Our Blog

Calo In the News: Building Trusting Relationships

Added by Alex on December 18
Dr Bob Burroughs, Calo Academic Director, wrote for the Therapeutic Parenting Journal about Building Trusting Relationships with Teens.   Dr Burroughs discusses bringing calm to  the child's inner chaos, supporting children in the classroom with attachment trauma, and the art of co-regulation. It's a great journal article for parents, professionals and educators on Calo's developmental trauma model of treatment. Click here to read the full ... Read more

Calo’s academic approach

Added by Robert on December 11
The focus of our treatment is trusting relationship, and school provides another venue in which students can experience trusting relationships. When our teachers work with students, this is the basis of their work. Our first priority is establishing that relationship. As I tell my teachers: it is not about the content of the curriculum, but the content of our relationships that will enable us to teach a curriculum. Because we are treating early childhood developmental trauma, our students ... Read more

The Downside of Resilience

Added by Alex on December 4
Good read from Dr. Art Becker-Weidman: Summarized in the Sunday New York Times editorial by Jay Belsky titled,The Downside of Resilience, the article goes on to state: Evidence suggests that some children are — in one frequently used metaphor — like delicate orchids; they quickly wither if exposed to stress and deprivation, but blossom if given a lot of care and support. Others are more like dandelions; they prove resilient to the negative effects of adversity, but at the same time do ... Read more

School in an Attachment-Focused RTC: Script from Dr. Burroughs’ Interview with the Attachment & Trauma Network

Added by Robert on September 29
Can you start by telling us a bit about Calo's overall relationship-based treatment model and how academics/your school fits into this?  At Calo, we summarize our treatment model as CASA, which stands for Commitment, Acceptance, Secure, Attune. Because this the foundation of all that we do, I’d like to go through with you step-by-step. We begin with Commitment on the care-giver’s part. For us, that is the parent, guardian, or primary attachment figure that commits to ... Read more

Calo Provides a Safe Place to Discharge Trauma

Added by Shandra on September 11
At Calo we like to see our coaches more as caregivers.  Caregivers first and foremost need to Commit to those they are caring for then Accept them exactly as they are.  Commitment and Acceptance are foundational to the Calo Model. There are three responses to trauma: fight, flight or freeze.  Our students do not get to "choose" the response.  The student's limbic brain chooses for them.  When our students engage in fight (yelling, property destruction, ... Read more


Added by Evonna on August 1
I wanted to share a few things with you all that Jill and I did today during her individual session. When I first went to get Jill she was pretty hyped up so I walked beside her as she road her scooter outside and she began to talk to me about her biological mother. Jill’s rythmes came down and we were able to grab some sidewalk chalk and she did a great job completing an activity with me (see picture). In the picture I outlined Jill and then gave her an emotion and asked her ... Read more

Parent Retreats in Review

Added by Alex on May 27
At the conclusion of our two very successful parent retreats this past week we wanted to spend some time highlighting why we host and plan these retreats.  First off, here is a note from a parent after the retreat.  We removed the student’s name for confidentiality purposes.  What is important is realizing just how impactful these retreats are to our customer – the reason we exist—our parents.   “I have such ... Read more

Defining Intimacy

Added by Rob on May 20
An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical and emotional intimacy . Intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience.  Humans have a general desire to belong and to love which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. Intimate relationships provide a social network for people that provide strong emotional attachments, and fulfill our universal need of belonging and the need to be cared for. It is a familiar ... Read more

Recent Setting and Achieving Goals Trip

Added by Tony on May 1
The Adventure Team is excited to share some of the experiences we accomplished on our most recent Setting and Achieving Goals trip. During this Adventure sequence, we achieved two milestones for Calo's adventure therapy program. The first was taking 32 boys on an engineered experience (the most on any camping trip to date!) and the second was having all 32 accomplish their mileage goal. Throughout the trip the boys were involved in therapeutic discussions about the goals they set ... Read more

A call from my biological mother

Added by Ken on April 4
My biological mother just called me. She wanted to know if I had struggled with reactive attachment disorder. I explained that I had some attachment issues that created distress for me in my younger life but that by my mid-twenties I felt I had worked through that. She listened to me intently. I could feel her brow furrow as she concentrated on my words over the phone. I finished my explanation and there was a long pause. From a deeply pained place in her heart, my mom said slowly and ... Read more

As this day of Thanksgiving winds down...

Added by Alex on November 28
Dear Calo Family, Thanksgiving always causes me to hit the pause button and remember that to be thankful for what we have is more fulfilling than recounting what we may want. At Calo we want things, like any company. However, what we have is a great group of families and students to serve, and wonderful coworkers to whom we owe a huge gratitude of thanks. I have many blessings I am thankful for but the most important of them are the people in my life. I am thankful for my family, my dear ... Read more

Advice for Calo Parents - Q&A with Calo Therapist-extraordinaire Cecily Mitchell

Added by Alex on November 18
Advice for Calo Parents - Q&A with Calo Therapist-extraordinaire Cecily Mitchell What are some of the most important things you think if parents understood early on would get parents onboard quicker and improve treatment success? Progress is going to be slow. And there are going to be moments that feel really awesome - don't get your hopes up too much, because the whole two steps forward one step back thing is really true. Our kids get scared of change, even when it feels good and ... Read more

Our Clinical Team is Growing!

Added by Alex on November 10
Calo is excited to announce that Crystal Smith has accepted a promotion and will be the Clinical Supervisor for Calos Girl Program. Crystal brings with her over 20 years of experience working in a supervisory and leadership capacity in outpatient mental health, residential mental health as well as other areas of the business world. She has expressed a desire to share her experience and skills to benefit the clinical team, the students/families and Calo overall. She is particularly interested ... Read more

Calo Parenting Tips: Becoming a "United Front"

Added by Alex on August 27
Its not uncommon in most households for parents to individually assume the roles of good cop and bad cop. The parent who assumes the role of good cop is the often the one who a teen turns to be soothed or to help them negotiate with the parent who has taken on the role of bad cop and is the main disciplinarian for the household. Teens with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and/or those who have been unable to form healthy attachments, often become masters of manipulation in order to get ... Read more

Creating Loving Bonds With Transferable Attachment

Added by Alex on August 19
As a parent/caregiver, you know the love you have for child is strong and your attachment to them runs deep. It can be particularly painful to parent a child who is dealing with the after effects of childhood trauma that is causing them to act out in unhealthy ways. A child that has experienced severe emotional and physical abuse in early childhood also has problems bonding to their parents/caregivers. At Calo, we help your teen begin to explore and create loving attachments with our unique ... Read more

Why Doesn't My Child Love Me Back?

Added by Alex on August 15
Parenting a teen with attachment issues can be a challenging experience. Do you ever get the feeling that your teen doesnt love you back? This is a common concern we hear from parents and caregivers at Calo.Teens with attachment issues or Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) have a hard time feeling love, trust or empathy. It can be a frustrating and emotionally draining experience for a parent to constantly feel pushed away or unloved by their own child.One parent described feeling as though, ... Read more

An Adoptive Parent's Letter to Family and Friends

Added by Alex on August 9
Carol, a member of ATN's Board of Directors and is a clinical social worker.by: Carol LozierHave you ever noticed that adopted and foster kids are especially cute? Their beautiful eyes, cute noses, and charming smiles often call attention to them and to their family. In the midst of this attention, adoptive and foster parents often hear remarks of how their parenting could be more effective, or possibly that they are expecting too much or too little from their child. Understandably, ... Read more

Rob Gent's Promotion and New Clinical Director

Added by Alex on August 6
All Calo employees believe in continually sharpening the saw and improving who we are, what we know, and how we interact. Growth, as a matter of fact, is one of our core values. Just as we expect our students and parents to grow, we should expect ourselves to do the same.With Growth in mind, Calo is pleased to announce the promotion of Rob Gent to VP of Training and Development. Over the years Rob has performed key roles at Calo including Therapist, Assistant Clinical Director, and Clinical ... Read more

Redefining Success at Calo

Added by Alex on August 1
Success is measured in terms of self-improvement rather than by triumphs over others. Albert Bandura, David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology / Emeritus at Stanford University Have you ever tried keeping up with the Joneses? Not only is it exhausting, but it can be damaging to your self-esteem.A lot of times in life we define our own level of success by comparing ourselves with others. For example, rich people are deemed successful because they have more money than ... Read more

Calo Sponsors the All Together Now Conference with Heather Forbes

Added by Alex on July 26
Calo recently attended and was the Hero Sponsor for the All Together Now Conference in Lake Ozark, MO. This conference is a collaborative effort of the foster and adoptive support agencies across the state of Missouri to bring together service providers, foster and adoptive families, social workers, lawyers, and judges to promote an atmosphere of cooperative learning and to improve services to abused and neglected children and their families. There were over 300 attendees.Here are some great ... Read more

Safe vs. Unsafe Confrontation

Added by Alex on July 19
What is the collateral damage to children that experience confrontation which is unsafe? The damage is immeasurable. Emotionally and behaviorally children need to experience healthy confrontation which sustains the characteristics of safe parental relationships; consistency, dependability, reliability, predictability, caring, selfless, and loving.When children can feel safe within confrontation, they are able to appropriately assimilate the message being given as well as experience ... Read more

What it Sometimes Takes to Parent a Traumatized Child

Added by Alex on June 7
I have a friend who works with me on an advocacy council. The council is one looking for ways to improve treatment for traumatized children. My friend, Julie, is an attorney and mother of two adopted children. One of the children, a girl named Angie, has a history of abuse prior to placement in Julie's home. Julie and her husband have struggled to help Angie and have suffered setbacks at times. She had a setback just recently and wrote a powerful email describing her sorrow. With her ... Read more


Added by Rob on March 7
Our Parent Retreat is rapidly approaching and you do not want to miss the opportunity to receive specific training on how best to intervene with your child while creating meaningful and safe experiences.  The Retreat begins on Wednesday afternoon (5:15-7:30pm) where parents will enjoy our Parent Orientation and receive information on the expectations of treatment, clinical model, and ways to be an asset in the treatment journey.  The orientation is a great time to get to know other ... Read more

PARENT SEMINAR - March 1, 2013

Added by Rob on January 11
SEMINAR (March 1st, 2013) PARENT TRAINING      The Parent Seminar is rapidly approaching (March 1st, 2013) and the focus is Parent Training.  This is the perfect opportunity to engage in hands on training exactly the way our staff receive it.  We are excited to have our Residential and Clinical departments combine and provide parents with specific training principles and techniques for creating safety, connection, and repair with your student.  The seminar ... Read more

November Parent Seminar

Added by Calo on October 29
Never let your memories be greater than your dreams On Wednesday November 21, from 12:30-2pm, we will explore what this quote means with regards to Calos academic department. The presentation will focus on the evolution of Calo academics. We will be discussing the past, present and future of academics at Calo. Highlighting all of the exciting successes happening in the academic department and exploring ideas for the future will be our primary goals. After the presentation, all teachers will ... Read more

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