Exploiting Publicity About Abuses in the Field --
Attempting to Project the Image that Aspen Education
is Uniquely Immune to these Problems
Return to Aspen Marketing -- Main Article.
often we hear of clinicians advising parents that sending their child to
a therapeutic program away from home is only a good idea if it is an
Some Aspen programs
are good programs. A few are truly outstanding.
However, people who
speak as if Aspen programs are consistently better than all others are at best misinformed and are probably not
reliable sources of referral. We note that the State of
While we are not happy about
the way Oregon handled these suspensions, we also believe that
We have little insight into
the actual events at Sagewalk other than what we read in the
both cases we are concerned about the
behavior of the State of Oregon, and do not wish to defend
their procedures. In this item, our interest is the behavior of
Aspen Education and the relationship of the events surrounding these
closings to the marketing claims that families are safer dealing with
At the same time Aspen marketing has promoted the implication that Aspen Education programs are safe but you need to worry about all other programs. And that particular bobbing and weaving has taken place while Aspen’s Mt. Bachelor Academy was shut down by Oregon authorities for allegedly maintaining in the first decade of the 21st century some of the very same abuses that have motivated the criticisms of the industry and political pressure for tighter regulation.
The word "hypocrisy" is among the words that occur to us.
Navigating the Aspen Marketing article:
Too often we hear of clinicians advising parents that sending their child to a therapeutic program away from home is only a good idea if it is an Aspen program. Clinicians and other referring professionals who give that advice are likely falling victim to . . . (more)
2. Web Advertising.
further example of where we would like to see improvement at Aspen/
CRC Health Group involves their
web advertising. We saw temporary
improvement about the time we previously called public attention to
this, but it appears the problem is back, or maybe it never left and we
just missed it. (more)
3. Quid pro quo marketing. Quid pro quo marketing is providing some incentive, often an item of value in exchange for business. It is not like the “cents off” coupon from your neighborhood grocery store; it is more like paying someone who appears to be a neutral source to tell you that is the best grocery store in town. We are not accusing Aspen or CRC Health Group of actual payoffs or referral fees to educational consultants. We will let you decide whether or not what we describe crosses any troubling lines. (more)
Aspen, to its great credit, commissioned an extensive outcome study blanketing its schools, excluding its wilderness programs. The problem arises when the study is used to convince others of the effectiveness of one school or treatment center, ignoring the fact that the results of many schools have been lumped together. (more)
a person is referred to an Aspen school or program, upon completion of
Feedback is invited. We will publish selected feedback. Email FamilyLightResponse@yahoo.com
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 revised April 12, 2010
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