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New Perspectives - Apr, 1999 Issue #57 

Residential Specialty Program For Adolescents
J. John Anderson, Ex. Dir.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Headquarters
Bahia de Kino, Mexico - Program

Positive Impact is a clinical, long-term residential program for adolescents from 12 to 18 years of age. They are located one-hour southwest of Hermosillo, Mexico in a small American retirement and fishing village called Bahia de Kino (Kino Bay) on the Sea of Cortez. 

Their philosophy is “that youth can develop positive self-worth, significance, dignity and responsibility towards self and others only as they become committed to the positive values of helping and caring for those around them.”

The program has adopted a Milieu Therapy system called “Positive Peer Culture,” which expects the students to be positive role models in helping others. As part of this, each “youth will participate in Positive Peer Groups (PPG) six days a week in which youth will receive feedback about here and now issues.” These 90 minute sessions are designed to “address multiple issues such as: daily living problems, issues with family and parents, honesty, conflict resolution, feeling recognition and communication skills.” For youth with a substance abuse history, there is a recovery track program.

Family retreat weekends sessions occur approximately every two months, which includes family therapy and classes regarding issues with their children. For academics, they follow an accredited independent curriculum from Keystone High School facilitated on site by certified US teachers, which aims at helping them “excel academically at a pace greater than they would at a traditional school.”

Dr. Keith A. Breiland is a “board certified child and Adolescent psychiatrist and completed his fellowship at the Mayo Clinic,” and has a successful outpatient practice in Las Vegas. Dr. Breiland visits Kino Bay “every 30 days to perform psychiatric evaluations…. He will be available during our Family Retreats to meet with parents and answer questions.”

John Andersen is very aware of questions that might arise from a program in a foreign country. To meet those concerns, they have assembled a highly experienced team that is dedicated to providing at least the same level of clinical care that would be found in stateside programs. Executive Director John Andersen “is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Nevada and Utah. He was a therapist at Island View for over three years. He has had the experience of being a program director of a residential treatment center and a clinical director of a foster care agency including residential group homes. He has extensive training in Strategic Family Therapy and Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy.”

The program director and therapist is Michael Cummings who provides the weekly individual therapy for all the youth. He lives in the facility. “Michael has also worked at Island View for approximately two years and is very familiar with how to develop a ‘Positive Peer Environment’ milieu. He has worked extensively with at-risk youth for several years and is known for his ability to easily relate to them.”

Copyright © 1999, 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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