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This program is one that our consultant Tom Croke visited in September 2009. We are very favorably impressed with Catalyst.  It is specifically for teenage boys with substance abuse issues.

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FamilyLightsm is an educational consulting firm specializing in work with families with a young person with behavioral, emotional or psychological difficulties.  We offer in-depth personal guidance to families on a fee basis and free guidance on the internet. FamilyLightsm attempts to be fully objective and accepts no advertising nor referral fees.

Catalyst is a full Residential Treatment Program focused on teen aged males with substance abuse issues.  They emphasize Schwebel's Seven Challenges as their core methodology.  This is supported by skilled therapists and mature. ancillary staff.   The physical plant is new, modern, clean, and comfortable.  The young men served by Catalyst whom we interviewed were comfortable with their surroundings and their interaction with the staff of the program.  

We are comfortable referring to Catalyst.  However we would like to see closer adherence to our new (2010) Guidelines on Addiction and Substance Abuse.  We have great respect for the Seven Challenges and have had that respect long before it was a well known and popular method.  We believe that the  Seven Challenges is a superior resource or methodology for introducing recovery to teenagers.  When the teenager is an Alpha Alcoholic or Addict-1, the Seven Challenges methodology stands on its own to establish recovery.  We believe this includes most teenagers coming into residential treatment.  When the teenager is a Gamma Alcoholic or Addict-2, we believe that Seven Challenges is an excellent method for introducing recovery, but it does not stand alone.  Even when the teenager is Alpha Alcoholic or Addict-1, we believe that teen is at risk for becoming a Gamma Alcoholic or Addict-2, and they should get exposure to twelve-step or another method appropriate to a Gamma Alcoholic or Addict-2.

In fairness to Catalyst, we know they do support twelve-step in come cases.  We do not know their criteria for determining which ones.  However, as much as we appricate the power of the Seven Challenges with teenage alcoholics or addicts, we do not believe the method stands alone.  We believe they have thought this through very carefully and they remain a program we will consider for appropriate clients.

This program is staffed with particularly sophisticated clinicians and is directly managed by hands-on, on-site owners. 

Catalyst is a potential candidate for our Positive Intervention designation if Gateway management chooses to pursue that.

We welcome guest reviews until we can provide a more complete review.

While you wait for us to present a more complete review, please look around this website.  Look at our Guidelines -- a fairly comprehensive statement of what we believe quality is all about.  If you come to a search and planning process with limited experience, this is an opportunity for you to find some principles to measure schools and programs against.

Official web site of Catalyst

Return to Individual Schools and Programs Index

Official Website of Robert Schwebel's Seven Challenges

Feedback is invited. We will publish feedback in good taste, consistent with our standards.  Email

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.


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Last updated  1-15-2011

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