By Tiffany Silva, LCSW
Who is Todd Spaulding?
Maria Lewis, our Research Director, answers this quite eloquently:
Todd is the glue that holds the team together. He is the guy with the answers, who is willing to push both his team and the boys to be their best. His sense of humor keeps us all laughing and his support and encouragement keep us going through the tough times.
Growing Up, Todd knew his calling in life
Todd Spaulding grew up in Seattle and is the second of three kids. He grew up with two sisters who loved to pick on him. His favorite family pastime was hunting with his Grandpa and Uncles. Todd did not always plan to become a therapist, yet felt that this was his calling in life, and was lead down this path. While going to school to get his Masters at Brigham Young University, he worked full time as well. His wife told me that he has always worked hard to provide for their family, often starting his days at 5:00 am and ending around 7:00 pm or later. Todd is a very driven person and works hard to achieve his goals. He recently joined BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) and has become certified in CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist.) She reported that “sometimes, I think he joined BACA so he could have another excuse to ride his motorcycle, but I know it’s because he is dedicated to the cause of helping others in need.”
While Todd works hard, he also plays hard. He loves to play with his three kids; taking them golfing, swimming, camping, or just hanging out watching NFL football, especially the Seattle Seahawks or Pittsburgh Steelers. Todd knows how to have a good time with family and friends, often inviting them over for barbecues and making his amazing peach cobbler.
Todd’s many contributions to the leading sexual addiction treatment program in the country
Todd Spaulding started working at Oxbow Academy in 2008, as a therapist and became the Clinical Director in 2010. Since then, Todd’s contributions to improving Oxbow have been innumerable, as he has dedicated an endless amount of time to push Oxbow to the next level clinically. He has helped add an experiential component to our program, including having all of our therapists Sand Tray certified and adding experiential phase reviews. Our clinical program currently has four phases for our students to work through. After they have completed each phase they are able to go through an experiential activity that helps solidify what they have learned from the previous phase. Todd has also helped develop a task-based model for our clinical program, so therapists can tailor treatment to each individual student, instead of each phase being a cookie-cutter approach. Todd also saw a need to address the family systems as we worked with each of our students, to help families change any negative or unhealthy patterns that would only perpetuate the problem when their son returned home. He created a Parent Track that addresses systematic work with the family. This is in addition to our family sessions that happen weekly. It has allowed parents to address concerns, work through their own pain and trauma from their son’s issues, and allow change and healing in the family system.
Another area Todd has helped contribute to Oxbow Academy has been our Equine program. Not only is Todd EAGALA certified, he has been able to take his knowledge from that training and create activities with our Equine Directors, Tony and Brita, that focus on addressing sexual issues to better meet the needs of our students.
Expanding services to those in need
Our second campus was added in 2012, that was specifically to address the needs of students who may be on the Autism Spectrum, and Todd has been able to help train staff, and bring on therapists who can better meet the needs of that kind of student. Todd assisted in initiating a research component and helps add a sexual addiction component to our clinical program. He has also helped establish a system that that positively incentivizes our students and helps them to repair relationships they have damaged, allowing a more relationship-driven environment. Since Todd has been able to add the sexual addiction component, therapists can better address students with sexual addictions, along with those who have trauma from being victims, or those who have victims, to those who are sexually reactive. Lastly, his work with our Executive Director, Shawn Brooks, and our Research Director, Maria Lewis, has been a game changer for our program, allowing treatment to be research-informed and guided. This gives therapists, staff, and teachers a better picture of how to meet the individual needs of each of our students.
Making the world a better place through sharing and education
Todd’s hard work and dedication expand beyond his work here at Oxbow Academy. He has presented at numerous conferences across the country, and to various audiences, helping educate a variety of people about sexual issues, and how to help those struggling with them. He co-authored a workbook with James B. Lewis, LCSW, CSAT-S, and CLC, titled Guide To Recovery From Addictive Arousal and Sexual Compulsive Behaviors. This workbook was written for outpatient and residential treatment programs. Todd Spaulding and Maria Lewis also contributed to a book that is about to be published called International Handbook of Sexual Addiction. While his expertise is working with teenagers, he also has a private practice where he meets with clientele ranging from teenagers to adults. His knowledge and expertise are quite expansive when it comes to helping others with not only sexual issues but also mental health in general.
Our heartfelt thank you to a leader who continues to change the lives of many
Todd’s expertise and dedication to helping others have positively affected numerous amounts of people, and not only the students he has worked with. Everyone who works with Todd can see the amazing heart he has and has been helped by him one way or another. He is one of the best Clinical Directors to ever work with and I have seen him sacrifice his time and energy to this cause of helping others. I myself can contest to that, as I was hired and trained by him in 2010. He is an amazing listener and has this unique talent of being able to help you better understand painful and difficult mental health issues. He is not only a fantastic Clinical Director but also a friend, who cares deeply about those he works with. Below others have also shared their own experience of working with Todd.
Julie Anderson, Family Service Director:
Todd is absolutely amazing! He is a very level-headed member of our administration team, and always has such great insights that he shares in our weekly meetings. He also has a great sense of humor, and is a lot of fun to be around! I’ve often laughed until I cried in some of our conversations! I really appreciate how dedicated he is to help our students be successful – he is always going above and beyond what is expected of him. The boys look up to and respect Todd very much. He is a great friend and I’m happy he is receiving this honor! He deserves it!
Doris Brunson, West Campus Residential Coordinator:
Todd is an amazing therapist whom I have grown to respect very much. Todd is always there to listen when you need him, and although he is a very busy man, he will still take the time to help you with whatever you need. He is the voice of reason in an otherwise hectic and fast paced, busy day. Everyone looks up to Todd, and as it has been proven time after time, treatment team would be a crazy, unorganized mess without him. He is a ray of sunshine and is always such a great presence in the room. Todd’s sense of humor is larger than life, and he is such a positive person to be around. We are so lucky to have him on our Oxbow team. Todd, thanks for all of your support and for always making everyone feel wanted and valued. We all love you so much!!!
Deborah Dahl, Office Manager:
What can’t be said about Todd Spaulding? He sets the standard for excellence that we can all hope to achieve. What a wonderful leader! His sense of humor is something admirable; he does, after all, have to work with all of us! He is the definition of “je ne sais quoi!”
Shawn Brooks, Executive Director:
I have known Todd for many years. The thing I love about Todd is his willingness to speak his mind and have honest discussions. He is a genuine person with a wealth of knowledge he has obtained through hard work, education, and a desire to make things better. We agree most of the time, but the times we don’t agree, Todd has always been willing to state his opinion and has been willing to engage in crucial conversations where we have worked towards better solutions. He is truly a change agent and is a fierce believer in change. He has personally saved many and is a force for good in the world.
Tony and Brita North, Equine Directors:
We have had the privilege of working with Todd for over 10 years. This history has given us a closeness that enabled us to build an equine program that works hand in hand with the therapy program Oxbow has built. Most of all it has been a joy and privilege to work with someone who has the same passion for the work we are doing. It is an honor to call him our friend. Thanks for all you do for us, Todd! Oxbow would not be the same without you!
Rachelle Hamill, Therapist:
Todd is a great boss to have. He is attentive to the needs of his clinical team and makes himself available to offer support in needful ways. His abilities to provide sound therapy and supervision stem from not only his education and experience, but from the attributes of patience and understanding that he possesses. His ability to bring humor into life experiences is a valuable asset to the Oxbow Team, as he works to manage the inherent stressors of clinical management and work. He is dedicated to his work, and it shows in all that he does. It is a pleasure working with Todd.
As you can see, Todd Spaulding has had quite an impact on Oxbow Academy, and how it has advanced to the level of clinical excellence it has today. The reason we are able to address and meet the needs of such difficult cases addressing sexual issues is because Todd Spaulding has been dedicated to the advancement of Oxbow Academy. He is a key player on Oxbow Academy’s Administrative team that helps push the program forward and continues to seek out greater education on the issues that we address. We are grateful for all of the hard work and care Todd has contributed to the program.