This new book offers hopeful and fresh ways of approaching the situations so many families are facing. You are not alone. Countless parents, teens and young adults are stuck, deep in struggle. Ours is a challenging world in which to grow up AND to raise kids. Within these letters lie fresh perspectives aimed at helping parents, adolescents and young adults better understand the challenges, needs and intentions driving everyone’s behavior. The first person letters feel vulnerable and personal, yet they are universal in many ways. The accompanying images are meant to help the reader explore the unique layers of their individual situation and move forward in productive ways, cultivating greater resilience and deeper connection within the entire family system.
Author Vashti Summervill (Educator, PCI Certified Parent Coach ® and Therapeutic Consultant) and illustrator Wendy Blickenstaff (Illustrator, Educator, Activity Therapist, Behavior Intervention Specialist, Graduate Student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling) have collaborated to create this fictional amalgamation of personal, professional, and cultural experiences and observations—situations that are relatable and real for countless parents and children. If you or someone you know is struggling, you are encouraged to reach out to mental health professionals for support.
This is a boxed set of ten – 5″ x 7″ companion cards with themes and custom art work from the book Letters From the Wilderness of Modern Parenting. They are a great communication resource for helping start conversations when you feel stuck, misunderstood, your child feels misunderstood or unheard, or you need to make a repair. These are geared towards adolescents and young adults.
Vashti Summervill – Educator, Certified Parent Coach, Therapeutic Consultant, Musician
Vashti considers it her life’s work to build community and connection. She is a mom, a passionate educator, and a musician. She also has firsthand experience parenting teens and young adults through very difficult times. She has embarked on a journey to combine her education and her lived experience to help support other parents, especially those struggling in their relationship with “tweens,” teens, and young adults.
She has a full parent coaching and therapeutic consulting practice. She regularly tours and evaluates therapeutic programs for adolescents and young adults so she can assist parents in finding the right resources for their children.
Music continues to play a big role in her life. She has an extensive background in performance as well as teaching/directing. She continues to write music and perform regularly. She released her debut album, Put My Love In a Picture, in September of 2022.
Vashti is a voracious life-long learner. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado and a Master’s of Music/Vocal Performance from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. In addition to receiving her Parent Coaching Certification from the Parent Coaching Institute, she is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), as a QPR Instructor (Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training), and held an Elementary Teaching certification with a K-12 Music Endorsement. Vashti is a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher (MBSR) through Brown University.
Wendy Blickenstaff – Artist, Educator, Activity Therapist, Behavior Intervention Specialist, Graduate Student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Wendy Blickenstaff is an award-winning community building artist. Examples of her installation work can be found archived online at Idaho Matters on Boise State public radio and on the Creators, Makers and Doers blog of the City of Boise Department of Arts and History. She is a recipient of a COVID Cultural Commissioning Fund grant, part of the City of Boise’s Department of Arts and History’s Covid Community Collection, and a Boise Open Studios Collective Organization member.
Wendy owns Blick-Studios, an art studio specializing in illustration and image design through linoleum block printing. Her images are used in mental health curricula, private art practice, and community-building projects. Through years of collaboration with local community outreach programs, Wendy has created a critical mass of images to tell our society’s mental health story. Her current body of work contains over a hundred narrative images shared in various venues, from churches and homeless shelters to social justice programs and hospitals.
Wendy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Boise State University and a Bachelor’s in Studio Art from California State University, Fullerton. She is seeking a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. She plans to expand her community building art practice to include mental health education and counseling.
Wendy is a Boise-based artist working in her community for the common good. Her curiosity and love of novelty and diversity have inspired her to travel. You can find her most Saturdays hiking the Boise foothills or in her art studio. Her studio is often shared with other artists and friends. Wendy says, “People are our greatest resource for creating healthy communities.”