Mount Prospect Academy's Adventure Based Trauma Informed Treatment program's core treatment strategy is Adventure Therapy. This is an action-centered treatment philosophy that uses activities such as participating in a challenge course, rock climbing, backpacking, biking, and paddling. The unfamiliar nature of these activities, combined with the sense of community developed during participation, creates a climate where students can challenge their current perceptions and behaviors, affording them an opportunity to modify maladaptive behaviors. The program also uses individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and milieu therapy.
Adventure Therapy is successful because, unlike other therapies, it involves fun, interesting activities and experiences. In a controlled, safe environment, Adventure Therapy seeks to create a physical challenge or perceived risk. The sense of overcoming this challenge or perceived risk through teamwork and perseverance can be significant in eliciting desired behavioral changes. Debriefings after an activity can help reinforce the importance of positive behavioral changes, which are synonymous with psychological healing.
During the initial treatment period, we seek to individualize treatment plans and ensure that interventions are responsive to student strengths, needs, and risk levels. Our assessment tools may include Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS), Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI-A), Trauma Symptom Checklist, Jesness Inventory Revised, and a litany of other measures when appropriate. As we begin implementing the treatment plan, we typically do not aggressively engage students in traditional psycho-educational therapy approaches. Our first goal is developing a trusting, therapeutic relationship with the student. Our aim is getting the student to trust our treatment team and his student peers. Once this hurdle is cleared, our focus shifts to helping the student develop the skills and resiliency needed to return home or to alternative living arrangements.
Our students tend to be non-traditional learners who struggle with teacher-centered instruction. MPA students often succeed with hands-on, experiential learning, and their successes in this arena lead to more trusting relationships with teachers and caregivers. MPA's curriculum provides students with opportunities to advance in the general curriculum of their sending school districts, which are considered critical stakeholders in our program. All students follow the general education curriculum standards of their designated grade level as defined by the New Hampshire Department of Education. Students are enrolled in the appropriate academic classes as defined by their sending school district’s graduation requirements and MPA's recommendations.
Meet Our Leadership
Ian graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in Psychology with a focus on Deaf Studies. He went on to earn a M.Ed. in School and Community Mental Health Counseling from Ohio University in 2008.
After obtaining his master's, Ian accepted a position as a Community Clinician at the Becket House in Campton, New Hampshire. In the past 10 years, he has held several positions within Becket in both MPA's residential and community-based settings, including Permanency Specialist, Treatment Coordinator, Intake Coordinator, Clinical Director and Director of Operations. Ian also supported the development and implementation of MPA's Comprehensive Assessment and Short-Term Treatment (CAST) Program.
Ian is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). His primary background is in adolescent recovery with a background in trauma work. He commonly uses a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach along with Reality Therapy and Restorative Justice. He also has considerable experience working with problematic sexualized behavior and students with a fire-setting history. Ian additionally utilizes TF-CBT and EMDR, when appropriate.
Eric came to Mount Prospect Academy with more than 15 years experience of counseling at-risk youth.
He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Plymouth State University in 1994, minoring in outdoor recreation. Before coming to Mount Prospect Academy, Eric worked as executive director for the Boys and Girls Club of the North Country in Lisbon, NH.
He possesses strong interpersonal skills and quickly builds rapport with students, staff, and key stakeholders. Eric is highly experienced in behavior management and care coordination, ropes course facilitation, and leading extended canoe and backpacking trips. He is responsible for day-to-day operations and student well-being at the Adventure Based program.