A Letter From Our Founder

Welcome to the Greenbrier Academy for Girls (GBA)

If you’re a parent exploring our website to get a feeling about GBA as a possible destination for your daughter, I want to personally welcome you.

Your daughter is one of your greatest loves, and you want the very best for her present and future well being. Choosing the right therapeutic and academic environment is a big decision and every parent has particular criteria a school must satisfy. As the father of five daughters, I know that physical and emotional safety, excellent therapeutics for her and your family, a proven track record of college prep academics, a loving and relational environment, astute and professional management of her current self-defeating patterns, development of her out of classroom interests and skills, and a supportive peer environment where she can virtuously be held accountable and hold others accountable for relational interactions are all important components of a healthy atmosphere where she can flourish.

I am sure you are looking for even more benefits for her, but these are paramount and most important. This website is designed to focus on these criteria and our track record in being among the elite in each category.

l-jay-mitchellWe do not want our “uniqueness” to be insignificantly recognized. In particular, our therapeutic and academic differences, both theoretically and pragmatically are remarkably distinctive. With my renowned clinical psychologist colleague, Dr. Brent Slife, we have created a powerful and effective therapeutic/academic model called Applied Relationality. This model has a rich intellectual history and dynamic combination of integrated therapeutic interventions. Your daughter would benefit from a therapeutic culture in which relationships are more than tools. To appreciate the distinctive benefits, I invite you to read our website in detail.

In my welcome allow me to share a personal and historical perspective. Greenbrier Academy culminates my 30 plus years of service to adolescents and their families with over 8,000 graduates from programs I founded and directed. My life has been devoted to refining therapeutic theories into practical and effective applications. I empathically relate to many of our students and families who have overcome painful losses. In my early 30’s I encountered a medical condition that debilitated me for over three years and left me penniless with a family of five. Later I lost my wife in an auto accident that almost killed me as well. It was much for our family to overcome, and these difficult life events bring an authenticity to the work I do at Greenbrier. It is true that those who have walked through the fire themselves are often the best candidates to bring water to others.

And so, Greenbrier Academy was birthed with the vision and purpose to help our students, and their families, find joy, healing, balance, and their own unique purpose in life. At graduation every year, I am humbled, and reminded once again of the great success we enjoy here at Greenbrier.

More About Greenbrier Academy: 

GBA is not an affiliate or satellite of a holding company with multiple programs. We are family owned and not inhibited by intra-corporate competition for financial resources or cookie-cutter, programmatic mandates. A therapeutic school or program cannot be duplicated, because human services are uniquely personal and intimate. The values, objectives and professional perspectives of owners trickle into program implementation. At GBA you have direct communication channels to decision makers who know you and your daughter. Core members of our staff have been together from 10 to 25 years. We enjoy a joint vision and passion for what we do.

Below are facts related to your criteria. Hopefully, this will encourage you to read more of the website. We would love to serve you and your daughter after carefully determining if we are a good match for her needs:

    • – The large majority of our students come to us through unaffiliated, independent educational consultants in the U.S. hired by families to find the best placement possible. Retain one to get unbiased help if you can.
    • – Professionally conducted quantitative studies validate the effectiveness of our therapeutic model at GBA.
    • – 96% of GBA graduates have been accepted to college.
    • – Our teachers and therapists are licensed and accredited
    • – GBA is licensed, accredited and in good standing with the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
    • – GBA has twice been a positive example of “Applied Relationality” in presentations at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association with membership over 134,000.
    • – GBA has an equine program for beginners and accomplished riders with competitions at horse shows including those at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA.
    • – GBA has an indoor equestrian center and an indoor gym for year around participation.
    • – GBA’s peer culture called “The Aspirations” incorporates a program of “quality relationships” with accountability.
    • – Students’ home visits are scheduled and planned to be therapeutic.
    • – GBA has grown and flourished during the recession.
    • – GBA’s drumming program has received state and national attention with performances in a variety of venues.

      Please enjoy and be enriched as you review the rest of our website. I hope to meet you one day soon.

      L Jay Mitchell