How to teach youth the concept of UBUNTU (Community vs Self Focus)

Danny Recio of the Bridge in Costa Rica and I have been speaking about differences between African and Western philosophies of adolescent development. One of the key points that came up is one of self focus vs. community focus. The concept of community focus is called Ubuntu. Here, an introduction by Nelson Mandela gives an exceptional detailed explanation of Ubuntu.

The South African phrase “I am because you are” is derived from the philosophy of Ubuntu. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of humanity and the belief that one’s identity and existence are deeply tied to the community and the relationships with others. Ubuntu promotes the idea that we are all interdependent, and that our actions and treatment of others shape our own humanity.

The western equivalent of the South African phrase “I am because you are” would be based in the concept of “no man is an island.” This phrase, often attributed to the English poet John Donne, expresses the idea that human beings are inherently social creatures and that our well-being and identity are connected to our relationships with others. It acknowledges the interdependence and interconnectedness of individuals within a community or society.

What the Bridge has to offer is the route to follow for developing young adults, particularly those stuck in controversy of self and their own meaning within community. I am pleased to be associated with such a strong community of supporters in Costa Rica, a place I have come to love after dozens of trips. Safe, vibrant, and compelling, young people simply do better when among Ticos (Costa Ricans). Let’s talk about how we can your young adult become a better community activist and find meaning within for their own self. Pura Vida! DrB

A Day In The Life of an American Psychologist

Thanks Jared for signing your new book, "Kissing Frogs" -- interesting title, great read

Thanks Jared for signing your new book

The last two days I’ve spent meeting with private schools in the area, and collaborating to assist their students and families. Thank you to the International School of Amsterdam for allowing me to provide support to multinational families in need of resources.

Today, is a SKYPE multinational day of communication between Utah, Amsterdam, Czech Republic, and Kiev in assisting a family with their son in treatment in the US. I must say as cautious as I was at first recommending this course of program, it has really paid off for the family in substantial and impressive ways. Thanks to RedCliff Ascent for all of their support. Thank you to CIS for providing translation and the opportunity to work with them.

In the last weeks, I met with Brehm, Richard Collins to check on a young man I placed with them from Stockholm. Again, a tremendous relief for the mother who needed to find a solution for her son in a program that made sense.

Next, @ NATSAP in San Diego I discussed with others opportunities to expand service business to the international market. I was pleased to see many colleagues in Torrey Pines before continuing on to the next stop: Geneva, Switzerland to present at an international agent conference. Life is about mission, and mine is to guide your success.

Carlbrook Parent weekend

A wide array of behaviorally focused and character building programs exists out there in the therapeutic and quasi-therapeutic school world; some are much better than others, particularly those putting forethought and mechanisms into family participation. Carlbrook is one of the “jewels in the rough” therapeutic secondary schools using good practices of regular family participation.along with strong academic preparation. Academics are always on the forefront for parents sending their youth off to boarding school. Carlbrook handles this argument easily with a list of AP courses, and high college acceptance. However, getting a college degree is not the “end all” for any young adult, as the world is complicated and full of chuckholes to use a term of yore. It’s important to build self esteem, intelligent and careful decision making, positive, healthy peer relations and relationships with authority figures (teachers, staff). Many of those students who attend Carlbrook are over-the-top intellectually, and down-in-the ego and esteem department. In short order, the family unit learns how to provide clear expectations as has done the school staff, and ongoing, healthy change occurs on the part of the student. Their’s is a safe environment where the student learns how to be their true self again.

Vermont Academy to St Johnsbury Academy to The Oliverian School

Heading across the US to the east coast provides differences not only in culture and scenery, but options in school choices of sports, activities, curriculum, and teaching expertise. In seeing the ski hill and ice hockey at Vermont Academy, and the theatre, and vocational training center at St. Johnsbury, and the adaptive curriculum approaches of Oliverian, I am reminded that these are unparalleled school options worthy of consideration for families from any region of the planet. Perhaps the best news of all is that all three of these institutions practice unbiased student associations in allowing for kids to be with kids regardless of their background and social class. Still, there are significant differences between the three schools, and it takes a keen eye to ferret out what type of individual does best in each program. If your son or daughter is sports competitive vs. technology centered vs. music and arts curriculum, and needs or does not need more academic support, then, one will work better than the others, along with other schools to consider in your decision. A stalwart of east coast education in my opinion is the quality of staff. I met some of the most exceptional staff this trip who can clearly articulate their mission, and the important background history.

True North is true to it’s mission…..

It’s likely that “at the end of the day” wilderness treatment programs that provide the best treatment 1) know the clients and their families exceptionally well, 2) understand the ongoing needs of individuals with whom they’ve worked, and 3) work collaboratively with professional referral sources to establish their treatment goals and provide excellent communication. And this is True North. For the right individual, True North provides excellence in bringing behavioral and emotional change and communication between family members in a way unlike other wilderness treatment choices. Dr Burdick has had much success in finding the “right match” for the individual family, and prides himself in only referring his clients to programs that stand up to the criteria of excellence. Start today to find the right resource for your family. Contact us for help.