– A WORD FROM STEVE MIGDEN–
A WORD FROM STEVE MIGDEN
We help struggling young people find success – and their parents find peace of mind.
My route to placement consulting has taken me through some interesting and rewarding professional experiences.
After I graduated from Columbia University, I worked briefly as a reference book editor in New York City. Although I really enjoyed the work, I realized that I would be more fulfilled by working in a helping profession, so I entered graduate school in clinical psychology at New York University, and I graduated from that program in 1979. My first job after graduate school was in a learning disabilities program in the pediatric neurology unit of a teaching hospital. I loved it. I honed my skills as an evaluator and I began a lifelong interest in learning disabilities, making many professional friends that I still have, some 30 years later.
When I left the position at the learning disabilities program it was to become the senior supervising psychologist at a psychiatric day treatment center for children and adolescents with serious emotional and behavioral problems. There, I had the opportunity to expand my experiences beyond learning disabilities, and to develop considerable expertise with troubled youth, including those who were extremely oppositional, struggling with a mood disorder, abusing drugs or alcohol, or simply very frightened and confused.
After a brief period as a consultant to some residential programs, I next took a position as the supervising psychologist at a publicly-funded residential treatment center for adolescents. My major responsibility for the first ten years or so was to be the coordinator of a residential diagnostic unit, where I was responsible for the assessment and placement of literally hundreds of troubled adolescents each year. Each week, I would lead a team of professionals who would make recommendations about the type of treatment or educational setting that could best meet the needs of the children who had been temporarily placed on our diagnostic unit. It was a wonderful opportunity to combine my skills as an evaluator (learned in my first job) and my skills at working with troubled youth (learned in my second job). Over time, I advanced at this agency, taking on a number of supervisory positions and having the opportunity to participate in the development of many fine programs, including a treatment program for sexually inappropriate boys and one of the largest psychology internships in the country.
So, I can fairly say that I come to my work as an educational consultant with a very wide and deep range of experiences. These experiences include assessment as well as treatment, learning problems as well as behavior problems, direct service as well as supervision, administration and program development. Beyond that, I have never lost my interest in helping children, teens and their parents. And fortunately, all of these combine when I work with a family to arrange a placement for a teen or young adult. I'm not only very gratified when I’m able to find an appropriate school or treatment setting for a struggling young person, but I'm also very gratified when I'm able to help that young person's parents better understand just what their child's unique needs are and what kind of program will really help their son or daughter. Because of this, I always treat the educational consultation as a collaborative process, one in which parents benefit from being partners in my expertise, not simply recipients of it. There are really few things that I value as much as working with parents to make an effective placement.