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Bertram Representatives are Leaders in Group Focusing on Therapeutic Placement

Through research, collaboration and professional development, an emerging organization hopes to support the growing niche of therapeutic educational consulting. The Therapeutic Consulting Association, which formally launched in 2015, is the first professional organization to focus on the valuable work that takes place at the intersection of education and behavioral health care. The Bertram Group is proud that partner Jeremy McGeorge, based in Massachusetts, serves on the TCA board and affiliate James Meyer, based in Utah, serves as the TCA board chair. “This is a collaborative effort to make an impact across this industry,” McGeorge says, “and to raise our collective standard for excellent service to families even higher.”

While many educational consultants are generalists, only a few hundred nationwide devote themselves to the specialty of helping families find settings where struggling students can regain their educational footing. These consultants assist families in strategizing about the short- and long-term options—including outdoor therapeutic programs, residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and mental health facilities—for helping students find stability and continue their educations. The TCA will bring consultants together to encourage a consistency of experience for clients and professional ethical standards.

The TCA also hopes to encourage scholarly research on how this specialized profession affects outcomes for teens and young adults. “Anecdotally, families who work with educational consultants often see a reduction in anxiety and other symptoms even before a student arrives at the selected program,” McGeorge explains. “This is likely because working with professionals who know this field can greatly reduce the stress teens and families feel.” As a long-term goal, TCA would like to see data about client behaviors that is collected by educational consultants incorporated into formal systems for evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions. “We would like to see this niche become data-driven, weaving our work into the outcome studies that are already established and creating best-practices for helping families.”

Membership Chair Shayna Abraham, an educational consultant based in California, is playing a leadership role in spreading the word among the industry. TCA has already published Guidelines of Professional and Ethical Best Practices on its website and successfully held its third conference in April.

Jeremy McGeorge specializes in serving families whose children need therapeutic services as part of their educational plan. He is also Bertram's point person on sustainable education. He can be reached at jeremy@thebertramgroup.com