The Origin of Key Concierge Teen Mentoring
The Origin of Key Concierge Teen Mentoring
With so many teen mentoring options out there, how do you know which one is right for you?
A quick Google search will show you that there are many different teen mentoring programs in Boulder, Colorado. Each offers a different price point, different mentors of varying backgrounds, and different areas of specialty. There are some with complex program packages, while others are fairly freestyle. So how do you choose?
The number one predictor of a positive outcome of any therapeutic relationship always comes down to connection. A therapist or mentor may possess amazing qualifications on paper or the company’s owner may have fantastic marketing abilities, but what we’ve heard from clients throughout the years always comes back to the key principle of “the right fit.” As we improve our corner of the teen therapy and mentoring world, we thought it might be helpful to read more of Jenny’s story in developing this program. Given there are many clients we serve today with similar traits as those from Jenny’s early days as a therapist in Baltimore, perhaps some of these descriptions will resonate.
The Concierge Evolution:
When Jenny worked for a non-public, special education school in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area, she was perplexed by how to get children and adolescents to engage in office therapy as mandated by their Individualized Education Plans (IEP). She was also losing passion for a career that she loved by day after day, dragging reluctant and mistrusting students from their classrooms to sit her office to play yet another game of Uno or Sorry. These savvy, street-smart youngsters had experienced it all in their short lifetimes: drug addiction, abuse, assault, poverty, homelessness, failed foster and adoptive homes, failed reunification with their birth parents, and on and on. Their struggles also ran the gamut from learning disabilities, Attachment Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Major Depression, and Bipolar Disorder, to name a few. Jenny did not find comfort in the short time she was offering them each week by conducting contrived play therapy in an artificial setting, then sending them home to deal with their harsh realities that most of us only experience in the media.
It was through her persistence (read: burnout) and the approval of a creative supervisor, that Jenny started taking these skeptical clients out into the world. She felt just as frustrated sitting in an office hoping they would talk as her clients did. She started with bringing the older students to the bank or Target to practice critical life skills such as, how to open a checking account or how to work on a budget to buy necessary items like toothpaste or milk. She then expanded that notion to taking kids to apply for jobs in person or accompanying them to doctors’ appointments. Not only did her clients relish the time outside of the school building just as much as Jenny, but she noticed that each client started to open up more and more.
It was only after Jenny’s dedication to getting them real-life, utilizable skills that the students started to see the depths of Jenny’s care, so they trusted her with their locked away secrets and traumas. They let her finally guide them, not just with their physical needs in the world, but with their sensitive emotional needs, worries, hurts, and feelings of inadequacy. Jenny started to see tough exteriors crack as she was able to teach actual therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness strategies to regulate their immediate distress and mitigate their deep trauma.
Concierge in Boulder, Colorado:
Although she left the school she loved to move out to Colorado and pursue being an equine therapist, Jenny used the work she did in Baltimore with those very special and resilient clients as her basis for founding Key Concierge Therapy. Once moving to Boulder, Jenny realized that although many of the children and teens here had different resources than her clients in Baltimore, they had very similar wounding and struggles. Many of these clients had seen a variety of therapists using highly effective modalities in an office setting, but to no avail. Parents reported seeing little to no improvement in their child’s condition and kids were left mistrusting of anyone hanging their shingle as a therapist.
Although horses are magical and Jenny loves working outside, not all clients are suited for or desire equine therapy. Jenny resumed her mission to get the treatment-exhausted and resistant young people out of the office, with her trusty canine co-therapist in tow. Teens would willingly get into Jenny’s car on their breaks from school to have their sessions, but the therapy was done more covertly. In fact, many times the clients didn’t even know Jenny was a therapist, as parents feared that the notion would be rejected if they told their children Jenny was a therapist. They went to Starbucks, local parks, hikes with Jenny’s dog, the rock gym, or sometimes even the client’s own backyard. Jenny observed the same results she had before: clients were finding relief from their diagnoses, parents were seeing improved functioning and skill utilization, grades were improving, relationships were built stronger, and overall health and well-being improved.
If you are a parent reading this, you know your child best. Parents typically report right away on an intake call whether or not they can see their child liking Jenny’s personality or style. If you are a prospective teen reading this, trust your gut. There are many, many choices out there and there is never a reason to settle when it comes to choosing the right guide for you.
Jenny and her team offer therapeutic mentoring for children and teens that are best served outside of the office and in the environment that feels most comfortable for them. Clients are still receiving a therapeutic service, but it is executed in a way that feels more palatable to the child and helps empower them to regain a sense of control and agency in their world. For college-age or twenty-something adults, the mentoring can be pivotal in forming a lasting relationship that will help launch the client launch into adulthood, face addiction, improve satisfaction in the work environment, enrich friendships and family relationships, as well as give the client a sense of who they are and how they can live their purpose fully.
Still have questions? Email Jenny to find out if a concierge approach is the best fit for you. Given Jenny and her team are trained in traditional psychotherapy treatment, they can advise you on the best direction that fits your family’s needs.