Mark is down to earth. He can talk the ‘psycho-babble’ with the best of them, but he has a way of drilling down into the real meat of a situation and calling it what it is. And in the same way, he approaches treatment with useful, real-world solutions that any parent can relate to. That isn’t to say that he isn’t completely on top of all things cutting-edge in the therapeutic world because he is. But his ability to take those complex ideas and talk about and implement the day-to-day with parents and kids who don’t speak ‘psycho-babble’ is a very real positive in working with him. He lets you know that none of this is magic, and you and your child are completely capable of making the changes necessary for a successful, fulfilling life.
There’s an amazing song from the Broadway show Wicked, “Because I Knew You.” It sums up perfectly what our entire family would say about having Paul Taylor be an integral part of our son’s life. From the minute we met Paul, we knew our son would be treated as if he was one of Paul’s own kids, through both his successes and his challenges. I am positive their amazing relationship will remain for decades to come.
Finding the right fit for a struggling teen in the world of therapists and therapeutic programs can be a very tricky business! The available options are vast. The decision is made more difficult when a parent is in the throes of crisis or a chaotic situation. I know this because I’ve been there…twice.
I want you to know about my family’s experience in working with Mark Spalding. I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t have the full belief that he is, without a doubt, one of the best in the business.
Mark has spent his adult life studying therapeutic endeavors, which has exposed him to so many of the models that are used by different practices and environments. Besides his obvious educational credentials, he also has lived these programs and their practices. In doing so, he has digested each of them and come away with the best of what each has to offer. Mark then uses his own gut and sensibilities to refine his methods and practices further, making them uniquely “Mark Spalding.” Live Strong House is the culmination of everything that makes Mark a therapist highly I recommend.
My child spent two years at a therapeutic boarding school where Paul Taylor was the Executive Director. For most people, the administrative duties that go along with that title would have been challenging enough, but for Paul, that was just the tip of the iceberg. His mission went way beyond running a top-notch school for teenage girls.
Paul set out to actually get to know the students in his charge, to find out what had happened in their lives leading up to their attendance, and to make sure that each one of them was getting the help that they needed to move beyond the tests that their lives had laid before them. I am not talking about making a phone call to a teacher or emailing a staff member about one of the students. I am talking about the kind of advocate that talks, sometimes daily, to struggling students who have given up on the possibility that the adults in their lives can ever understand what they are going through.
They soon find out that Paul is the adult who understands.
Mark is a dad. And although some may not find that important, I believe that when choosing someone to become the caretaker of your child, it’s essential. Mark is an extremely committed parent with boundless love and energy for his own children. That’s someone I can trust with my own child.
Because of Paul Taylor, my family is whole again. I can never repay him for his commitment to my child in those two tumultuous years of their life. He’s the real deal.
Mark meets these kids where they are. He does so with a passion that is contagious and inevitably wears off onto them. But he doesn’t do it in a way that’s off-putting or pushy. It takes almost no time at all for a kid to know that Mark can be trusted with their deepest feelings, fears, and challenges. He won’t judge, but he also won’t simply sugarcoat the problems. In the kindest of ways, he is able to hold a mirror for the kids to see themselves in and help them grow into better versions of themselves.
Mark’s belief and enthusiasm brings you and your kiddo into his circle almost immediately. He shares his love of physical activity, nature, and service in the community and turns these kids on to all kinds of activities they didn’t even know they would love. And in the process, he is helping to literally change their minds.