As a division of CRC Health Group, Aspen Education Group endeavors to ensure that all of our youth programs reflect CRC’s dedication to providing clinically excellent care to individuals & families in need.

Each program within CRC’s nationwide network of more than 140 facilities is a unique entity with a specific client base and range of specialized treatment services. However, all CRC programs embrace the organization’s core values and adhere to a companywide set of clinical standards.

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Clinical Leadership

Phil HerschmanThe effort to ensure clinical excellence throughout CRC is led by Chief Clinical Officer Philip Herschman, PhD. Dr. Herschman, who holds a Ph.D. in child and adolescent psychology from the University of California, Irvine, has more than 40 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, including 10 years with CRC.

Dr. Herschman’s work is supported by CRC’s Clinical Quality Management Team and Clinical Advisory Board. The Clinical Advisory Board is composed of the following professionals (all of whom have extensive experience in behavioral healthcare and/or addiction treatment and research):

Kathleen BradyKathleen Brady, MD, PhD

Dr. Kathleen Brady is a Distinguished University Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Her many designations include: Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Division, Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research, Director of the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR), Director of MUSC’s Women’s Research Center and Principal Investigator of the Southern Consortium of NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network.

Tom BradyTom Brady, MD, MBA

Dr. Thomas J. Brady is board certified in Addiction Medicine, as well as General, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry.

Dr. Brady is Medical Director of Villa Fairmont Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in San Leandro, CA; Medical Director of Sausal Creek Outpatient Stabilization Clinic in Oakland, CA; and a behavioral health consultant. Dr. Brady has held numerous medical director positions in inpatient, residential, and day treatment programs.

Lee FeldmanLee T. Feldman

Lee T. Feldman is currently Co-Chair & Chief Scientific Officer for Integrya, and Executive Director and Member of the Managing Board of the Integrya not-for-profit affiliate, The Institutes for Human Security.

A particular emphasis of Lee’s work is on methods for evaluating the integrity of the foundation information used in a policymaking process with a focus on quantifying uncertainty and increasing appreciation of risks that derive from the unexpected and unknown.

Marc FishmanMarc Fishman, MD

Dr. Marc Fishman is board certified in addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine.

He is a member of the Psychiatry faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Medical Director of Maryland Treatment Centers, a regional behavioral health care provider which includes Mountain Manor Treatment Center in Baltimore for adolescents, Mountain Manor Treatment Center in Emmitsburg MD for adults, as well as several other inpatient and outpatient programs.

Michael T. FlahertyMichael T. Flaherty, MD

Dr. Michael Flaherty is a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years’ experience in prevention, intervention, treatment, research, and policy development related to substance use, addiction and recovery.

Prior to founding IRETA in 1999 and becoming the Principle Investigator of its SAMHSA/CSAT funded Northeast ATTC, Dr. Flaherty was the Vice President of the St. Francis Health System and Director of its Institute for Psychiatry and Addiction Services, the largest such facility in Pennsylvania.

Norm HoffmanNorman G. Hoffman, PhD

Dr. Norman Hoffmann is a clinical psychologist who has evaluated behavioral health programs and provided consultations for over 30 years. He has worked with private organizations and governmental agencies in a variety of countries.

Dr. Hoffmann has developed a variety of assessment instruments used throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Sweden, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Hoffmann has held faculty appointments at the University of Texas Medical Branch, University of Minnesota and Brown University.

Jim HudakJim Hudak

Jim Hudak is the Chief Executive Officer of Paradigm Management Services. In this role, he oversees Paradigm’s nationwide organization and all business functions of the company. He is responsible for the company’s strategic planning, partnerships and future growth.

Mr. Hudak has a distinguished career in healthcare. He is an expert in innovative thinking and building motivated, cohesive teams. He received his BA in economics at Yale University and his master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.

Gen Barry McCaffreyGeneral Barry R. McCaffrey, MA

General Barry R. McCaffrey is President of his own consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia, BR McCaffrey Associates. He serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News.

General McCaffrey was confirmed to the position of of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in February 1996 and served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the National Security Council for drug-related issues. As ONDCP Director, he coordinated the $19 billion federal drug control budget and developed the U.S. National Drug Control Strategy.

Cardwell NuckolsCardwell C. Nuckols, MA, PhD

Dr. Cardwell C. Nuckols has been described as “one of the most influential clinical and spiritual trainers in North America.” Dr. Nuckols’ passion and mission is to assist in the integration of emerging scientific research with traditional spiritual and self-help knowledge.

Dr. Nuckols is widely published, having authored more than 60 journal articles, 30 books and workbooks, 50 DVDs, CDs and videos, and 25 audiotape series. His latest publication The Ego-Less SELF: Achieving Peace and Tranquility Beyond All Understanding.

David PowellDavid Powell, PhD, CSS, LADC, LMFT

Dr. David Powell is President of the International Center for Health Concerns, Inc., and the Clinical Supervision Institute and has trained for the past 34 years on clinical supervision and other topics in 50 states and 87 countries.

His nine books and over 150 articles on health care and substance abuse are major texts in the field and his book, Clinical Supervision in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling (2004) is considered the primary book on the subject in the substance abuse field.

Ian ShafferIan Shaffer, MD

Ian Shaffer is President of Behavioral Health Management Solutions, LLC, a consulting team that supports organizations in their efforts to deliver and manage effective and efficient mental illness and substance use disorder care.

Prior to joining MHN in 2003, Dr. Shaffer served as executive vice president and chief medical officer of ValueOptions and its predecessor Value Behavioral Health. Dr. Shaffer, a Certified Physician Executive and a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, is board-certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine, and has received fellowship training in child psychiatry.

Gerald ShulmanGerald Shulman, MA, MAC, FACTA

Gerald Shulman, who has served as President of Shulman & Associates, Training & Consulting in Behavioral Health for the last 17 years, is a clinical psychologist, Master Addiction Counselor and Fellow of the American College of Addiction Treatment Administrators.

He has been providing treatment or supervising and/or managing the delivery of care to alcoholics and drug addicts since 1962. He also is the clinical supervisor for the Jacksonville BRITE Project, a Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), the only SAMHSA-funded effort specifically for older adults.

For more about the CRC Clinical Advisory Board, visit the Clinical Advisory Board page on the CRC website.

The CRC Treatment Model

At CRC Health Group we focus on clinical excellence. The clinical principles that drive us to excellence are a client-directed, outcome-informed treatment philosophy, and a data supported belief that the therapeutic alliance is the most important single element of a good treatment outcome.

As a roadmap to clinical excellence, Dr. Phil Herschman, Chief Clinical Officer, his Clinical Quality Management team, and the CRC Clinical Advisory Board developed the CRC Treatment Model. This model is based upon a series of patient-focused principles, including the following:

  • Addiction is a treatable, chronic, relapsing brain disease
  • The most important element in treatment is the therapeutic alliance
  • Client-directed, outcome-informed treatment leads to improved outcomes
  • Continuing care support is a primary factor in sustained recovery

The three core elements of the CRC Treatment Model are a strong clinical foundation; ongoing measurement & assessment; and continuing care.

Strong Clinical Foundation

  • All CRC counselors will be trained on our philosophy of client-directed, outcome-informed treatment and on four evidence-based practices, CBT, motivational interviewing, stages of change, and 12-step.
  • All CRC counselors will meet or exceed a set of core competencies and will be assessed against those competencies on a quarterly basis. An independent development plan will be created and executed, for each counselor, based on the results of those assessments.
  • Counselor clinical skills will be enhanced via the CRC Clinical Supervision System, a unique and powerful process that includes videotaped counseling sessions, one hour of supervision for every 20 hours of direct service, and supervision of program supervisors via videotaping
  • Robust & individualized client-directed treatment plans
  • Consistent communication with referral sources including during the development of both the treatment and continuing care plan

Ongoing Measurement & Assessment

  • Ongoing measurement and feedback is the basis for outcome informed decision making and treatment
  • We will measure functional outcomes on admission and every three months post discharge
  • We will measure the strength of the therapeutic alliance in real time and the results will be used while the patient is in treatment
  • Programs within our four core treatment areas (Adult Recovery, Youth, Eating Disorders, & Weight Management) have participated (and will continue to participate) in a range of independent and peer-reviewed studies.

Consistent Program Elements

  • Inclusion of disease management concepts in the continuing care process
  • Detailed & comprehensive continuing care planning
  • Warm transfers to resources in the patient’s community while they are still in treatment
  • At least monthly follow ups with patients for 12 months after discharge and then quarterly after the patient is stable
  • Referral to recovery specialists in the patients community to ensure a smooth transition into the community and implementation of the continuing care plan

By offering research-supported, client-directed treatment that emphasizes the relationship between client and counselor – and by ensuring that our programs and personnel meet or exceed measurable standards for clinical excellence – CRC Health Group is provider of choice for individuals and families in need.

Documented Successes

At CRC Health Group and Aspen Education Group, our research efforts aren’t limited to the therapies and other techniques that we use with students, clients, and patients. We also engage in an ongoing data-driven effort to ensure that the results of our programs are as effective as possible.

Every child is unique, and thus no two families will have identical treatment experiences. But our research allows us to identify common successes among our students and families.

For example, an independent study of students who attended Aspen Education Group programs documented several positive outcomes, including the following:

  • Mental health issues including stress, depression and anxiety are significantly improved among students who attended an Aspen program.
  • Substance abuse and dependence among Aspen students is significantly reduced, with results lasting through the 12-month follow-up.
  • Aspen students demonstrate decreases in social conflict and aggressive behaviors after completing treatment.

Click here to read a full report on this study, which was conducted by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative at the University of Minnesota.

Parents Praise Aspen

One of our most valued forms of feedback comes from parents of our students and alumni. To chart the impact that our programs have on families, we conducted pre- and post-treatment surveys of parents whose children attended a CRC program between 2007 and 2010. We provided each parent with 11 statements, and asked them to rate their agreement with each one.

The following summary of the 1,300 responses that we received shows significant improvement in parents’ assessments of their children’s attitudes, behaviors, and potential from the time they entered an Aspen residential or wilderness program through their return home:

Residential Programs

Wilderness Programs

Learn More Today

To learn more about clinical excellence throughout Aspen Education Group network, or for information about any of our programs, please call 888.972.7736 or visit our Contact Us page. We look forward to answering all your questions and helping you determine if Aspen Education Group is the ideal solution for your family.