chauncey, CSW Primary Therapist

What is the Elevations Music Garden?

Elevations Garden

The music garden came about from a collaboration of wanting to provide a successful  and sustainable garden on campus and the idea that music has a universal structure that we naturally understand. Through the Music Mentorship Program we get the chance to reveal this universal structure. This pattern can then be transferred to other areas such as a garden. A group of interested students will provide regular care for the garden.

“A few staff members who have been working towards having a viable garden on campus for the past few years came up with a budget to support the idea of a music garden. Elevations provided the physical space to build the garden and staff came up with a design for the garden that would work with the concept of a “music” garden. Students worked in small groups in a few GeNote sessions and came up with three different designs that actually turned out to be in tune with how music is structured pattern wise.  They were then able to have the hands on experience (SO FUN!) of helping build the garden space, pick out the plants-colors, textures, sizes, scents…to fit the three designs. They planted the garden,  planned for the transition from spring to fall in order to make a permanent place for the perennials, and made a schedule to keep the garden watered and weeded.  The idea of making a physical connection (garden) with the theoretical/practical application of music in a space many of the students can see and enjoy everyday.  It is THRIVING!”

-Jo Ann Thomas, Elevations RTC

More than a Traditional Therapeutic Experience

At Elevations we get the opportunity to help students transfer their experience to things like monthly trips to the symphony. In these trips, students are able to apply what they learned throughout our sessions in the Music Mentorship Program taking place in the classroom, common areas and our new music garden!

The mental health benefits for our families are one of the main reasons we are so supportive of GeNote.

Laura Burt
Director of Business Development
Elevations & ViewPoint Center
cell: 801-698-7723
Fax- 801-784-9085






We Are NATSAP Summer 2017 Edition


We are pleased to showcase the amazing work of our program members in this Summer Edition of We Are NATSAP! This newsletter is designed to highlight our member programs and their great achievements.

This edition is full of client testimonials, new editions to programs, awards and recognitions and so much more! 

Click Here to view the Summer edition of We Are NATSAP.

If you are interested in providing an article for the next edition of We Are NATSAP, please contact Shanita Smith at Shanita@natsap.org. The deadline for the next edition is October 6th.

Submission criteria:

  • Article must be about a CURRENT NATSAP school/program member at the time of submission and release of newsletter. (DUE TO LIMITED SPACE, WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS)
  • Please submit texts in MS Word, Rich Text Format (RTF), or WordPerfect. If submitting from a Macintosh computer, please include the three-letter file extension in the file name of your article. PDF files are not acceptable.
  • Images should be in .jpg, .png or .tif format. (Please include at least one image.)

Articles should be at least 450 words in length and include a title. (Title of article is not included in word count.)

An e-mail message with the article as an attachment should be sent to shanita@natsap.org.
Please use “We Are NATSAP – Submission” as the subject in the email address block.