The Pinnacle Schools | Elk River Treatment Program

Executive Contact: Karen Lee

Admissions Contact: Kathy DeMellier


Work Phone:(256) 518-9998 (w)

Fax:(256) 518-9941


Address :500 Governors Drive

City: Huntsville

State AL

Zip: 35801

Specific Program Type: Outdoor Therapeutic Program

Specific Age Range:12 to 18

Specific Gender Type:Coeducational


The Elk River Treatment Program (ERTP) of The Pinnacle Schools (TPS) is a therapeutic residential program that combines clinically supported treatment services with a strong year-round academic curriculum. Typical residents present with the dual diagnosis of substance abuse, and include, but are not limited to, ADD/ADHD, ODD, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, online gaming addiction, adoption/divorce/family issues, academic decline/learning differences, negative peer relationships, and obesity. Using a Treatment Team approach, the professional staff develops an individualized treatment plan for each resident while utilizing a group therapy model. A transitional program with an extended length of stay is available for residents who require a transition period before returning home. Residents may attend the Elk River Academy for up to one year. Healthy Lifestyles, a pediatric weight management program, is provided for teens that struggle with food addictions. All programs of TPS are empirically derived to provide clinically supported diagnostic, assessment and treatment services to troubled teens ages 12-18.

The challenge of the outdoors is used as a therapeutic teaching tool. Residents are removed from their comfort zone to a base campus with facilities for safety, medical and therapeutic care, education and hygiene. Equine Assisted Learning is incorporated into treatment plans. The professional staff includes a child psychiatrist, licensed psychologist and social worker, professional counselors, physicians, registered nurses, PhD and Master's level educators, and a registered dietician.

Individual treatment plans are designed for each resident and necessary modifications are made at bi-weekly treatment team meetings. All members of the team, including parents and referral sources, are updated regularly as the resident progresses, as all are involved in developing an aftercare plan which meets the child's specific needs. Parent training and family therapy are emphasized throughout treatment. Therapy includes cognitive behavior modification in the group process model led by a psychologist or professional counselor.

Individual Psychotherapy Available: Yes

Accreditation Licensure Approval: State of Alabama Department of Youth Services

Program Type: Wilderness Program

Age Range: Young People 12 to 18

Gender Type: Coeducational