“blueFire Works so well with adolescent boys between 11 and 15 because we have created the right structure to keep a person functioning within that optimal learning zone. ”

—Mark Ellis, LCSW

blueFire’s Embers Program was created to support young boys ages 11-15. This group focuses on helping clients who may be struggling with one or more of the following issues: grief or loss, low self-esteem, anger, adoption issues, trauma, learning disabilities, school refusal or failure, social struggles, executive functioning issues, and may have a long history of behavioral or emotional problems.

blueFire sets the standard for outdoor and adventure therapy:

  • Adventure Therapy as a centerpiece to explore personal growth and change.
  • Base camps complete with yurts or geodesic domes, cots, and
    cooking shelters.
  • Weekly showers.
  • Therapist “in the field” with clients four days per week.
  • Individual therapy 2 times per week.
  • Group therapy 4 times per week.
  • Weekly equine therapy to develop healthy relationships and improved communication.
  • Comprehensive Family Systems program with 4 day family workshop.
  • Family therapy via phone/video.

“Excellent and caring program - Mark was an incredible therapist who really was able to identify core issues and work with us and our son in an empathetic manner.”

—Embers Family Feedback

Meet the Embers Therapist

Mark Ellis, LCSW, is the primary therapist for the Embers program, where he specializes in working with 11 to 15-year-olds. He uses a variety of therapeutic models, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, brain spotting, and trauma-focused CBT. His client expertise is in pre-teen and early teen boy challenges such as oppositional behavior at home, low social functioning, rigid thinking, depression, anxiety, spectrum, and attachment issues.

“Mark is a Guru! The only therapist who ever got though to our son.”

—Embers Family feedback

In the Embers group, Mark emphasizes the importance of understanding and validating the experiences of the children he works with, focusing on truly understanding at their level what they’re going through. He explains, “One of our greatest strengths is to help kids get outside of their past and future thinking, and begin to live life in the now.”

“I feel like Mark took the time to understand my relationship with my child and my parenting strengths and struggles. He was a master at guiding conversation.”

—Embers Family feedback

Family work is a significant part of the Embers program. Biweekly family sessions a ‘Family Spark’ workshop at the end of the program help families understand their dynamics and create a healthier framework at home.

Mark shares, “I love to help families learn skills and build a toolbox full of options to manage their emotions in the most stressful situations.  Healing is done within the entire family unit, and blueFire gives families a unique and effective platform to ignite this change. We help your child better understand where they are, learn conflict resolution, and become more accepting and communicative moving forward.”

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