HELPING YOUTH FROM TRAUMA TO COMPASSION
Frank Fecser has not only made a career of bringing courage to the discouraged, he’s made it a way of life. He is a firm believer that the message of troubled and troubling children and youth often is not in their behaviors, but in their underlying thoughts and feelings – and that it is the responsibility of adults to learn to listen deeply to their personal stories.
He began this lesson early in his studies, finding inspiration in the education and health services field. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in counseling from Cleveland State University, and went on to complete his doctorate at Kent State University. After a brief stint as a teacher, he joined Positive Education Program (PEP), where he has spent the past 35 years, and now serves as chief executive officer. PEP’s mission is to offer integrated services to troubled and troubling children and their families. The organization employs more than 500 professionals and has an operating budget of over $40 million. Through a variety of treatment centers and special education programs, PEP touches the lives of 2,500 children and their families annually.
In conjunction with his work at PEP, Dr. Fecser co-founded the Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) Institute. LSCI is a model of working with troubled children and youth that uses crises to bring insight and change.
He co-authored the textbook, Life Space Crisis Intervention: Talking with Students in Conflict, which has been translated into several languages. More than 50,000 professionals have been certified in LSCI in this nation and abroad. The development and continued practical application of LSCI remains his proudest accomplishment.
However, it is one of many on a long list of professional accolades. He co-authored the sixth edition of the classic text, Conflict in the Classroom, and is the author of numerous articles and monographs. He is listed as a national expert with the Washington, D.C., Business Group on Health and the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice. He is on the editorial board of the journal Reclaiming Children and Youth, and is a founding member and past president of the American Re-Education Association.
Dr. Fecser is a recipient of the 2003 Hearts of Hope award. That same year, he received the Spirit of Crazy Horse Award, given by Reclaiming Youth International to those who bring courage to the discouraged through their outstanding contributions to children and youth. In 2007, he was awarded the Woodruff Prize for superior work in mental health, and in 2008 was recognized by Pressley Ridge as mental health professional of the year.
His partner in his life’s work is wife Mary Ellen, whom he met at PEP 35 years ago. They have three adult children and one grandson.