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February 3, 2020

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New Video Highlights Training

An important aspect of the PQ model is staff development and the opportunity to learn and grow alongside our students. 

Staff members recently participated in a company-wide training focused on Horticultural Therapy and Rites of Passage.  It was a great opportunity for the team to come together on our new farm property and have time to connect while learning new skills and strategies to work with our students.

One of the main goals was to emphasize the importance of how to incorporate these various lessons and projects into the daily routine with students. PQ Field Therapist Sarah Blechman, MSSW, who helped organize and facilitate the training comments, “The whole day was so engaging! It was abundantly clear the facilitators were authentically passionate about the rich union and incredible effects of the interplay between horticulture, rites of passage and how to facilitate the two using the neurosequential model. My favorite part was when our program guides, managers and therapists all worked together to create our first garden bed in our ethnobotanical garden. Working on such a large project together felt like the whole community was working on a gift for our new farm.”

Many thanks to Nick Vejvoda, Adolescent Field Manager, who made this video!

WATCH the video here!

August 31, 2017

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PQ Announces New Video Library!

By: Sharon Findlay, Admissions & Communication Manager

Pacific Quest is excited to announce our new Video Library for parents, students, and referring professionals! Viewers can easily filter the videos by category and featured staff member. Categories include: Advice for parents, Common Questions, Medical + Wellness Questions, Therapeutic Approach, and Why Pacific Quest. Parents can get to know our team from afar and hear their personal and professional perspectives on what makes Pacific Quest the special and healing place that it is.

With this new video library and new content, we worked hard to anticipate the needs of parents considering Pacific Quest for their child. Videos like “Being so far away, how effective is Pacific Quest at reconnecting the family system?” and “Gardening seems a little soft. How effective can it be?” are just two examples real questions we’ve received. This video library gives parents the opportunity to get candid answers from multiple team members.

The videos provide new and engaging content, as well as informative visuals for what Pacific Quest looks and feels like. Parents are able to see the many areas of campus from these videos. These resources are accessible to parents and professionals at whatever time of day is most convenient for them to learn more about Pacific Quest and get specific questions answered.

March 7, 2017

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Pacific Quest Video Series :: Dr. Robert Voloshin, Integrative Psychiatrist

“Happiness, fulfillment, and joy in everyday life should be the bar we set… instead of taking an extreme view, I strive to take a wise, balanced, and integrative approach.” -Dr. Voloshin

Pacific Quest has an incredible new member of our Clinical and Wellness teams, Dr. Robert Voloshin, Integrative Psychiatrist. Dr. Robert Voloshin is leading the Integrative Psychiatry team at Pacific Quest with the goal of cultivating mental health for our students. The Pacific Quest integrative psychiatric model is unique in its methods of treatment.  It combines psychiatric care with naturopathic medicine allowing treatment to be individualized to the needs of each student, achieving a dynamic and comprehensive treatment approach.

Dr. Robert Voloshin: Pacific Quest Integrative Psychiatrist

“Integrative psychiatry is a way of approaching adolescents and young adults from multiple different perspectives. We use the perspectives of modern psychiatry, naturopathic medicine, developmental psychology and family systems to understand the young people and families we work with …”

As a lifelong observer of the human condition, he was innately curious about “what makes us well and what makes us sick.” Through medical school, residency, fellowship and beyond, his training in psychology and psychiatry led him to the conclusion that the origins of our mental health or lack thereof stems from our early years and our family systems, which led to his pursuit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Read More

February 8, 2017

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Pacific Quest Video Series :: Student Testimonial

Pacific quest changed my life; I realize now that nothing is impossible. With just some water and a seed I can create a whole ecosystem of life. Life at Pacific Quest helped me express my emotions in a positive way. Pacific Quest will change your life, too, if you just let it.” – Pacific Quest student testimonial

Pacific Quest: True To Our Testimonials

Pacific Quest is an internationally-recognized residential wilderness therapy program based in Hawaii that serves struggling teens and young adults from around the world. Our testimonials show just how Pacific Quest goes beyond traditional wilderness therapy programs: by cultivating change through sustainable growth. Our outdoor wilderness therapy and horticulture therapy programs teach sustainable life skills in a clinically innovative and nurturing environment. It helps young people make better choices and live healthier, more productive lives.

The many amazing testimonials from both alumni and their parents point to the pivotal changes made to each and every student who was ready for positive change. The testimonials also speak to the invaluable lessons and experiences students have had that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. Read more incredible testimonials on just how and why Pacific Quest is consistently sought after as the best wilderness therapy program.

The Pacific Quest Program Through Testimonials

“My negative emotions were affecting everyone around me and I was out of control. I didn’t care about life and that was obvious by my behavior. It was a sad and difficult time for me and my family.”

Read More

January 31, 2017

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Pacific Quest Video Series :: Travis Slagle On Horticulture Therapy

“What I find in horticultural therapy that I couldn’t find when I worked in wilderness therapy, adventure therapy and even ropes courses, was the sense of purpose: A sense of purpose and adventure in creating a more sustainable life.” -Travis Slagle, Horticulture Therapy Director

What is Horticulture Therapy

Horticulture has been used as a therapeutic discipline since ancient times. As far back as 2000 BC in Mesopotamia horticulture was used to calm the senses and around 500 BC, the Persians began creating gardens to “please all of the senses.”

“Horticultural Therapy” is based on an ancient practice and has a relatively new title that combines horticulture and rehabilitation disciplines. It employs plants and gardening activities in therapeutic and rehabilitation activities to improve human wellness, showing tremendous positive results for troubled teens and young adults. However, despite its long use in the fields of physical therapy, psychiatric occupational and recreational rehabilitation, awareness about the efficacy of horticulture therapy is still limited.

Since human beings actually evolved from and in a natural environment, an intrinsic physiologic and psychological positive reaction to nature has developed that is involved in maintaining our homeostasis. As Travis says in his video, “One of the most challenging things in our world today is Read More

May 18, 2011

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Embrace vulnerability – let ourselves be “deeply” seen! Sounds like Levinas!!

In her presentation (see video link), Dr. Brene Brown shares about her process of coming to understand the role of vulnerability and feeling worthy.  Her phenomenological research suggests that shame stems from a place of feeling unworthy, a place of always asking “Am I good enough?”  Dr. Brown asserts that feeling worthy grows from courage, compassion, connection, and embracing vulnerability.  Vulnerability she maintains is the willingness to do something with no guaranteed outcome, to take emotional risks.

Dr. Brown highlights that our adult population is the most” in-debt, obese, addicted, and medicated cohort in US history.” She points out that we consistently numb ourselves as a means of covering up our vulnerabilities.  Her argument asserts that we need to do just the opposite – that we “need to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen.” By this she appears to be referring to our need to become more emotionally vulnerable.  We need to let go of who we should be in other peoples eyes and be who we truly are. We need to be honest with ourselves about our emotions and those around us.

Dr. Brown’s message of being “deeply seen” seems very much akin to Emmanuel Levinas’ philosophical stance. Emmanuel Levinas emphasizes the importance of the “face of the other” in relationship.  Levinas says “The skin of the face is that which stays most naked, most destitute.  It is the most naked, though with a decent nudity. It is the most destitute also: there is an essential poverty in the face; the proof of this is that one tries to mask this poverty by putting on poses, by taking on a countenance.” (Ethics and Infinity 85-86) Levinas suggests that the face is a portal to the true self, that it is precisely the nakedness of the face that allows two people to connect.

June 14, 2010

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Interview with Dr. Viktor Frankl

** This video belongs to logotherapy.univie.ac.at **

Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) has influenced the lives of many through his famous book Man’s Search for Meaning. The book begins with Frankl’s first hand account of surviving several holocaust concentration camps.  Frankl’s “logotherapy,” stems from his experience, emphasizing that a person’s ultimate freedom does not lie within others hands or situations at large, but within the individual him/her self.  The ultimate choice is one of attitude. On page 104 Frankl says “Everything can be taken from a man but…the last of the human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” (Frankl, 104)

Frankl’s work has important implications for psychotherapy.  I utilize the book with many of the students I work with.  Students are often struck by the sheer power in Frankl’s story. Many are inspired by his existential approach and contemplate their individual ability to stand into life’s challenges.  Frankl says  “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” I like quote because it highlights that one should first try to change ones “situation.”  This could be as simple as changing ones diet or exercise routine.  For others, their situation is such that it cannot be changed.  Imagine the individual who suffers from paralysis (as Frankl discusses in the interview).  This individual can only change himself.

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