Douglas Bodin, CEO
That’s a fantastic reminder to desperate parents of the risks associated with getting on the internet. Predatory practices by otherwise reputable organizations, let alone those by the disreputable ones, are outrageously commonplace. As an Educational Consultant I also agree almost entirely with your assessment of educational consultants! My firm is the largest in the country, employing almost exclusively Masters and Ph.D. – level, experienced professionals to act as the guides and planners for families in crisis. It’s the best of both worlds, in my opinion. As trained therapists, they understand the intricacies and nuances of often significantly clinical issues. But as a team of 15, constantly traveling around the country visiting and evaluating hundreds of programs, we bring a level of knowledge and on-the-ground experience that is unmatched. Furthermore, with a diversity of clinical experiences and backgrounds, our team approach allows each consultant to collaborate and derive support and guidance from other members of the team on a regular and routine basis. I further agree that consulting with your therapist is an important component of the process. We get most of our referrals from therapists who may recognize the possible need for a residential placement but rely on our travel, experience and expertise to help determine its necessity and location. Finally, with regard to the politics, I believe you are unfortunately correct that individual practitioners are limited in the number of programs with which they can remain conversant. They have their “favorites” that are often based on factors unrelated to the specific needs of a particular child. And while Wilderness programs are often an extraordinary first step as a preparatory and evaluative tool, they aren’t for everyone. Adhering rigidly to the best interests of the child, advocating for his or her needs and remaining involved throughout placement(s), guiding a family and problem-solving at every step is an essential recipe for successful outcomes. Being more than mere “matchmakers” is what has contributed to our success and growth for 30 years.