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An Unchanged Mind: The Problem of Immaturity in Adolescence Kindle Edition

22 customer reviews

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Length: 220 pages

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About the Author

John A. McKinnon, M.D., was educated at Harvard, Cambridge University, Case Western Reserve University, Yale, and Norwich University. He taught at the University of California, San Francisco, and directed psychiatry hospital programs in Texas and Montana. Disgusted with the mediocrity of "managed" care, he left traditional medical centers to found Montana Academy, a therapeutic school for troubled teenagers on a remote ranch near Glacier Park. His co-founder and wife, Rosemary, is also a therapist, and they have three daughters.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2268 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books (November 30, 2008)
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002FL4QSY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,290 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

John A. McKinnon, M.D., was educated at Harvard, Cambridge University, Case Western Reserve University, Yale, and Norwich University. He taught at the University of California, San Francisco, and directed psychiatry hospital programs in Texas and Montana. Disgusted with the mediocrity of "managed" care, he left traditional medical centers to co-found Montana Academy, a therapeutic school for troubled teenagers on a remote ranch near Glacier Park. His co-founder and wife, Rosemary, is also a therapist, and they have three daughters.

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By P Penson on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Finally somebody "gets" troubled teenagers! And can talk about it in straightforward, understandable English we can all understand--parents, psychologists, counselors and concerned adults.

How I spent my winter vacation: I read this book in a week-end, camped out on the couch while my college aged kids buzzed in and out with their friends at New Year's. I kept mumbling to myself "That's so right!" and chapter by chapter, block by block I put the theory and then the theory of action together, punctuated by slapping my forehead at the accuracy of the author's logic. I work for a public school district, so it takes a lot for me to complete a book like this on vacation time.
It was written by one of the smartest guys anywhere (Harvard, Yale) who spent the past 10 years building a successful therapeutic school putting into practice what he learned about kids and their families as a Psychiatrist before that. Montana Academy is located in the boonies, where like every snowflake or starry night sky, the details of these kids' lives are studied without distraction.
It starts unflinchingly with the 2 part problem statement, i.e. even when we know what works to save a suicidal or tormented teen, managed care rules and the voices of faceless insurance reviewers who have never met or seen the child insist on restrictions to treatment that prevent us from executing a plan toward mental health. These doorkeepers incur tremendous expense for society as a whole in the name of saving a nickel for insurance companies. And secondly, we haven't understood before what exactly is wrong with these kids because we are looking at the whole condition incorrectly. (I'll save the aha! moment for you to discover, so as not to spoil the read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By momofteen on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a parent with a teen struggling in his Wilderness Therapy program, this book helped me "get it". I wish I had read this before he went. It clearly defines how teens get to this "out of control" point and lays out the methods used to help them change. If your child is in a program, reading this will help you to understand what they are doing and remain vigilant when times get tough. It is in those tough times that the real change happens. I am thankful for this book as my son is currentl in Wilderness. I only wish that there was a way to make excellent longer-term programs like Montana Academy affordable for parents with struglling teens. Clearly, the long-term benefits are evident. There should be a better way to demonstrate need and either get help from your health insurance or a greater tax benefit for intervening with the long-term health of your child.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Makadaka on May 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
By far the best I've read on the subject of troubled teens. He has nailed my son with an intellectually thorough and clinically supported paradigm that simply makes good sense. He's also a lucid and compelling writer. I am more optimistic about outcome than I have been, as well as more patient and curious about the path. Highly recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mina O. Steen on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many of today's parents fear that their child will "fail to launch." Yet, the issues behind this phenomenon are not well-understood. Dr. McKinnon offers insight to why teens stall out, rebel, or escape rather than face growing up.

Out of concern for a struggling teen, parents seek professional help. Yet, today's insurance and managed care systems often disallow or curtail the supportive approach they truly need. The medical treatment model works with a "fix-it" mentality, yet the ills of a struggling teen are not so simple that a pill is the answer. Dr. McKinnon explains this clearly and in ways that are important.

Anyone raising children would benefit from reading this book. Dr. McKinnon offers rare insight from the world of private residential treatment. In communities, such as his, true healing occurs and the obstacles to maturity are gradually ameliorated. Parents and loved ones, gain new understanding, and can then help their children through clear limits and a relationship that is affirming of their worth. The result takes time, but what could be more important than saving a life and helping a young adult become productive for our society?

Mina Steen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Hobson on March 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is very well written! I have an acting out teen. This book hit home with me. The book was an easy read and I was amazed at how well the book described my teen. The early chapters and the later chapters on immaturity I found very very helpful. It gives me hope and makes me see how important recognition, and limits and boundaries are for children. I was a parent who often gave into my teen. No more, after reading this book I now more then ever see the importance of limits and boundaries to my teens maturity. I refer back to this book all the time and highly recommend this book to any parent who has an acting out teen. It definitely hit home how important recognizing your child and setting limits and boundaries are for a child to mature.An Unchanged Mind: The Problem of Immaturity in Adolescence
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. W. Francis on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a world seemingly full of advice for parents of troubled teens, this book is a true standout. John McKinnon does a masterful job of discussing the roots of the problems so many of our children face. As the parent of a former Montana Academy student, I was particularly interested in hearing John's views. They are dead on the mark. (By the way, if you are unwilling or unable to own your part of the "problem" you may not like this book very much. It will cut you no quarter in with regard to your role and duty as a parent to provide an environment for your children to grow up to be mature, responsible, empathic adults.) My only regret is that I didn't read this book before we took the long drive out to Lost Prairie. For those who can't afford the Montana Academy tuition (and it was worth every penny) this book could at least help you regain you bearings and offer a chance for constructive change in your family situation.
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