Educational Consulting

Our Mission

At NW Family Consulting, we understand that there are many reasons adolescents and young adults don’t thrive in school, as well as tap into their full potential to reach and launch their academic and vocational goals.

Many of our prospective students are experiencing either precipitous onset and/or long-standing emotional and behavioral problems that have not responded to mainstream counseling, medication, IEP and 504 plans, and private tutoring.

We have found that part of the solution is first having a comprehensive understanding of your student’s core strengths and challenges – one that provides a developmental life map that clearly illuminates the underlying causes of these challenges and a clear direction for the right tools and support in the voyage to come.

Our Approach

Our approach at NW Family Consulting is to begin a team-based, comprehensive assessment of the issues that may be hindering your student’s progress. As preferred providers for pediatricians, private and public schools and universities, as well as wilderness, residential, and therapeutic programs, , we have completed hundreds of complex evaluations for the following conditions:

  • Recurring major depressive episodes
  • Manic and depressive mood swings
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • First psychotic breaks
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities)
  • Excessive worry, anxiety, panic, and fear
  • Paranoia and thought disturbances
  • Social avoidance/relationship struggles
  • Poor life management skills, failure to launch, or other college and career set-backs and delays
  • Procrastination and self-sabotage
  • Drug and alcohol misuse/abuse
  • Personality disorder (borderline, dependent, etc.)

Custom Comprehensive Evaluations

Our custom comprehensive evaluation at NW Family Consulting begins with a two-three day assessment for adolescents and young adults (ages 13-28). The benefits of this two-three evaluation are invaluable on many levels. In the short term, our clinical team will pinpoint the specific clinical, academic, and vocational barriers your student is experiencing. This information will help to recommend and match the necessary evidence based treatments, providers, and academic/vocational/therapeutic programs.

For students already actively engaged in a personal growth pathway or intervention program (e.g., therapeutic boarding school, residential treatment center, adult transitional living facility, etc.), we will provide a roadmap and treatment plan that will help them, their treatment team, and involved providers to implement and sustain a more effective plan. Our goal will be to strive for diagnostic clarity and to elaborate a more effective case formulation, as well as refine a values clarification for best fit for the teen or young adult.

In the long term, the information from this intensive evaluation will help your student create clarity, “actualize” their potential, and help guide them to launch their academic, vocational, and interpersonal strengths across their adolescent and adult development. They will know…

  • What works and what doesn’t
  • How to effectively resolve setbacks, and
  • Thrive in their independent lives

1) STEP ONE – The Assessment

Our two-three-day assessment at NW Family Consulting begins with a comprehensive state-of-the-art evaluation to determine your student’s neuropsychological, academic, and vocational strengths and challenges. Given that many of the aforementioned emotional and behavioral challenges are heavily influenced by genetics and brain development, our assessments are heavily influenced by neuro-psychological science and evidence-based test batteries. Our treatment team has found that these three areas are critical for understanding how to unlock your student’s potential and launch their independence.

Schedule Timing Evaluation
A – Neuro-Cognitive Assessment Day 1
  • Intelligence
  • Executive Functioning
  • Attention/Memory
  • Processing Capacity
  • Motor Ability
  • Language Processing
B – Personality Assessment Day 1
  • Personality strengths, deficits, and maladaptive life patterns
  • Ego identity
  • Unconscious motives/patterns
  • Conditional rules and beliefs
C – Family System Assessment Day 2
  • Family system patterns, rules, values, and beliefs
  • Area of developmental arrest
  • Structural changes needed to facilitate improvement
D – Vocational Assessment Day 2
  • Adaptive/career skills inventory
  • Achievement testing (full battery)
  • Vocational readiness and match
  • Short and long term strategic vocational planning
E – Psychiatric Assessment Day 3
  • Psychiatric mental health interview with student
  • Pharmaco-genetic testing
  • Blood work
  • Medical appointments
Feedback sessions and comprehensive report Day 3
  • Round table discussions of testing outcomes with students, clinical/assessment team, parents, referring consultant, program and/or collaterals
  • Recommendations for treatment
  • Comprehensive written report

a) Neuropsychological Assessment

Upon arrival at our NW Family Consulting office, your student will undergo a battery of evidence-based, neuro-cognitive tests (see figure 1). We have found that many of our adolescents and young adult students have significant challenges with executive functioning, processing speed, auditory processing, short and long term memory, hypothesis formation and planning, task organization and execution, self-monitoring, learning from past experiences, receptive and expressive delays, social reciprocity, etc. Understanding their neurological functioning is critical if you suspect one or more of the above challenges has or is occurring.

Our neurological assessment battery not only includes robust intelligence tests, but evidence based neuropsychological and executive functioning test batteries. Not only does this level of assessment inform best practice clinical treatment, it is essential to determine what type and level of academic and occupation intervention is necessary.

b) Personality Assessment

We have found that many of our older adolescent and young adult students have experienced early challenges in life (e.g., trauma, peer rejection, victim of bullying, academic failure, parental separation and divorce, exposure to domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, accidents and injuries, etc.).

Unfortunately, these developmental experiences can play a pivotal role in establishing a dysfunctional lifestyle pattern (e.g., avoidance, co-dependency, self-sabotage, etc.) that are often repeated on their own, despite the painful consequences that tend to follow.

Our psychological assessment therefore includes an in-depth look into and analysis of your student’s personality functioning and developmental progression to date and markers of arrested development. Not only do we use leading edge, evidence-based batteries, we also examine your student’s core personality beliefs and determine the specific life rules and conditions, either conscious or subconscious, that have been influencing their choices and overall mental and physical health.

c) Family System/Community Assessment

The family system and community surrounding your student is also a critical factor that has influenced their psychological, academic, and vocational strengths and challenges. Our two-three day assessment therefore includes contact with your family members (e.g., parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.) and relevant collateral contacts (e.g., mentors, teachers, coaches, etc.) to obtain their perspective on your developmental strengths and challenges, as well as the “village” that has helped raise your son or daughter.

We have found this part of the assessment at NW Family Consulting to be quite helpful in identifying family system patterns, rules, values, beliefs, and community conditions that have influenced their core identity, and either helped or hindered their progress in life. State-of-the-art family system assessment batteries and structured interviews can be used to fully understand and illustrate the family system.

d) Vocational Assessment

Each adolescent and adult student undergoes an extensive vocational assessment, which may include the Strong Interest Inventory, Career Assessment Inventory, Myers-Briggs Personality Test, Adaptive Skill Inventory, full achievement battery, or other relevant vocational batteries. We have found this part of the evaluation to be quite helpful in identifying specific vocational career pathways that match your student’s occupational interest and abilities. This part of the evaluation can be very useful in helping in pinpointing optimal career paths that match your student’s interest, skills, abilities, and adaptive functioning.

e) Psychiatric Assessment

Finally, each student will undergo and extensive psychiatric assessment with our psychiatric mental health team, as well as pharmaco-genetic testing. Our psychiatric mental health team will also interview identified family members and friends to assist in determining the medical and life events, as well as developmental and academic pathways, that have played a role in the onset and maintenance of your student’s challenges.

Program Placement

1) STEP TWO – Program Placement

Once your student has completed the two-three day evaluation, our NW Family Consulting team will be in a unique position to place your student with the evidence based treatments, providers, and academic/vocational/therapeutic programs.

This step begins with identifying the right programs for your student, based on the evidence based assessment completed, which includes interviews with program and clinical directors, coordination of the intake and initial placement, regular consultations with the academic and/or therapeutic program, and long term oversight to ensure the continuity of care and launch of your student’s academic and vocational potential occurs following program graduation.

One of the unique and effective features of NW Family Consulting is one of our clinical team providers will accompany your student to the academic and/or therapeutic program. This “boots on the ground” approach helps ensure the best match has occurred between the student’s testing outcomes and the specific program chosen. It also provides a unique opportunity to personally interface with the academic and care providers and your student across their placement. Given that our Educational Consulting office is located in SLC and bulk of programs exist in Utah, it is likely we can visit your student personally in less than a few hours car ride. For students placed out of state, we are 10 minutes away from the SLC airport.


The NW Family Consulting team brings a wealth of knowledge to the educational consulting process.

Since 1996, Dr. Tutty has evaluated and treated children, adolescents, and young adults that have struggled with academic (e.g., learning disabilities, dyslexia, intellectual impairment), emotional (e.g., bipolar, panic, OCD, autism), behavioral (e.g., oppositional defiance, ADHD, psychosis), and neurological (e.g., traumatic brain injuries, executive functioning) challenges.

In this capacity, Dr. Tutty has collaborated with inpatient hospitals, residential treatment programs, therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs, superior courts, private and public schools, colleges, and universities, across the nation and abroad when traditional treatments and services (e.g., psychotropic medication, counseling, tutoring, acute hospital stays) have failed.

Dr. Tutty has presented nationally and is published in peer reviewed journals (e.g., JAMA) in the areas of depression and ADHD. He is the clinical director of NW Family Psychology, Seattle, and is the co-founder of NW Family Consulting, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and specializes in complex tort evaluations, custody evaluations, as well as the evaluation and placement of youth and young adults in academic and therapeutic programs across the nation. He can be reached at our Salt Lake City office – (801) 850-9559 or email his assistant, Chaise Gies, MA, Forensic Psychology, at

Independent Educational Consultants Association

licensed clinical psychologist

Landon Poppleton, PhD, JD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Oregon (1999) and Washington (PY 60041144). He has extensive training in child, adolescent, and young aduult psychology as it relates to complex cases. He is trained in the “scientist-practitioner model,” where his assessment and clinical practice is informed by social science research. Dr. Poppleton also has particular expertise in program development and evaluation, and assisting families in choosing the best program to optimize their child’s placement. In addition, he has a unique training, knowledge, and clinical experience in providing parents with evidence based skills to better manage the emotional and behavioral challenges of their child following program graduation.

ChaiseChaise Marie Gies, M.S., has worked in the psychology and military field for several years, ultimately earning a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology. Chaise’s clinical expertise provides her with a strong understanding of how individuals develop conditions, such as anxiety (e.g., PTSD, panic) and depression (e.g., bipolar illness, dysthymia), as well as the coping strategies (e.g., video games, substance abuse, procrastination, social avoidance, etc.) that often turns into rigid daily habits.

Chaise is passionate in working with struggling youth and young adults, and their families, in helping them unlock their true potential and apply it effectively over time. This often begins with the psychometric testing phase of our intake program, and Chaise plays an integral role in this step. In addition, Chaise provides ongoing weekly support to families and primary therapists from admission to graduation, as well as provides consultation to parents and their children on after-care steps to ensure the clinical gains continue across their development.

licensed clinical psychologist

Justin Stum, MS. LMFT holds a masters degree (MA) in marriage and family therapy (LMFT). He began treating adolescents and adults in a therapeutic capacity in 2001, providing guidance and evidence based counseling to help restore their relationships to lead healthy fulfilling lives. Since that time, Mr. Stum has helped hundreds of teens and parents in establishing and sustaining rich connected relationships, many of whom have struggled with academic failure, parent-child dysfunction, substance abuse, defiance, depression/anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and complex mood disorders.

Mr. Stum has worked as a therapist in multiple adolescent treatment programs, including wilderness, over the course of several years. Mr. Stum now offers individual and family counseling, as well as life coaching. Mr. Stum has also taught as an adjunct faculty university instructor on family systems, presented at several national and regional conferences, and have led seminars and workshops on improving family systems/relationships.

Mr. Stum strongly believes that change is possible…”When you know better you begin to feel better. When individuals begin feeling better they live better … I’ve watched it with so many parents and teens. My role is to help educate and create insight and shifts in thinking and believes such that change is possible in both parents and teens.”

Mr. Stum was raised in the Northwest in a large family. Much of my time these days you can catch him hiking and exploring the outdoors with his wife and children. Challenge and adventure have always been part of what he enjoys, whether it be reading new nonfiction literature, hiking a canyon, trail running, and training for ultramarathons. He is currently providing after-care counseling support to NW Family clients following their program graduation.

Scientific Advisors

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