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Teen Behavioral Health News- Dec 2014

In This Issue
C.E. Webinar
Inviting Behavioral Health Professionals


Join us for an online webinar presentation offering free C.E. units.  We welcome 

Dr. Gary Linker to present on


"Identifying and Treating the Highly Sensitive Person"

Time:11:00 AM to 12:00 PM PST 


Date: Wednesday Dec 17, 2014 


New Study Seeks Better Insights into Adolescent Male Behavior 

Most parents would agree that they would do anything in their power to help their child if it was needed. Of course, raising a young child presents a much different set of challenges than raising a teenager. Mothers and fathers will want to be mindful of the transitional period their son is going through, as well as the unique situations they may face. Though a parent can do their part to have empathy, as they themselves have been through many common experiences in adolescence, a new study may now help to better facilitate that understanding.


The recent study was conducted by the Florida State University College of Medicine by a number of respected researchers. 


Read on...

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White River Academy


Creating Strength Through 

the Power of Peers




White River Academy is a therapeutic boarding school

 for struggling adolescent males between ages 12 and 17 1/2, located in Delta, Utah. We provide a safe, secure and structured environment for young males to face and overcome their issues.  Using an experiential learning approach that makes students think about what they do, we combine therapeutic programming, a customized academic curriculum, and community service to foster personal growth and create men of character and integrity. White River Academy has a track record of success turning around the lives of troubled teens.

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Rebuilding Trust With Teens


Families can be blindsided from the craziness

inflicted by a teen that has been engaging in risky and destructive behaviors. No one is spared within the family unit. Whether the teen had been actively involved in substance abuse, risky and illegal behaviors, wrestling with a mental disorder or all of the above, the end result is pain, anger, grief and distrust within the family unit.


Enrolling an adolescent in a therapeutic boarding school is a difficult task in itself, but working on healing the familial relationship is also a component of recovery. Once the teen is discharged from a residential boarding treatment center, there is a lot of work to be done before those fractured familial bonds can be restored.


When it comes to mending fences between the teen and his parents, patience is the key. While the bonds of trust can be, and probably were, shattered quickly, rebuilding trust can be a long process. Loved ones who were personally affected by the  teenager's addiction or suffered financial or legal fallout due to their criminal behavior simply stopped trusting the teen....Read on

Meet Our Staff
Steve Brown

WRA Classroom Instructor


Classroom Instructor Steve Brown is the Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at White River Academy. He received his B.A. in English from Southern Utah University with a focus in Creative Writing and a minor in History. He is working on his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing through the University of Texas at El Paso and is a published poet. Steve began his teaching career in the Chinle Unified School District on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, where he worked with disadvantaged youth. After six years of teaching 7th and 8th grade Language Arts, Steve was asked to serve as School Improvement Coordinator for Tsaile Public School in the Chinle District. In that position, with the support of several peers and the principal, he facilitated major changes in the school culture and climate, including instructional and assessment practices that ultimately moved the school from an "Under-performing" label under Arizona Learns to a "Performing Plus" label. Steve has also worked as an outside consultant for school districts through Southwest Educational Consulting Associates, improving school culture and climate, facilitating improvement plans and designing professional

development and curriculum programs for Language Arts. He has also provided training in the Six Traits of Effective Writing at multiple schools in Arizona and served as a coach for the Arizona Department of Education's Professional Development Leadership Academy, a program designed by the state to turn at-risk schools and districts around. His basic educational philosophy is this: Students want to learn, and what keeps them from learning is low self-esteem. Boredom and behavior problems are a cover-up for "I don't get this." The tools students need to achieve and build confidence are:
1) access to real data - how did I do last time and what do I need to do to improve?; 
2) instruction that is relevant and delivered in small chunks (teacher models, group practices together, student practices alone for mastery); 
3) a culture where mistakes are viewed as vital learning experiences on a path of continual growth; and 
4) lots of practice time. With these tools in hand, all students can achieve. Without them, only those who would learn anyway, learn.

Teens Prescribed 
Anti-Anxiety or Sleep Medications More Likely to Abuse Those Drugs Illegally, Research Finds


Substance abuse assessments needed before drugs are prescribed, researchers say.


Teens prescribed anti-anxiety or sleep medications may be up to 12 times more likely to abuse those drugs illegally than teens who have never received a prescription, often by obtaining additional pills from friends or family members, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.


Based on surveys of more than 2,700 high school and middle school students from the Detroit area, almost 9 percent had been prescribed a potentially addictive benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medication (e.g., Xanax, Valium or Klonopin) or sleep medication (e.g., Ambien, Lunesta or Restoril) at some time in their lives.....Read On

Mapping the Future of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

Adolescent substance use treatment is at a critical turning point - treatment success is short-lived and the field lacks a definitive best approach. Researchers have conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify the common traits underlying different therapies aimed at reducing substance use and then recommend future directions.

Adolescent substance use treatment is at a critical turning point -- treatment success is short-lived and the field lacks a definitive best approach. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify the common traits underlying different therapies aimed at reducing substance use and then recommend future directions....Read On

Book Spotlight

Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation


by Gabriele Oettingen, Ph.D

How many times have we heard the phrase "think positively?"  The power of positive thinking is endorsed by seminar speakers, religious leaders, teachers 
and parents. If we just think positively, good things will eventually happen to us and there are few who would disagree.


Gabriele Oettingen is a Professor of Psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg. Based on the principles of mental contrasting, her research focuses on how we think about the future and how that impacts cognition, emotion and behavior.  She developed fantasy realization theory (FRT) which demonstrates that if we mentally picture our future reality and contrast it with our present reality, it can successfully bring about changes in cognition, emotion and behavior. Following her research, Oettingen wrote, "Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation." 

Read On...

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White River Academy 275 West 100 South
Delta, Utah 84624
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