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February 19, 2012

By Katie Kasenchak, Therapist

The women of Pacific Quest wilderness therapy program made a strong showing at the 2012 NATSAP conference in Orlando, Florida.  The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, known as NATSAP for short, was founded in 1999 and provides annual research in the field of therapeutic programing for youth and a national directory of schools and programs that are licensed and accredited.  In attendance were Suzanne McKinney, MA, Co-founder and Owner, Erin Levine, LCSW, LCAS, and Denise Westman, from the Marketing and Admissions Team, Hilary Moses, MSW, LCSW, Therapeutic Program Director, and Lindsey Baldwin, MSW, Kathryn (Katie) Kasenchak, Psy.D., and Kelly Weld, MFTi, from the Therapeutic Team.

The conference proved to be a flurry of activity, as members of the group attended breakout sessions and connected with friends and professionals from the industry, new and old. Seminars attended included topics such as working with students on the spectrum, internet usage in adolescents, anxiety disorders and executive dysfunction, trauma and the female brain, and internet addiction and intimacy disorders. Hilary and Katie also had the chance to connect with a team of professionals and students who are conducting outcomes research on wilderness therapy programs and are very excited to integrate what they learned into proving that the Pacific Quest wilderness therapy model is truly successful and sustainable.

Perhaps most exciting was the “Relaxing Retreat and Hospitality Suite,” co-hosted by PQ and Carlbrook school. We collectively held three blocks of open house hours, during which professionals could stop by to meet the team and/or conduct individual meetings in a less pressured environment, complete with complementary chair massages! This was clearly a big hit, we even had people waiting at the door!

No trip to Orlando is complete without a trip to the Magic Kingdom. Thus, on Saturday, after the conference wrapped up, a few of us headed to the park for a day of magic and fun, which was definitely had by all.

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