Meet the WA Clinical Team Back to Blog Articles

  • Posted on Apr 26, 2016

In 20 years, Woodward Academy has seen a substantial amount of change and growth in the treatment and clinical services that are offered to students and families. Clinical Director, Tonna Lawrenson, recalls when the team solely consisted of herself and Quality Assurance Director, Michelle Fenelon. The majority of the growth has occurred within the last 4 years, as the team has expanded and gained more valuable therapists. The days of only having a minority of students receiving therapeutic services are in the past. Today, the 13 clinicians have 11 Masters degrees and a Ph.D. degree between them as they serve the mental health needs of our students.

What sets our team and services apart from other facilities?  
Each therapist has found a niche or focus, and with each specialty comes education, experience, training, and motivation to create a very diverse and comprehensive treatment program at Woodward Academy. The diversity of the services that are offered demonstrates the commitment to the needs of students. The team is continuously developing new curriculum and enhancing the evidenced-based treatments available in order to ensure that students are receiving the best treatment possible.

Where is the clinical team located on campus?
As the clinical team continued to grow, issues of space on campus for private sessions became more prevalent. This past fall, the team moved into the recently renovated Elmcrest wing! Located behind the dormitories, each therapist now has their own private area that has really fostered a focus on individual care. Additionally, a group space was also established that provides an opportunity for community and a familiar place for group session. All of these updates have generated a huge response from the students and one that keeps their best interests in the forefront of development.

What is a typical day like for a Woodward Academy therapist?
For many, a typical day consists of meeting with students for individual counseling sessions for the majority of the day. Some days also involve therapists completing assessments as new students arrive to campus, as well as reauthorizations to continue implementing treatment services and goals. Some therapists are also running the specific treatment and therapy groups on campus that include Trauma Therapy Group, Knights Mind Training, and Art Therapy.

What is in the works for the near future?
Amanda Ackerman and Monica Johnson will be beginning a new Substance Abuse Therapy Group. This group will target students who need additional substance abuse beyond the standard substance abuse treatment programming. The team will also be adding Neurofeedback to our treatment modalities, which will allow students to gain the ability to more effectively cope with ADHD and anxiety focused issue. Both of these are in addition to the already diverse number of services that this team provides. They are excited about what is ahead and encourage everyone to visit them in their new offices in Elmcrest.

Pictured: Sam Chambers, Amanda Ackerman, Michelle Stewart-Sandusky, Tonna Lawrenson, Amanda Seemann, Anne Schmitz, Monica Johnson, Brittany Sterbick, Morgan Amundson

Front: Tiffany Schupanitz and Chris Johnson
Not pictured: Michelle Fenelon and Julie Gledhill

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