1. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of California and am held to higher legal and ethical standards than unlicensed educational or placement consultants.

  2. As a strong believer in family unity, I will collaborate with other therapists or professionals and work closely with the family to help keep the adolescent at home.

  3. As a trained and licensed clinician who has worked at nearly every level of adolescent treatment since 1991, including inpatient, outpatient and outdoor therapeutic (“wilderness”), I have expertise in assessing the educational, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of each student and how he/she fits within a program.

  4. I use my clinical skills and experience to evaluate hundreds of short- and long-term academic and therapeutic schools and programs.

  5. I have developed relationships of integrity with many of the best adolescent treatment providers in the country, and I refer teens and families to these professionals.

  6. I provide professional, objective consultation that educates families about adolescent treatment and cuts through the confusion caused by the internet and excessive marketing from many sub-standard programs.

  7. I am opposed to the powerful entities within the industry that treat families as commodities, warehouse teens, and neglect the family system. I serve the families’ best interests and not the mechanisms that secure me more referrals.

  8. I am mindful of the vital importance of a teens’ transition home and I actively coordinate with schools and programs, local treatment providers, and aftercare programs to ensure continuity of care.

  9. I provide an ongoing, weekly Parent Support Group where people share their stories, provide emotional support, give helpful feedback, have fun, and build a positive peer culture and sense of camaraderie. I have seen parents commit more to their teen’ s wellness, their own wellness, and the interdependence between the two.

  10. I value relationships and the building of trust and connection; I do not want your experience to be that of a brokerage firm.




Solutions and Support for At-Risk Teens and Their Families
David R. Heckenlively, MS, MFT
CEO and Therapeutic Consultant