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October 5, 2018

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Clinical Spotlight: Dr. Lorraine Freedle

Lorraine received her BA in Social Work from Pennsylvania State University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Hawai’i in Honolulu. She also holds an Educational Specialist graduate degree in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in neuropsychology from Fielding Graduate University. In addition to earning board certifications in social work, school psychology and neuropsychology, Lorraine completed advanced training and certification in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) through the Child Trauma Academy. She is also an internationally certified sandplay therapist and teacher who has conducted award winning research in this modality. Lorraine is the founder of Black Sand Neuropsychological Services, where she conducts neuropsychological evaluations, consultation services, and sandplay therapy.

Lorraine Freedle, LCSW, Ph.D., ABPdN, ABSNP, CST-T

Five years ago, Dr. Freedle stepped into her role as Clinical Director, and was immediately drawn to the evolution of students’ process at Pacific Quest and it’s direct correlation to neurological therapeutic development. “A lot of programs talk about such an approach, but PQ actually harnesses the power of nature and practices complete wellness, with qualified staff working together on every aspect. PQ works because it is an individualized, comprehensive and neurodevelopmentally-informed approach. Everyone’s brain works differently. At PQ we can design strategies that reach our students and move them through a deep and lasting change process.”

VIDEO: Learn how PQ utilizes and integrates NMT throughout our entire program.

Since then, Lorraine has successfully elevated our program and clinical department to a new level. Working with The Child Trauma Academy, we are now site certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). Lorraine provides Sandplay training/supervision, EMDR training/supervision, Art Therapy training/supervision, “Aloha Cohort” therapist team consultations, Referral Source consultations, admissions examination and collaboration, and psychological testing services. A renowned international speaker, she has shared her knowledge and passion extensively at a variety of conferences, workshops and tours. Dr. Freedle has published numerous professional journal articles and book chapters on a variety of issues in children’s behavioral health, including neuropsychological perspectives on trauma treatment, reducing critical incidents in residential care, research on sandplay therapy and the applications of NMT to Outdoor Behavioral Health. And if that wasn’t enough, Dr. Freedle volunteers her time working directly with local Hawaii families to provide much needed therapeutic services.

“We are honored to have Lorraine on our team. She has raised the bar for all of us professionally and personally. One rarely meets a person so passionate and accomplished, and still so warm and genuine,” Suzanne McKinney said.

 

June 8, 2016

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Dr. Lorraine Freedle Presents at STA Conference; Receives Research Award

By: Denise Westman, Outreach Director, and Erin Marcus, Clinical Admissions Director

Pacific Quest’s Clinical Director, Dr. Lorraine Freedle, was a keynote speaker at the National Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) Conference in June. With over 200 doctors, clinicians and consultants in attendance, Dr. Freedle shared her expertise and passion for both Sandplay Therapy and the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics® (NMT) in her presentation, “Making Connections: The Neuropsychology of Sandplay Therapy.” Attendees represented Jungian sandplay professionals from all over the world, including the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, and Italy.

Dr Freedle Presents at Sandplay ConferenceThe global group of attendees were presented with a case study of Jimmy (pseudonym) that involved traumatic loss and profound healing through re-connection to self, others and the environment. Due to Jimmy’s implicit traumatic memories and emotional dysregulation, it was essential that the clinical interventions matched his neurodevelopmental stage. He thrived in a multi-sensory natural setting through horticultural therapy, meditation, and a wellness foundation to complement the therapeutic work being done.

We were deeply touched by Jimmy’s journey and mesmerized by the increasingly sophisticated interventions that are available to those that need healing support. The ability to help young people like Jimmy experience a discernible change that is sustainable and portable as they move through life was nothing short of inspirational. Pacific Quest provides a safe place for young people to work through the barriers that are keeping them from functioning at their full physical and emotional potential. Every part of the Pacific Quest treatment model is neurologically informed and designed to help settle the nervous system so that meaningful work can take place. The Sustainable Growth™ Model ensures that our students have the corrective experiences needed to move through developmental blocks and that they develop mastery of the strength based behaviors necessary for a successful transition.


Also while in attendance at the STA Conference, Dr. Freedle was honored with a research award. She was recognized for “Outstanding Contributions to Research in Sandplay Therapy” for original research titled:

  • Freedle, L.R., Altschul, D.B., and Freedle, A.M. (2015). The Role of Sandplay Therapy in the Treatment of Adolescents and Young Adults with Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders and Trauma. Journal of Sandplay Therapy, XXIV (2), 127-145.

This is Dr. Freedle’s second STA award for her exceptional research on Sandplay Therapy. Please join Pacific Quest in congratulating Dr. Freedle on this honor!


In addition to being Pacific’s Quest’s Clinical Director, Lorraine Freedle is a board certified neuropsychologist, psychotherapist, and trainer in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics®. Dr. Freedle is an award-winning researcher for her work with sandplay therapy and individuals with trauma. Dr. Freedle is an international presenter who illuminates current theory, neuroscience and the principles of depth psychology with compelling case studies. She has published numerous professional journal articles and currently serves as Research Editor for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy.

July 12, 2012

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Gratitude: A Sustainable Life Choice

By Denise Westman, Outreach Director

Pacific Quest Wilderness Therapy ProgramAfter spending many years working in this industry in a variety of treatment settings, meeting and working with some incredibly talented and gifted people, I am filled with gratitude to be at Pacific Quest.  PQ’s approach to embracing change and sustainable growth not only applies to our students and families, but to staff as well. While I appreciate the journey it took for me to get here, I look back on my life choices  and think about things I wish I knew earlier. Who among us hasn’t said, ” It would have made my life so much easier if I knew then what I know now”. How wonderful for our students to be able to be immersed in a natural setting and given unconditional support and hope while engaging in life changing experiences sooner rather than later…

Here’s my list of things I wish I could turn back the hands of time to tell my younger self. Many will sound familiar but all worth hearing again.

  • You’re stronger than you think you are.
  • Mistakes teach you important lessons. Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.
  • There is nothing to hold you back except you.
  • You can press forward long after you can’t. It’s a matter of wanting it bad enough.
  • No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible.
  • You are limited only by your own imagination. Let it fly.
  • Perception is reality.
  • Your instincts can be trusted.
  • There is only one question to ask yourself: “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
  • It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.
  • The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  • Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.
  • You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
  • Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  • Do what you love, not what you think you’re supposed to do.
  • Laughter is the best medicine for stress. Laugh at yourself often.
  • If you want to feel rich, just count all the great things you have that money can’t buy.
  • Forgiving yourself is far more important than getting others to forgive you.
  • If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  • Be nice to yourself.
  • For the most part, it doesn’t matter what people think. Follow your own truth.
  • No education is wasted. Drink in as many new experiences as you can.
  • Making one person smile can change the world.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy your journey!
  • You never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  • Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  • You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  • Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak. It doesn’t always solve your problems either.
  • No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  • Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  • You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  • Give up worrying about what others think of you.
  • When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  • You have to accept that some things will never be yours, and learn to appreciate the things that are only yours.
  • As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
  • Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to lose.
  • Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.
  • You’ll rarely be 100% sure it will work. But you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.
  • Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future for too long. Right now is life. Live it.
  • No matter how cautiously you choose your words, someone will always twist them around and misinterpret what you say. Just say what you need to say.
  • Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck.
  • If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks. That’s how dreams are achieved.
  • If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  • What lies before us and behind us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us.
  • Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
  • It’s not about getting a chance, it’s about taking a chance.
  • If it were easy everyone would do it.
  • Be vulnerable.
  • A problem is a chance for you to learn.
  • Regardless of the situation, life goes on.

Gratitude comes in many forms and offers us many benefits. Living a grateful life means consciously interacting with your life and mindfully (thank you PQ) honoring the truths of your existence. It’s the practice of recognizing what’s good in life and embracing the joy that comes naturally with gratitude.

 

January 11, 2012

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Is Dirt the New Prozac?

By Denise Westman, Outreach Director

Imagine: You’re feeling so depressed that you visit your doctor and request a prescription for a mood elevator. Instead of writing you a prescription for Prozac or a similar antidepressant, she advises you to get dirty. While you consider changing doctors, she describes how getting dirty changes your brain chemistry. The microbes Garden Pacific Questin dirt, she says, tweak the same neurons that are stimulated by Prozac. Your options, she explains, are an expensive drug plus its possible side effects, or gardening, yard work, or a romp in the park. Your doctor, it turns out, hasn’t gone round the bend. She is actually up-to-date on the latest scientific findings about how the natural environment affects our brain function.
The dirt-and-Prozac connection surfaced a couple of years ago from Dr. Chris Lowry and his colleagues at the University of Bristol and University College London. They exposed lung cancer patients to a common, inoffensive microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae, found in soil. The patients unexpectedly reported increases in their quality of life, including a brighter mood. The researchers wondered if this effect was caused by stimulation of neurons in the patients’ brains that produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical.
Taking the next step, they broke up M. vaccae into fragments with sound waves and injected them into the windpipes of anesthetized mice. When compared to controls, the mice exposed to M. vaccae had more activity in serotonin-producing neurons and higher levels of serotonin in several areas of the brain. “[The bacteria] had the exact same effect as antidepressant drugs,” Dr. Lowry said. The scientists said that one might derive dirt’s benefit directly by rooting around in a vegetable garden, or by eating lettuce or carrots picked from that garden. Popular media ran with the findings. “Is Dirt the New Prozac?” asked Discover magazine.
The dirt-and-Prozac connection fits with a recent idea in medicine called the “hygiene hypothesis.” According to this concept, exposure early in life to the bacteria, fungi, and viruses found in common, everyday dirt is necessary to stimulate our immune system. When children are exposed to the stew of microbes in dirt, their immune systems become stronger. The immune system also learns to ignore substances like pollen or the dandruff of pets, which can trigger asthma and allergies. Researchers have shown, for example, that kids who grow up in dirty environments such as farms have a lower incidence of infections, asthma, allergies, and eczema later in life, compared to kids raised in urban environments in which parents try to keep them squeaky clean.
For a century and a half we have waged merciless war on filth through public health measures such as public sanitation systems and water purification programs. These developments have been enormously successful. The increase in lifespan in modern societies is due largely to the reduction of death rates from diseases such as typhoid and cholera, which in nineteenth-century America were called “filth diseases.” 

We have to wonder, however, if we have gone too far in our obsession with hygiene.Garden Pacific Quest Throughout our evolutionary history our ancestors lived in intimate contact with dirt, and its influence, we now see, was not all bad. We evolved in the outdoors, and we are beginning to glimpse the price we are paying for shutting ourselves off from nature.
Don’t worry. Nobody is suggesting that we never bathe or clean our bathrooms. Neither is it necessary to inject M. vaccae into our windpipe. If we merely go for a walk in the woods, grub around in our vegetable garden, or weed our flowerbeds, we get a dose of the good bugs simply by inhaling.
“Nature deficiency disorder” has been proposed as a term for the problems we create when we build a wall between the natural world and ourselves. I am highly susceptible to this malady. When I spend too much time indoors, I become increasingly moody and morose. There’s only one cure: take a hike, go camping, or root around in my veggie garden. These activities are more than a hobby; they have become an essential part of my life and an important element in my personal health plan.
What about kids? Not so long ago, play and getting dirty were pretty much the same thing — frolicking in a sand box, making mud pies, romping in parks. Now many parents are horrified by dirty play. Keeping kids spotless and unsoiled, however, may be setting them up for trouble later on, because without exposure to nature’s medley of microbes our kids can grow up with confused, weak immune systems. Can we rethink the prohibition on dirty play for the sake of our children’s health?
Antidepressant medication can sometimes be a treatment of choice. It can work wonders, and in some instances can be life-saving. But if your doctor advises you to get dirty instead of taking a pill to perk up your mood, don’t look at her strangely. Pride yourself on having a physician who is on the cutting edge. Our students learn that living sustainably means giving back as you take, and it is a cycle of living in balance that will ideally sustain itself.
Pacific Quest wilderness therapy program is the only outdoor program that utilizes a ®Sustainable Growth Model. Our students live on an organic farm and participate in a curriculum that focuses on the mind~body~emotion connections. Our approach is unique, innovative, and cutting edge.

References:

Lowry CA, et al. Identification of an immune-responsive mesolimbocortical serotonergic system: Potential role in regulation of emotional behavior. Neuroscience. 2007; 146(2):756-772. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience. 2007.01.067.
Glausiusz J. Is dirt the new prozac? Discovermagazine.com. http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/raw-data-is-dirt-the-new-prozac. June 14, 2007. Accessed August 8, 2009.