Continuing Education offered through Summit for Mental Health Professionals

The Use of Nature in Therapeutic Practice &

Ethical Decision Making in Choosing Private-pay Treatment Options


Earlier this month, Summit hosted mental health professionals on campus for a continuing education event. The continuing education courses were developed and presented by our own Clinical Director, Nichol Ernst, and accredited by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Besides Ernst, attendees were also able to meet with other Summit administrators and clinicians.

This day of training covered two distinct, but related topics: 

  • The first hour was titled “Ethical Decision-Making in Choosing Private-pay Treatment Options.” This presentation addressed some of the negative media associated with private pay residential programs, and looked at decision making models to vet private pay programs in order to make sound referrals.
  • The second hour of training covered “The Use of Nature in Therapeutic Practice,” including everything from multi-day backpacking trips and nomadic primitive programs to forest-bathing or taking a client for a walk in an individual session. How does nature enhance therapeutic work?

Additionally, Summit was able to give attendees a tour of campus and an overview of our programs (Achievement and Traverse). This kind of event is important to us because not only does it add to continuing education options for local clinicians, but– just as importantly– it allows for folks to get further insight into our programs, our ethos, and our community. Within the context of negative press and Netflix documentaries, we are proud to be able to showcase what an effective, safe, and responsible therapeutic program/school for teens looks like.


If you are interested in attending one of these sessions and/or are interested in helping to bring more continuing education on these topics to your area, email Nichol Ernst.

nichol@summitachievement.com