Catherine Freer Staff Present at National Conference

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Developmental needs of troubled teenagers in a residential treatment environment was the focus of the presentation.

Nationally recognized for their work with troubled teens, Albany, Oregon, based Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs’ Clinical Director Katherine Eastlake, LPC, CADC-I, and Family Therapist Jeffery Peyton, MA, CADC-I, recently were in Arizona presenting at a conference for professionals working with adolescents struggling with behavioral and mental health issues.

Their topic “Positive Peer Pressure and False Positives: A Discussion of Adolescent Development vs. Peer Acceptance” was well-received at the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs Conference, which was attended by more than 500 professionals.

Their presentation focused on teenagers in a residential treatment environment and how at times an adolescent becomes an avid follower of the group and complies with expectations primarily for acceptance and not for self-improvement. They discussed adolescent developmental needs and explored the building blocks needed for true adolescent internalization of healthy change that is independent of adult and peer influence.

The company also offers regional trainings to mental health professionals, school counselors, and other professionals working with troubled teens and shares their expertise. Recent topics have included “Best Approaches for Adolescent Substance Abuse”, “Adolescent Compulsive Computer Use”, and “Recognizing and Treating Anxiety in Teens”.

About Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs
Catherine Freer is an adolescent treatment program specializing in wilderness therapy. Troubled teens that are acting out behaviorally, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and/or suffering from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), or attachment disorders take part in a backpacking and adventure expedition that combines outdoor living, physical activity and extensive psychotherapy. A master’s level therapist with substance abuse counseling experience is a member of the staff team that resides in the field with the adolescents. Opportunities for “in the moment” therapy and individual and group therapy are abundant. Outcome research indicates that 83 percent of teens report they are “doing better” after their wilderness therapy experience.

Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs serves approximately 300 adolescents annually. The employee owned and operated company was founded in 1988 and is licensed by the State of Oregon as both a substance abuse and mental health treatment program. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHCO) accredits the program.

The company also operates Santiam Crossing (, a therapeutic boarding school. For more information, please visit the web site at http://www. or call (800) 390-3983. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


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