Andy Anderson

By Saleem Rana

Interview by Allen Cardoza and Dr. Melody Foxx
September 3, 2012

Consultant Andy Anderson spoke to Dr. Michele, who was hosting the Answers for the Family weekly radio show on L.A. Talk Radio on behalf of the hosts of the show who were pulled away on different emergencies.  Detective Allen Cardoza was at work on an urgent human trafficking case while psychotherapist Dr. Melody Foxx was called away by a therapeutic client crisis.

Dr. Michele is a Licensed Psychologist who has her own radio show, “On the Couch, with Dr. Michele.”  Her popular show offers support for people facing either personal or relationship issues.  She uses a broad variety of therapeutic approaches, ranging from the psychodynamic approach to gestalt therapy.

The guest of the show, Andy Anderson, has been working with special-needs children, teenagers, and young adults more than 38 years.  The former Executive Director of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, he began Andy Anderson Consulting, Inc. For the past 7 1/2 years, he has spearheaded Independent Small Programs Alliance (ISPA), an organization that helps smaller programs work together in a cooperative alliance.  This structure allows them to thrive in a field dominated by large corporate interests.

What is the Independent Small Programs Alliance?

During the course of the fascinating interview, Andy described how the alliance was able to provide a variety of outstanding programs for at-risk youth.  The members of the ISPA represented Residential Treatment Programs, Wilderness Programs, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools. They also represented Latency Age Programs and Emerging Adult Programs.  Due to this extensive base, the ISPA was able to help the population that ranged from 6 to 30 years of age.

Members were able to help young people with learning disorder like Down Syndrome, Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and Developmental Disabilities, as well as with developing personality disorders like Oppositional Disorders, Depression, Reactive-Attachment Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Besides these very serious learning and personality related-disorders, ISPA members also provided invaluable help with behavioral issues like drug and alcohol abuse, anger management, lack of motivation, and poor academic achievement.

Andy also pointed out that the 17 ISPA members various Residential Treatment Centers, Transitional Programs and Therapeutic Boarding Schools also handled less known psychological issues faced by adolescents like addiction to pornography and addiction to Internet gaming.  The organization made sure that families came first and the bottom line came second.  All the programs were hand-picked and it was expected the program would cap at 20 members.

Final Thoughts

The radio show initiated a huge surge of audience participation.   Listeners were thrilled at the broad range of help offered by the ISPA and called in with numerous questions about programs available for at-risk youth.

If you would like to learn much more about the high quality care available for adolescents and young people with special needs, you can listen to the complete interview on Answers For The Family (

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