Over 20 years ago, our founder, Dr. Julia Harper was in her New York office doing traditional therapy. Equipped with a team of therapists working for her, city contracts and a revolving door of kids coming in, the business was doing well.
Despite the financial gains, Julia was quickly losing her love and passion for therapy. She was sure that this was NOT what she was meant to do when she was told as a child that she was saved from almost certain death to ‘change the world.’
At the time, although Julia was doing what she was trained to do, it just didn’t feel right. So, she did what any (not) normal person would do – she closed her thriving practice. In search of a way to satisfy her heart’s mission to change the lives of children and their families, Julia moved to Florida to contemplate her next move.
While she was not sure about what she wanted to do with her therapy practice, she knew that her passion for teaching was alive and well. She rented a tiny office for a few hours, twice per week to ‘keep her feet wet,’ stay relevant, offer consultations and keep her clinical skills active.
As she was making her exit from the therapy world, on the hunt for another way to make change, Julia bumped into the word neuroplasticity. It was love at first sight! That was it. Neuro-plasticity said, the possibility of brain change existed and that was all Julia needed to hear.
She went on an obsessive search around the world. Any and everyone who uttered the words brain and change got her attention. Although she was introduced to this science in her training as a therapist, it was conceptional, not functional and it didn’t mean anything for her practice. What Julia wanted was to hack into a way to make REAL change, for REAL people.
With a comprehensive understanding of how she could apply the science of neural-plasticity to her work, she created a new model to use her therapy tools and went against the grain to make a complete shift from the typical therapy practice. She took a huge risk, one that many warned would be the end of her business. Even so she pressed on. This was the only way she was going to be able to make a real difference and more than anything, that’s what she wanted.
TheraPeeds’ new direction was marked by Dr. Harper’s creation of a new therapy model that shifted from the traditional practice-based therapy program, which focused on symptoms, to an all-new brain-based model. This was the birth of the H.O.P.E. model.
The HOPE Model, as named by the clients who learned and experienced it, goes after the brain with an intensive program, focused on rewiring the brain to gain function. After using this model successfully, Dr. Harper moved the practice to ‘strictly-intensive’ based, which no other therapy practice had done. Years of proven success has set TheraPeeds Family Center apart, as the premier center in the world for brain-change.
“Everyone thought I was crazy, that I would lose my business, and no one would pay for it. When I began, this seemed entirely improbable and impractical. This is when I knew I needed to take a family centered, brain-based approach to therapy. I knew what was required to change the brain, and it didn’t matter what I had to do to make it happen,” shares Dr. Harper.
With the introduction of Dr. Harper’s H.O.P.E. model, there’s been a paradigm shift in how therapy is done and how brains are treated. The center sets the standard for what infants, adolescents and adults can achieve when the brain is correctly stimulated in the right way, in the right order and with the right interventions. TheraPeeds sets measurable goals for each client that walks in the door, and protocolized treatment is rigorously followed, until those goals are met.
The center has grown from just Julia in her one-person practice to over 55 employees in the new, state-of the-art 30,000 square foot facility. It is the only one of its kind, dedicated solely to therapy for children and families around the world. During your visit you may see a therapist and her client chatting as they walk from a sound intervention room to TheraPeed’s proprietary Cerebellum Activation room. In the parent’s lounge, there are families from all around the globe chatting, having coffee and connecting. It’s been lovingly dubbed ‘Epcot Center.’
As the leading family therapy services company, TheraPeeds Family Center is focused on helping every client grow and progress through highly developed, researched and innovative methods. The center is internationally acclaimed, with clients traveling from across the country and the world including places like the Caribbean, Latin America, China, Dubai, Europe and South Africa. TheraPeeds attracts these clients based solely on word-of-mouth from other families because they have seen how their own lives have changed for the better as a result of the work done at TheraPeeds. As one parent puts it, “I want the world to know, this place changes people’s lives. Not just children, or people with special needs, but their lives.”