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Initial Inquiry
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Not all of the links on this page are working. Links to Our Client Profile, Why a ConsultantWhy FamilyLightsm, Vignettes, and Our Procedure,  are  working. Please phone us with any questions. 

If you are thinking about engaging us to work with you, it is important that we clearly understand what to expect of each other.  Some families considering our services want more information than others. We encourage prospective clients to thoroughly read all of the information on this web site, then interview us over the phone before engaging us.  Even if you have definitely decided you want us to work with you and you don't want to take time to read everything,  please at least read carefully  Our Procedure and  Home Visit.  Then,  proceed to Purchase Information and follow the links indicated on that page.   All families obtaining personal and individual services must read and understand the above pages and links in order to do business with us.  

Contact us to ask questions

Phone calls need not occur during normal business hours.  Phone calls are normally answered in the Eastern Time Zone USA (same as New York).  All late night calls will go to Voice Mail.  Any call could go to voice mail. We attempt to return all calls promptly; overnight calls first thing in the morning. 

If you are a parent reading this at a time of crisis, we empathize with you.  We want to help you understand what we can do for you and that we will do it as sensitively as possible.  We want you to take time to consider your best course of action, whether or not you ultimately use our services.  You are welcome to contact us with no cost or obligation while you explore options to obtain guidance for yourself. 

Currently, everyone who calls to inquire about our services will have the opportunity to speak with Tom. He will offer some helpful information whether or not the caller contracts.  We expect to continue this until our on-line  services  are sufficiently well developed to provide meaningful help to those  who cannot afford our personal service. 

Our clients

Almost all of our clients are families with a young person (child, teenager, or young adult and sometimes older adult) with a behavioral, emotional, maturity, or psychological problem and they are looking to us to help determine and implement a strategic solution.  Occasionally, we also work with an older adult.  Some to now have such problems on an ongoing basis but have had an isolate behavioral issue that warrants a change of schools.  Many of those clients are contemplating utilizing a residential school or treatment facility when they engage us.  We do provide referrals to schools and treatment facilities, but in some situations we advise families against that step. 

Although almost all of our clients approach us because of challenge to be met or an obstacle to be overcome, we do not limit our recommendations to placement in therapeutic or behavioral schools and programs.  Many of our clients remain at home with some support from us or others;  many others participate in residential or other programming away from home such as academic boarding schools and summer programs for high functioning young people, like Outward Bound and NOLS.   (Incidentally, we do not support offerings by those groups targeting youth at risk.) 

Intervention services

A very small number of our clients engage us to intervene with an adult who has been resisting necessary treatment.  Often our usual service and methods work well in that situation, but sometimes we need a modified intervention approach. Normally the “intervention approach" applies when the young person is legally an adult and substance abuse is a major part of the problem.  If you think this service might apply to your situation, please choose this link first.

The following resources provide information on our more typical services:

Behaviors and concerns

Choose this link if you want to know some of the kinds of behaviors and concerns that prompt families to come to us or another consultant.  If these seem familiar to you, chances are you are facing a problem of a kind that we have helped families confront previously.

Why a consultant?

 We don’t believe every family with the experiences noted in the previous link needs to work with a consultant.  Some will get what they need from the Internet and other resources.  We are developing our own resource to help parents make decisions from  information found on the Internet.  Choose this link  to learn the ways in which consultants in general can be helpful to families.  This page is designed to help you decide whether ANY consultant might be right for you. It is not focused on whether or not we are the best choice for you.

Why FamilyLightsm?

We believe FamilyLightsm is the best choice for many families but not for every family.  Choose this link  to see an outline of the characteristics of FamilyLightsm that make us different from others and make us right (or wrong) for you.  Please note that all of the following links might also be helpful with understanding that.  While this link is a general outline and summary, the following links focus on particular areas. 


At FamilyLightsm we do things differently from any other educational consultant or consultant firm.  The word “unique” gets over-used, but our procedure is truly unique.  Choose this link  for a description of our procedure. 


In order to better understand how our approach is unusual, we have included vignettes describing how FamilyLightsm has helped some families in the past.  The selected list of vignettes is weighted to focus on services FamilyLightsm has provided that we think other consultants would not provide.  Choose this link  to read some of the vignettes. 

Comments and testimonials

Families and clinicians who have worked with us in the past have provided comments about FamilyLightsm services.  Choose this link  to read some of those comments.

Why NOT choose FamilyLightsm

Some families have not worked out well for us.  Similarities can be observed in these family situations.  Choose this link  to learn more about clients who may be better served by another approach.

Frequently asked questions

We are asked many questions about our services.  Choose this link  for some of the most frequently asked questions and our answers.

What does it cost?

We encourage you to phone our office to discuss fees.   While our customary fees are significant, as might be expected for a highly skilled professional service, our fees are a small fraction of the cost of a therapeutic school or treatment service.  We do lower our fees for clients who meet two criteria: 

    Financial hardship

    Need for our services. 

  If you think you meet both of these criteria, don't hesitate to ask for reduced

Thank you for your interest.

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Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.


Last Revision, February 12, 2013

                                  "Solutions, Not Just Referrals"

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