Cerissa L. Desrosiers is a 2012 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England.


adolescents, behavior, children, family, interventions, parenting, psychology

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This dissertation introduces Wholeistic EducationTM (WEDTM), an innovative, values-based, interdisciplinary pro-social theory that is the culmination of centuries of scientific and philosophical learning and exploration about optimal mental health and human development. WED is based on basic human nature and universal human rights, and so it applies to all variations of human society- racial, ethnic, religious, or otherwise. WED is a foundation theory to which any targeted implementation strategy can be applied. It is both a proactive strategy for seeking and maintaining health before a crisis arises in families, schools, and organizations as well as a treatment approach presented during times of distress, in therapy, schools, mental health agencies and treatment centers. To keep the scope manageable, this dissertation focuses exclusively on the application of WED with children, adolescents and families. In addition to introducing WED, this paper explains how WED is a logical and appropriate option for those in academia and policy that vocally seek alternative intervention approaches to manage the increasing need for effective and efficient mental health treatment. This paper begins with an explanation of three current theories in use with children, adolescents, and families, and explains how they inform WED and where they diverge. Chapter 2 explains the historical roots of the theory and Chapter 3 illustrates the approach in action through clear description and vignettes. Chapter 4 focuses on examples of WED currently in use, and alludes to future possible applications for WED theory. Chapter 5 concludes the project with an explanation of current evaluation and opportunities for future evaluation projects.