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New Perspectives - Feb, 1996 Issue #38 

An Environment for Personal Growth and Change
by: Mary L. Thielbahr, M.A., Director
Sandpoint, Idaho 

Set on the shores of beautiful Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho, this transitional residential experience is designed for girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Unlike traditional "wilderness" and "ranch" programs the Clear View program has been created as a practical skills learning opportunity for those girls who are not ready to rejoin their families and who need to develop interpersonal skills in a non- threatening, structured, yet nurturing environment. 

Typically, the Clear View student is a teen who is struggling with her self-esteem, motivation, purpose, the influence of a negative peer environment, an eating disorder, or some other destructive behavioral pattern. Clear View will not accept students who are oppositional to the opportunity for this experience, nor will teens who are in any way violent or who would pose a risk to themselves or others be accepted. 

The Clear View Experience is a controlled, therapeutic home style environment which emphasizes Academic, Physical and Emotional Fitness. The objective is to reinforce and build self-discipline and self respect, while developing a positive and solid self image. Consequently, the program is highly structured and responsibilities are taken very seriously. Within the structured environment the student learns to complete tasks and the importance of the work ethic. Students will attend a community school, receive tutoring when necessary, and participate in after school activities. 

Each student will receive psychotherapy on a twice per week basis. Recreation opportunities include snow and water skiing, snow boarding, hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, sailing and camping. Each student is asked to evaluate her present life choices and then to explore various ways in which she can improve herself. It is through this process that she focuses on how to set goals and how to take steps necessary to achieve those goals. The students will be taught "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". The students will receive behavioral training tools which will benefit her for the rest of her life. 

The Clear View staff is headed by Mary Thielbahr, a psychologist, who is the around the clock supervisor. As an adolescent psychologist she has successfully counseled and turned around young womens' lives for over twenty years. Support staff will include a fitness counselor, a substance abuse/case manager and a recreation coach. 

The length of this transitional experience and the goals will be tailored to the individual needs of the student. The Clear View experience is designed for a full academic year, allowing for total submersion in their behavioral training. Clear View is limited to a maximum of four students with an enrollment tuition of $2,500.00. Shorter term respites of 1 to 3 weeks are $125.00 per day. 

Copyright 1996, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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