Developmental Crisis Planning

For various reasons, students of any age may find themselves facing academic obstacles, emotional distress, behavioral missteps, and/or diminished confidence that interferes with their ability to meet the demands of their educational, family, or social environments. If your child is facing a crisis of this type, you know firsthand that schools, families, and often the young person him or herself are most focused on the apparent vulnerabilities, mistakes, and underlying personal deficits that are likely contributing to the unwanted situation.

By contrast, our educational counselors see your child’s crisis through the inherently optimistic perspective of developmental psychology, which presumes that we are not finished; that every one of us can acquire better and stronger skills for living and learning; and that we can unlearn and replace habits that have not served us, our families, communities or our futures well.

We work only with premier therapeutic and special needs programs and schools well suited to address each student’s unique needs. We identify appropriate therapeutic and/or educational options that reveal your child’s potential path from crisis to stability and academic progress. We guide you through the emotionally-charged and vulnerable moments of your child’s treatment with deeply caring and compassionate honesty, clarity, and professionalism. We strive for the ideal — to transition your child back to as typical an educational path as warranted and possible.

Our families are particularly reassured by our confidentiality, discretion and professionalism as we partner together to address the issues at the core of the crisis and undertake the process toward hope and renewal.


During the admissions process, how do you predict anxious students’ potential to succeed at your school? It can be hard to evaluate whether taking the risk of admitting a complex kid will...


Mother of Son in 6th Grade

As a Mom, I just want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all you are doing for our family. Our son was having trouble in sixth grade, but it wasn’t so obvious because of the happy front he put up and his relatively good grades. I had no idea about wilderness therapy and therapeutic boarding schools. We have always been a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” sort of family, and never would have thought this could be an option for my son. I am so thankful you have found my son a place that is the best fit for him and now has he has a chance. Thank you for your immediate guidance and recommendations that allowed us to act quickly. You are the goodness in this crazy world around us.

Mother of 19-year-old male, California

I look back at our darkest days when we felt so completely powerless to stop {our son’s} downward spiral. Thank you for showing us the right programs among the confusing array out there, all of which seemed to claim the same things. Without you explaining to me where we were in the process when things were especially hard to work through, I’m not sure we could have all stayed the course. There’s still much work ahead but {our son} is in a much better place and we are all on the road to healing, none of which could have happened without you.

Mother of 15-year-old girl, New York

One of the many things I so appreciate about working with McMillan is the fact that I didn’t need to worry about what was coming next. You had that covered – everything from what type of support she would need after wilderness and again when she was ready to come out of {her therapeutic boarding placement}. I didn’t need to worry about finding the right resources or making sure she was on track academically. Thank you for all of it. Who would have thought she’d be back at school and in the flow of the life we thought she might have lost permanently?

Get to Know


CEO/Developmental Psychologist

Along with husband Don, Dr. Sarah McMillan manages the team of McMillan Education counselors. In close collaboration with the practice’s leadership team, Sarah enjoys continually enhancing the best guidance practices of the group by developing and delivering regular in-house supervision and professional development trainings focused on education and child, adolescent...