Welcome Dr. Ryan Shelton

ryanPacific Quest is excited to welcome Dr. Ryan Shelton to the Wellness Team! Dr. Shelton received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Prior to that, he received a Master’s degree in Philosophy and obtained his BA in Biochemistry from the University of Kansas.

Pacific Quest Medical Director, Dr. Britta Zimmer comments, “Dr. Shelton will be the Wellness Director for both programs working directly with the students and staff. Dr. Shelton and I will be collaborating in the care of our students, training of staff and overall leadership of the Wellness Department. We are excited to add such a strong member to our team!”

For the past decade, Dr. Shelton has focused strongly on investigative and clinical research to educate physicians and patients across the country on the safest and most efficacious diagnostic and treatment methodologies in medicine. He was the creator and developer of Whole Body Health, a multidisciplinary family practice in Kansas City for many years and left in 2009 to become the co-founder and Chief Medical Advisor of Innovative Telemedicine Outreach Programs to service patients around the world. During this time, Dr. Shelton was hired by The University Compounding Pharmacy in San Diego, California as the head Physician and Pharmacist Consultant. Dr. Shelton is currently a licensed primary care physician in the state of Hawaii.

Dr. Shelton comes to the Big Island most recently from Kansas and is joined by his wife and 7 month old son. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the island with his family as well as surfing the beautiful coasts of Hawaii.

Posted in Healing, Information, News, Uncategorized, Updates, Wellness |

Mahalo For Your Support!

MiriamBIG THANKS to all who offered support for Program Guide Miriam Gleckman’s efforts in running in the 42nd annual Honolulu Marathon this past Sunday.  Miriam’s goal was to raise $4,000 in grant money for the Sky’s The Limit Fund organization to provide more students the opportunity to attend Pacific Quest.  Sky’s The Limit Fund is a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of at-risk youth by providing grants, support, and hope, through wilderness therapy programs and beyond.

We are excited to announce that Miriam was able to achieve her goal!  Miriam raised $1,960 and with PQ’s matching funds plus an additional $80 she reached $4,000!! What an accomplishment!

The Honolulu Marathon is the third largest marathon in the US, attracting about 30,000 participants each December.  Miriam was thrilled to be part of this exciting event and comments, “As someone who works directly with PQ students, and witnesses some of their victories, large and small, I had ample inspiration to run the Honolulu Marathon. Thank you to the whole PQ Ohana for working together to bring more victories to more students.”

Way to go Miriam!

Posted in Community, Information, News, Uncategorized, Updates, Youth |

PQ Welcomes Kellyn Smythe

kellyn-smythe-175x220Pacific Quest is excited to welcome Kellyn Smythe to the Admissions and Outreach Team! Kellyn comes to Pacific Quest with extensive experience working with families and professionals in the field of special needs education.

Kellyn earned his Masters of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington in 2006. His passion for helping people began in the classroom where he taught college mathematics for nine years. Feeling a pull toward supporting students outside the classroom, Kellyn earned his certification as a Behavioral Coach. He spent eight years coaching under performing students who struggled with anxiety, depression and waning motivation—many of whom successfully started their road to recovery at PQ.

For the last 5 years, Kellyn was the Director of Admissions at a nationally acclaimed residential young adult program. Kellyn’s experience in education, admissions and coaching has earned him an exceptional reputation in the treatment community, and his thorough and warm approach is a natural fit at Pacific Quest.

Kellyn is an accomplished outdoorsman and avid martial artist. He and his wife, Lindsey live in Oregon where they explore the outdoor magic of the Pacific Northwest with their dogs Benny and Zoë.

Posted in Information, News, Uncategorized, Updates, Youth |

26.2 For PQ! Program Guide to Run Honolulu Marathon to Raise Funds For Sky’s The Limit Fund

Miriam Gleckman NYC MarathonOn December 14, 2014, Pacific Quest Program Guide, Miriam Gleckman will run the Honolulu Marathon. Her goal is to raise grant money for the Skys The Limit Fund organization to provide more students the opportunity to attend Pacific Quest.

Miriam graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University and prior to joining the Pacific Quest team, performed research for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Her interests include traveling, French, Bikram Yoga and distance running.

Miriam is passionate about raising grant money to provide more students the opportunity to participate in our unique program.  When asked what inspired her to take on this challenge, she commented, “Pacific Quest students inspired me to run the Honolulu Marathon.  The students set goals everyday–sometimes their goal is to eat a full meal or clean the kitchen thoroughly within a given time frame. Sometimes a student’s goal might be to make it through another day. Regardless of the task, these goals require discipline and humility. It’s inspiring to help students take the first steps along their goal-oriented paths. Pacific Quest students challenge me to challenge myself; I am running the marathon in honor of ‘many steps to come,’ both for me and for my students!”

Miriam is reaching out to the community, and committing herself to many 5:00 a.m. runs with a headlamp, because she wants to help expand access to Pacific Quest for young people who desperately need help, but cannot afford it.  She adds, “I would truly appreciate your support as well as cheers via social media!”

All donations and funds raised in this campaign will go to Sky’s The Limit Fund, a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of at-risk youth by providing grants, support, and hope, through wilderness therapy programs and beyond.

Please visit Miriam’s Crowdrise page to learn more and support this very worthwhile cause!

Posted in Uncategorized |

Tom Jameson Joins Pacific Quest’s Clinical Team

tom_jameson_175x220Tom received his Bachelor of Science in English Literature from Radford University in 2003 and his Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Carolina University in 2012. Tom is a National Board Certified Counselor. Prior to joining the Pacific Quest clinical team, Tom was a Primary Therapist at Chrysalis School Montana. From 2006-2010, Tom honed his clinical skills working as a Senior Field Instructor at a renowned and well-respected wilderness therapy program on the mainland. Tom was also secretary of the NATSAP Rocky Mountain Regional Conference Committee. Tom is a respected mental health clinician who comes to Pacific Quest with a great deal of direct experience in the industry.

Tom has a strong belief in wilderness therapy as a highly effective treatment setting, and has cultivated his clinical approach around building a positive therapeutic alliance using the Earth and its seasonal cycles as both a teacher and metaphor. Tom is interested in how natural change is linked to internal transcendence and emotional growth, and how this informs the unique growth experience that occurs at Pacific Quest.

Tom’s clinical interests and areas of expertise include clinical depressive disorders, grief and loss, oppositional behavior, anxiety, family systems, ADHD, adoption issues, as well as helping students develop healthy coping strategies necessary to master change and navigate transitions. Professionally, Tom practices dialectical behavioral, cognitive behavioral, reality and client-centered therapies.

Personally, Tom enjoys hiking, diving and generally spending time in nature, and connecting with the incredible natural environment Hawaii offers.

Posted in Group therapy, Information, Nature, News, Therapy, Uncategorized, Updates, Youth |

Sky’s The Limit Fund’s 5th Anniversary Fundraising Breakfast

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Pacific Quest was proud to support the recent Sky’s The … Read more

More Galleries | Comments Off

COMING HOME: A Conversation with Dr. John Souza, Primary Therapist

johnsouza_175x220Please take a moment to share a bit about yourself…and what brought you to Pacific Quest?

Having been born on O’ahu and coming from several generations of Hawai’i-born Portuguese and Spanish, I’ve always had a connection to the islands. And while I was raised on the Mainland, including spending my formative years in California, Nevada, and Colorado, and the last 20 years enduring the harsh winters in Minnesota, I knew one day I would return to Hawai’i.

During one of the harshest Minnesota winters in 35 years, I recall sitting in my office, in a suit and tie thinking, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” Coming from a background in marriage and family therapy, I had considered ecological systems to be an excellent metaphor for how family systems function. I began to imagine that working with natural systems, such as those found in a garden, would be complementary to my family systems training; PQ was the missing link between my systems background and working with families ecologically. I knew it was what I was meant to do. Plus, not only did I get the benefit of returning to my birthplace, I never have to endure another Minnesota winter!

Can you share a bit about your clinical strengths and specific areas of expertise?

I would say my clinical strengths include being able to highlight other people’s strengths, including being able to view their perceived “weaknesses” as positives; I can draw a positive connotation on just about any way of being, partly because of my underlying philosophical worldview that we as humans are naturally driven to attempt to be loved, to love, and to be good at something. However, through the confluence of genetics and environment these predilections become obscured and come out “sideways” through what the mental health field might refer to as “maladaptive” or “dysfunctional” ways of being. I would offer that these ways of being are actually quite the opposite: They are very much about adaptation and attempting to function as best one can within a given set of circumstances. The question is more about how these adaptations fit within a larger social milieu. If the answer is “not well”, then the challenge becomes dichotomous: Change the person or change the environment. At PQ we have the opportunity to do both, while also being able to work with students’ families, who are also comprised of individuals attempting to do the best they can with what they have. This is not to say that dysfunction doesn’t exist-it does; but I am more interested in learning how something dysfunctional may at one point have been functional.

Placing a child outside of the home can be an emotionally daunting process for a parent. How do you assist parents with this transition?

As a parent I have such a deep sense of respect and empathy for the families who make the decision to place their child in a treatment environment, far from home. What I generally offer to these families is 1) whatever you’re feeling is okay, including a sense of relief that your child is out of the house; this is such an appropriate response to the situation, especially when you consider that most families have been living in a state of hyper-vigilance and anxiety for months, sometimes years; and 2) you now have a chance to press the “reset” button in order to redefine how your family functions and its “new normal”. To begin this reset process, I start with the Five Pillars of Health, including taking stock of your nutrition, your sleep, your exercise, your mental health, and your awareness of the mind-body connection. This not only parallels what your child is doing at PQ, it also gives parents something healthy on which to focus the emotionality of the situation.

Can you talk about your therapeutic approach in terms of integrating the family into the treatment process?

The first thought that comes to mind is “How could the family not be integrated?!” That would be like trying to bake a cake without flour. It just couldn’t happen; it wouldn’t be a cake. Similarly, you cannot affect the individual without the entire system being affected. To illustrate this I often use the analogy of a hanging mobile (the kind you might place above an infant’s crib). When you touch one part of the mobile, all the other pieces necessarily respond. Similarly, our students and their respective families are inextricably intertwined, sometimes too much and sometimes not enough. Part of my job is to help them find a sustainable balance between the mutual influence they have on each other by looking at the way they manage separateness and togetherness, two equally important and necessary elements in all relationships. I do this by encouraging each family member to take stock of his/her Five Pillars of Health and by beginning to separate their thoughts/feelings from their son or daughter’s thoughts/feelings. In this way individual family members move from being reactive to being “response-able”.

How do you define success as it relates to your work with students and families?

So often students and their families have been stuck in family patterns that limit their ability to be anything outside of the roles they play in those patterns. Therefore, I would define success with students and families as the development of a broader and more balanced awareness of themselves and each other; awareness that each family member is a whole person, not just the role they have been playing for the last umpteenth years. I also consider success to be a lifestyle change that includes the Five Pillars of Health. The more each family member lives well and develops congruence between their insides and their outsides, the more response-able they become, and the more likely they are to be successful in achieving their treatment goals.

How do you integrate referring professionals into the process?

A similar response to question #4 comes to mind “How could referring professionals not be integrated?!” Referring professionals not only help sustain our ability to provide our services through the actual referrals they make, they are a direct part of the treatment team. I cannot think of a single referring professional relationship that has not provided invaluable insight or support toward a family’s success at PQ. Therefore, I’m usually disappointed if a family does not have an Educational Consultant or similar referring professional because it means I may provide a less complete clinical assessment than I might have had there been a referring professional to use as a sounding board; someone to bounce ideas off of regarding various hypotheses or interventions and the best post-PQ options for students and their families.

Posted in Group therapy, Information, News, Therapy, Uncategorized, Updates, Wellness, Youth |

PQ Alumni Student to Speak at Upcoming Sky’s The Limit Fund’s 5th Anniversary Breakfast

Daniel Wallock - PQ AlumniPacific Quest is pleased to announce alumni student, Daniel Wallock will be a featured speaker at Sky’s The Limit Fund’s 5th Anniversary Breakfast, Thursday, October 30 in Palo Alto, California. Daniel will share his story and how his experience at Pacific Quest changed his life.

Daniel is an award-winning, published author, presently attending college in Vermont. His nonfiction piece, “Breathe“, written about his childhood, won an honorable mention in Marlboro College’s Beautiful Minds Challenge. In December 2013, his creative nonfiction short story, “This Very Breath“, was published in The Bolt Magazine. San Jose State University’s, The Bolt Magazine also awarded Daniel First Place in its International Nonfiction Contest. In January, 2014 Daniel received a Gold Key Award, the highest regional honor, in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. Daniel’s latest book, “Right-Hearted: Finding What’s Right With a Wrong-Sided Heart” is currently available on Amazon. Since May, 2014 his Kindle books have been downloaded over DW Book6,500 times.

“I am very excited to be apart of this event! I am very much in support of kids getting the help they need – especially through therapeutic wilderness, which I believe, was an invaluable experience,” Daniel shares. 

Pacific Quest is proud to support Sky’s The Limit Fund, a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of at-risk youth by providing grants, support, and hope, through wilderness therapy programs and beyond. To donate, please visit

Posted in Information, News, Student Contributions!, Uncategorized, Updates, Youth |

Ka’u Coffee Trail Run A Success

By Yvette Slagle, Communications Coordinator

coffeerun4On Saturday, September 20th, 28 Pacific Quest employees participated in the Ka’u Coffee Trail Run–The Southernmost Coffee Trail Run in the USA!  The goal of this event was to help raise money for the economically depressed community, via the non-profit organization O Ka’u Kakou.  O Ka’u Kakou’s mission is to “support and promote a healthy community through educational, cultural, and economic development opportunities that improve the quality of life in rural Ka‘ū.”  All funds raised went to O Ka’u Kakou to help them better serve the community and become more self-sustaining as well as to promote Ka’u coffee and to promote Ka’u as an international tourist destination.

Staff members registered for either the 5K, 10K or half marathon.  Students and staff also offered their support by assisting at water stations along the way.  Pacific Quest’s Operations Director, Martha Bouchard, who ran the 10K, comments, “What a great day and what a great run! So much fun to participate together, and what a challenging coffeerun2course. It was a joy to see the camaraderie and show our support for the community. We donated $1000 to an important Ka’u organization via our active efforts and had a great time while we were at it.”

Pacific Quest Therapist, Mike Sullivan, who ran the half marathon adds,”The Kau Trail Run was a fantastic event!  It was great to be in the presence of so many amazing co-workers and the Kau community at large…I look forward to next years race (even if the course is brutally difficult again!).”

Thank you to everyone who made this event a success!  Go Team PQ!

Posted in Community, Information, News, Updates |


eb9_img2On September 1, the clinical team at Pacific Quest began a year-long training process to achieve site certification in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics™ (NMT), an evidence-based practice developed by Dr. Bruce Perry. NMT is a developmentally sensitive, neurobiology-informed approach to clinical problem solving ( NMT training will develop capacity for clinicians to assess students using the NMT brain mapping matrix. From there, treatment interventions can be designed and tailored for each student to enhance brain functioning and relational health.

Why target the brain and relational health? More and more of our young people find themselves distressed, dysregulated, and overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life. They shut out people that care about them. They turn to alcohol, drugs, or a screen for fast relief from their emotional pain. Their search for belonging and excitement often leaves them alone and arrested in development. A better understanding of neurodevelopment and the teen brain can help us address these problems more effectively.

The teen brain undergoes developmental changes in stressor-sensitive brain regions at a time when the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed. Hence, their stress response system is on high throttle at a time in development when the part of their brain that helps them to “think first” is not fully on line. Although most young people weather this stormy time in life, those who enter adolescence with preexisting challenges do not fare so well. Young people with conditions such as anxiety, trauma, loss, chronic stress, or sensory integration disorders are highly vulnerable during this critical stage of development.

“I am thrilled to work with my team at Pacific Quest and the Child Trauma Academy on NMT site certification,” says Dr. Lorraine Freedle, Clinical Director and Pediatric Neuropsychologist. “Our Sustainable Growth™ model and mind-body techniques fit nicely into the NMT paradigm.”

eb9_img3Many students come to Pacific Quest because traditional therapy methods have not been successful. NMT recognizes that students with heightened stress response systems often need “lower brain” therapeutic techniques such as patterned, repetitive, rhythmic sensory experiences to help them develop the capacity for self-regulation. They cannot benefit from “higher brain” methods such as talk therapies until this fundamental work is done.

At Pacific Quest students are immersed in a sensory-soothing environment. With a foundation of optimal nutrition and exercise, students practice mindfulness and interact with the garden in restorative ways. They are progressively challenged through our camp system and work in therapy. Site certification in NMT will help our team use our enriched environment and clinical expertise more precisely, to create lasting changes in the brain.

Dr. Freedle is a certified NMT provider and trainer. Dr. Freedle shares, “Parents gain a deeper understanding of their child’s behaviors when they see the brain maps. By designing and pacing the right type of intervention at the right time, our clinical team elevates treatment effectiveness. Everyone wins, especially our students.”

As part of the NMT site certification process, clinicians at Pacific Quest will participate in case consultations with Dr. Perry and other trainees from across the globe. They will learn to use the clinical practice tools with fidelity, and complete over 100 hours of training in core principles of neurodevelopment and traumatology.

Posted in Education, Group therapy, Healing, Information, News, Therapy, Updates, Wellness, Youth |

Dr. Freedle Presents at Neurosequential Model Inaugural Symposium

Pacific Quest’s Clinical Director, Dr. Lorraine Freedle recently presented at the 2014 Neurosequential Model Inaugural Symposium in Banff, Alberta – Canada.  The conference entitled “Brain Development and Trauma: Implications for Interventions and Policy” took place at The Banff Centre on June 10-12th, 2014.  The conference included workshops which highlighted emerging concepts and practices in the areas of trauma-informed care and brain development with a specific focus on the Neurosequential Model. (

BanffDr. Freedle’s presentation “The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics™, Sandplay® and Traumatic Grief:  A Case Presentation Illustrating Somatosensory Pathways to Transformative Healing” highlighted a case study of 13-year-old Olivia.  Olivia’s sandplay therapy process illustrated how repetitive, somatosensory engagement facilitates self-regulation, neural integration, and transformative healing in the wake of traumatic grief.

Sandplay is a non-verbal method of psychotherapy with roots in play therapy, Jungian depth psychology and eastern traditions.  Sandplay is one of many mind-body therapies offered at Pacific Quest.  Others include horticultural therapy, art therapy, and yoga.  These methods activate somatosensory pathways essential to healing from trauma.

Pacific Quest is commencing the site certification process in Dr. Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) in the coming months.  NMT certification is part of Pacific Quest’s commitment to trauma-informed, evidenced-based practices.  The certification team will be lead by Dr. Freedle, who is a board-certified pediatric neuropsychologist and NMT trainer.  

Posted in Education, Healing, Information, News, Therapy, Uncategorized, Updates, Wellness, Youth |

Ka’u Coffee Trail Run

OKK_TrailRun_FlierAre you up for a challenge?  Join us for the Ka’u Coffee Trail Run–The Southernmost Coffee Trail Run in the USA!

Pacific Quest is proud to sponsor the first 25 employees to complete the early bird registration by July 19, 2014.  Students and staff will also be assisting at water stations along the way!

This is a great opportunity to support the Ka’u community!  The goal of this event is to help raise money for the economically depressed community, via the non-profit organization O Ka’u Kakou.  O Ka’u Kakou’s mission is to “support and promote a healthy community through educational, cultural, and economic development opportunities that improve the quality of life in rural Ka‘ū.”  All funds raised will go to O Ka’u Kakou to help them better serve the community and become more self-sustaining as well as to promote Ka’u coffee and to promote Ka’u as an international tourist destination.  Along with the race, there will be various tournaments, games for kids, live auction, silent auction, food, informational booths and entertainment throughout the day.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit

Posted in Community, Information, News, Uncategorized, Updates, Youth |

An Integrated Approach to Sleep Disturbances

By Dr. Britta Zimmer, Medical Director

BrittaThirty percent of children and adolescents experience some sort of sleep disturbances. Sleep disorders include insufficient sleep, insomnia, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorder, bedwetting, sleepwalking, restless legs and narcolepsy. Insomnia is defined as the prolonged inability to get the amount of sleep you as an individual, need to wake feeling rested. We often use this term (insomnia) loosely when describing a poor night’s rest.

Teenagers need an average of 9.25 hours of sleep every night. The fact is, you can do everything right for your health in terms of eating well and exercising, but if your sleep is dysregulated then you cannot achieve optimal health. With proper sleep, our memory is well consolidated, our immune systems are strong and our neuroendocrine systems are balanced.

Sleep is one of the Pillars of Health at Pacific Quest. We evaluate sleep quality for all adolescents and young adults in our care as part of our integrated approach to wellness. Though sleep disturbances are common for incoming Pacific Quest students, many do not consider sleep when making a connection to their overall health and well-being.  At Pacific Quest, we help young people to gain a greater sense of awareness around the importance of quality sleep. This awareness, coupled with the structure of the program help to restore quality sleep for many of our students.

Poor sleep can cause a variety of symptoms including: Mood swings, irritability, fatigue, inattention, hyperactivity, depression, impulse control problems, low tolerance for frustration, learning problems, behavioral problems, cardiovascular issues, adverse metabolic effects, hormonal imbalance, headaches, hypoglycemia, and anxiety.  Many of these symptoms mimic or are a symptom of other disorders and can be addressed with sleep restoration.

Many people experience sleep disturbance related to “cognitive popcorn”.  This refers to when you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep because your mind is racing. This is a common complaint I hear from the Pacific Quest students.

How to address sleep issues:

1.   Practice proper sleep hygiene

  • Sleep in a dark environment. Even the light from your cell phone can disturb melatonin secretion. Melatonin is a hormone needed for adequate sleep and an important antioxidant. It gets secreted most efficiently in the complete dark.

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, chocolate, nicotine and alcohol within 4 hours of bedtime. I have had some patients who need to give up coffee completely (to their dismay) in order to fully correct their sleep disturbances. It can take up to 2 weeks of strict caffeine avoidance to correct a sleep disturbance.

  • Designate your bed and bedroom for sleep only. Watching TV or working on your computer in bed will disrupt your sleep.

  • Avoid napping during the day.  This can disturb your circadian rhythm.

  • Exercise. Leave the vigorous exercise for the morning hours and more restorative types of exercise for the afternoon.

  • Establish a regular bedtime and “wind down” routine. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day (including the weekends) will restore your natural sleep rhythms.

  • Do not eat a big meal right before bed. Having said that, I have used a protein snack to help sleep disturbances as this can balance the blood sugar levels throughout the night.

  • Expose yourself to natural light daily. This helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle

  • Establish a nighttime ritual that does not include electronics.  Sip tea, do some light stretching, or journaling.

2.   Ditch the sleeping pills

  • NIH produced a meta-analysis finding that most sleeping pills create amnesia for awakenings and poor sleep. So you think you are sleeping well but really you are not experiencing restorative rest.
  • Sleeping pills can disrupt your memory formation and cause daytime sedation.
  • Consult your doctor before discontinuing any medications.

  • There are natural alternatives that can be used in place of sleeping pills.

3.   Learn mind-body techniques to induce sleep

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation

  • Breathing Exercises

  • Visualization Techniques

4.   Treat the underlying causes

  • Uncover underlying issues such as hormone imbalance, anemia, hypoglycemia or thyroid disorders.

  • Evaluate medication side effects. Medications for the following medical issues have insomnia as a common side effect: pain medications, thyroid, asthma, depression,  high blood pressure, and cold/allergy medications.

  • Treat your sleep disturbance with non-toxic substances like melatonin, magnesium, chamomile, L-theanine, passion flower, GABA, and 5-HTP.

If you dread the night time because you consider yourself a “bad sleeper” or have labeled your child as a bad sleeper, create a new story with the above plan. Too often people accept poor sleep habits as part of their normal routine.

The integrative team at Pacific Quest recognizes the essential importance of restful sleep for optimal health.  We take a proactive integrative approach to sleep issues and with knowledge and insight, you can too. Sweet Dreams…

Posted in Healing, Information, News, Uncategorized, Updates, Wellness, Youth |

Dr. Freedle to Present at the Sandplay Therapists of America Conference in Seattle

seattlePacific Quest’s Clinical Director, Lorraine Freedle, PhD, CST-T will be presenting “La Llorona Weeps: Neural Integration, Sandplay and Traumatic Grief” at the 2014 Sandplay Therapists of America Conference in Seattle, Washington.  The conference entitled “The Spirit of Story in Sandplay” will take place at the Red Lion Hotel on Thursday June 5th-Sunday June 8, 2014.  The conference will include workshops with presenters from the US, Canada, England, Israel and Italy.

Dr. Freedle’s presentation “La Llorona Weeps: Neural Integration, Sandplay and Traumatic Grief” will utilize didactic and experiential learning with compelling case material and explore clinical concepts in trauma and grief, the Hispanic legend of La Llorona (the Weeping Woman), and the process of neural integration in sandplay.

Sandplay Therapists of America is a non-profit organization established to promote education, training and research in sandplay therapy. STA is an affiliate member of the International Society of Sandplay Therapy, which promotes professional development in sandplay in the tradition of Dora Kalff based on the theories of C.G. Jung.

Posted in Education, Healing, Information, News, Therapy, Uncategorized, Updates |

Changing the World One Life at a Time

By Travis Slagle, Horticultural Therapy Director

bananatransplantChanging the world is not an easy business, and for mental health providers, changing a life can be just as complicated. Many people enter the field of outdoor therapy because they want to change lives. For students at Pacific Quest, the most basic therapeutic task is to literally practice new ways of caring about life. We are digging, planting, composting, harvesting, and sharing abundance in a rhythmic pattern not just because it’s cool to grow your own food, but also because it fits within a sequential model of neuropsychology. We believe learning to grow food is a relevant and transferable therapeutic activity for a generation of young people that are faced with a daunting need to create a more sustainable future not just for themselves but for their families and communities.

A young person who recently graduated from the adolescent program wrote the following note (below) in a group journal.  This note offers an example of what Horticultural Therapy at Pacific Quest is all about.  It serves as a reminder that while we continue to remain in the business of changing lives, our clients are the ones that might just change the world, and perhaps there is no better outcome than that.


Posted in Community, Healing, Information, land notes, Nature, News, Organic gardening, Therapy, Uncategorized, Updates, Youth |