From: Shayna Abraham, MA
Every family is different, people have vastly different expectations, needs, and concerns. That's why I take the time to listen before making any recommendations. We don't want to try the same interventions that have failed in the past, but build on the successful skills the child and family have tried. We do this by talking with the team of professionals already working with the family, reading and analyzing all documentation including psychological, educational testing batteries, individualized education plans(IEP), and any other documentation provided by parents. I also consider it extremely important to conduct interviews with the client to hear from them what has been successful and what has not been.
I know your time is extremely valuable, so I've compiled some of the most common questions and concerns parents have when they approach me. Please browse at your convenience, and don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions at 650-888-4575.
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A therapeutic consultant, sometimes called a therapeutic placement consultant or an educational consultant, is someone who assesses a family's needs and helps to create a plan for intervention. Adolescents and young adults who work with therapeutic consultants may be struggling with anxiety, depression, disrespect to authority, identity issues, academic failure, substance abuse, anger or aggression, poor choice of friends, oppositional defiance disorder, eating disorders, and/or learning disorders.
The graphic above is an illustration of the growth experience that some, but not all, of our clients tend to undergo and highlights the most appropriate times for families to utilize each of our five services. Hover over the image to read more.
Parents are the roots of their child's life. The child's life starts with the parent(s), who provide fertile ground that becomes the values and character their child will build upon as they grow. Parents are also the ones that kids look to for support, structure and boundaries. The safest place for kids to act out is with their parents, since they know you will always love them no matter how challenging their behaviors become. This type of behavior can create immeasurable stress in the family.
Our Prevention Service is best put to good use when parents start to see their child's growth go sideways. We often see families who, having struggled through the entire growth process, wish they could have done something sooner. Prevention is that something you can do now to provide the best opportunities for your child.
Regardless of whether your child attends a public school, private school, is home schooled, or is involved in another form of educational environment, it is a place designed to provide both cognitive and social nourishment. Some kids are able to "hold it together" during the school day, which takes immense effort on their part. Others may excel in the structured time found at school, but struggle when transitioning to a home with inadequate structure. While school can be a sanctuary for those kids, and a place we see their strengths, there are others still who find this to be a challenging and sometimes even frightening place. They may struggle with attention issues, learning differences, social skills deficits, and behavioral issues. This may be the first place the struggles emerge, a place where behavior and attitude starts to decline.
There may already be some sort of professional support network in place once a child reaches middle or high school. Now is a great time to use our Family Support Service. We can help create or supplement the current inadequate or nonexistent treatment team. For families just starting to see children acting out, it's not too late to use our Prevention Service.
The child's situation is starting to deteriorate at this point. They may be causing harm to themselves or others. Trouble with the law, and other surreptitious behavior, can frequently be a sign that there are aspects of a child's life that are spiraling out of control. Police, probation officers, and attorneys can be the wake up call that some kids need to truly address problems which have been hovering under the surface for a long time.
Parents may feel that the world has been thrown into chaos. Let us help reduce the confusion. Our initial assessment will result in giving you clear options with concise explanations and a suggested best course of action. What happens from here truly depends on where the child is at and how parents feel about it. If immediate action is required, our Placement Services may be most appropriate. If, on the other hand, there is time to implement a new or augmented support team then our Family Support Service may be more appropriate.
Therapists and psychiatrists are called in once parents realize trouble is brewing. Just as large leaves collect sunlight and turn it into all of the necessary elements a plant needs to grow, so too do these professionals provide vitality and structure that will stay with the child for the rest of their lives. Therapists can help to shed light on ingrained family patterns, and teach the tools to break them. They can be a key part to helping to heal. The training and deep understanding of individuals, couples, families, and medications make this a crucial step in the treatment process.
Therapists, psychiatrsts, and other professionals frequently recommend our Placement Services at this stage of the growth process. Finding the best fit program, school, or service for the child and family is a complicated and specialized endeavor. We are also available at this point for Family Support Services if Placement isn't necessary.
There are a great number of factors to take into consideration when a parent is considering an outdoor therapeutic program, residential treatment center, therapeutic boarding school, or any other level of therapeutic program for their child. These programs are as individualized as the young people they work with, so it is key to find a program that is the best possible fit for the individual and the family. Once at a program, teens and young adults begin to work toward understanding and treating their underlying issues and concerns. Once on the other side of these programs, kids often emerge with enhanced coping skills and self confidence not found in their peers.
Our Placement Services find the most appropriate options for families seeking to place their child in an educational and therapeutic environment outside of the home. This may be a residential treatment center, outdoor therapy, a boarding school, or a number of other schools, programs, and services available for struggling youth.
Appropriate after care allows time for the teen or young adult and the family to experiment with newly acquired skills in a less restrictive yet safe environment. This is a time to increase the exposure level of "the real world" around them and includes all of its stresses. After care gives the teen or young adult and their family the confidence that the tools and new behaviors learned have become internalized so that coming home, going on to college, or whatever the next step may be, will be filled with success. This transitional step prepares the child to face the world in a new light.
Families are able to take advantage of our After Care Service once a program is about to finish. It is best to start looking at after care options prior to graduation as this provides the highest potential for a smooth transition. A family does not need to have utilized our Placement Services to be eligible for our After Care Services. We are able to assess and provide options for families no matter where they come from.
Creating a home plan for your child is the best way to ensure continued sucess for your child. It is the the culmination of the process and ensures your child is Prepared To Bloom. This can include local support from family, friends, teachers, and professionals. Making sure that the entire family is empowered to make different choices and break patterns of the past is the key to moving on to the future and taking flight. Home planning is individualized and based on what each person in the family needs in order to make sure that there is good follow-through with the new patterns.
Home Planning is an excellent way to provide a successful launching pad once a child has graduated either from a program or from after care. This service can help provide structure and the finishing touches to make the most of everything which has been learned throughout this process. The eariler we get started planning for your child to come home, the more finely tuned the plan will be.
Just as a lawyer can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal when navigating the murky waters of laws and regulations, so too is a therapeutic consultant your best resource for helping you locate the best care for your child. The best care for your child must take into account your child's strengths and weaknesses, gotchas and goals, aversions and aspirations. A Prepare To Bloom consultant takes the time to pour over all of the professional data you have amassed to date and communicates with your child on a professional, knowledgable level.
There are a vast array of therapeutic programs, schools, services, and treatment options out there. Prepare To Bloom has a growing database of over 500 professionals, programs, and services we are in communication with. Each with their own distinct attributes. Therapeutic consultants are the go-to professionals for matching these programs and services with the complex and specific circumstances your child is facing. Whether it's comprehensive mental health assessments, trauma treatment, grief and loss counseling, wilderness therapy programs (sometimes erroneously called brat camps), boarding schools, medical detox, substance abuse treatment programs, or residential treatment.
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Therapeutic and Educational Consulting
Prepare To Bloom is a San Francisco Bay Area based consulting firm devoted to helping families make good therapeutic and educational choices. We were founded in the spring of 2011 bringing years of knowledge, experience, and expertise to help make a decision that is well informed and wise... a decision that will best enable an adolescent or young adult to grow to their full potential.
We specialize in placing adolescents and young adults in American therapeutic programs. We welcome the opportunity to work with families located within the United States and abroad.
Owner, Lead Consultant
Shayna Abraham holds a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Eating Disorders from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has completed additional course work in chemical dependency at California State University, East Bay. Prior to full time consulting, she worked therapeutically with a wide range of clients including adults, adolescents, children and families.
Shayna understands that each family she works with has unique and often complex challenges. Her intent is to meet each family where they are and guide them to reach their individually defined goals. Over the past decade, she has worked with hundreds of families and has placed clients in academic and therapeutic settings.
Shayna regularly travels nationally and internationally, maintaining her direct knowledge of schools and programs. This allows her to cultivate relationships directly with each of the professionals and programs she recommends. She utilizes her in-depth understanding of diagnosis, assessment, and treatment to advocate for her clients while guiding the family through the entire treatment process.
For families who are just beginning to see the signs and the symptoms of trouble.
For families in need of a new or modified treatment team.
For families who need options outside of the home.
Providing best fit options in a safe and secure 'real world' environment.
Creating structure and support through past learnings.