Douglas Bodin, CEO 

Since 1993, Douglas has worked with more than two thousand children, adolescents, and young adults in a variety of educational and treatment settings.  More currently he has also developed considerable experience coaching adults and families. In addition, his expertise includes working with the legal system toward “alternatives to sentencing” for juvenile and young adult offenders. He is also an expert in the integration of “Therapeutic Outdoor Experiential Programs” in the intervention process. He is the architect of the unique “Team Approach” that Bodin brings to its cases and developed the visionary integrative approach to serving clients that is the model for the industry. He also lectures at hospitals, high schools and to a wide range of professional groups and colleagues. Douglas has been featured and cited in local, regional and national newspapers, magazines and journals and has appeared on radio and television shows regarding various topics related to working with children. He was the recipient of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs 2009 Essential Piece Award for Outstanding Service educating members of Congress and the Senate about our industry. He was also the co-recipient, along with Miriam Bodin, of the 2011 Reaching for the Stars Award of the Sky’s the Limit Foundation for a career in Outstanding Service to Young People and Their Families. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Dr. Hillary French, Consultant and Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Hillary French is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist as well as an Educational Consultant at Bodin. She has been employed with Bodin since 2004 and is passionate about creating plans in which her clients find success and thrive. With her extensive clinical expertise and knowledge, she enjoys working with students and families with varying and complex diagnoses. Though she works with all age groups, she has a special affinity for adolescents with adoption issues, trauma, complex medical/psychosomatic issues, complicated learning disorders, self-harm, and other high risk behaviors. She works with each family in an empathic, pro-active approach, to create both home plans and residential options in a confident and thorough manner.

Prior to working at Bodin, Dr. French was an outpatient therapist at a local hospital, providing individual, group and family therapy with at-risk teenagers and their families, while also providing crisis-intervention and hospitalization plans for teens who were engaging in self-harm or had harmful thoughts. Her post-doctoral fellowship specialized in Pediatric Health Psychology, providing therapeutic services for children and teens with eating disorders and obesity, cancer, diabetes and other physical illnesses. Dr. French has completed research and has lectured to medical students and residents about Adolescent Psychology. She has focused training in Cross-Cultural Psychology and is fluent in the Spanish language.

Dr. French has also recently become proficient and trained in working with Gender Non-Conforming and Transgender Students. She has participated in several trainings in this area and has become a nationally recognized expert in finding the right therapeutic program for these students. She is excited to be working with these students and spearheaded the first-ever seminar for residential treatment providers in Salt Lake City, co-hosted by The Bodin Group, to address issues related to the appropriate care for these struggling teens and how we mental health professionals can meet their needs. These and other endeavors are changing the industry for the Bodin Group clients and students all over the country.

Hillary received her M.A. and Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) from the California School of Professional Psychology and her undergraduate degree from California State University at San Jose. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the state of California (psy17488).

Trine H. Syverinsen, Cand. Polit, Consultant

Trine has more than twenty years of experience working with teenagers and their parents in a wide variety of educational settings. Prior to joining Bodin  she worked as a leader of non-profit ethics classes for youth, and  as a case worker and as a special education advisor in the public sector. She is experienced in outreach work, family consultations, social work and program development within and for public schools,  conducting formal assessments and evaluations and drafting individual educational plans and making recommendations for long-term educational success. She has worked with families from different backgrounds, including families with refugee status and bi-cultural backgrounds, children and young adults with learning difficulties, emotional challenges, behavioral diagnoses and social cognitive difficulties, including Autism Spectrum Disorders. Trine has been a consultant with Bodin since 2005. She is passionate about partnering with and helping families of children, teens and adolescents create plans for future academic, social and behavioral success. 

Trine also does individual consultations and public speaking engagements on how to develop successful parenting strategies around screen use, parent-child communication, school avoidance and anxiety, study habits for students with executive functioning challenges and social skills development for students on the Autism spectrum. She works with many of our clients who are at risk of increased social isolation, avoidance and of becoming unable to launch into independence, as well as with the students who are making unsafe or unsound peer choices, and takes a pro-active approach to ensure that families have the support to get back on track towards healthy development.

For her graduate work thesis, Trine conducted a 6-month independent fieldwork and research stay in Austin, Texas, focusing on management of perceived and real risk identities and behaviors in a high school setting. She continues to be interested in the academic research and the public discourse around perceived best ways to parent, and to the unique challenges of raising a child in Silicon Valley. Trine is originally from Norway, and spends her vacations traveling both in Norway and in the US, together with her husband and two children.

She has a Cand. Polit. degree (M.A. equivalent) in Social Anthropology from the University of Bergen, Norway and a Cand. Mag. degree (B.A. equivalent) in Psychology and Anthropology from the same institution.


Austin O'Such, Co-Founder of Mentoring Services

Austin spearheads the mentoring program for The Bodin Group. Austin has first-hand experience in the wilderness and boarding schools, allowing him to help parents understand the process which Bodin offers.. Austin has a passion for helping youth become more self-aware by building their self-esteem and teaching them different strategies regarding self-advocacy. The mentoring program that Austin has developed assists students with academics, job search, social skills, defining obtainable goals and holding students accountable. As a Business Administration Major and college athlete, Austin uses his skills, positive attitude and goal-oriented mindset to support and inspire students to reach their full potential.

Miriam Bodin, Founder

Miriam has over 30 years of experience assisting families with their educational requirements. Her recent focus has been on helping families whose children and adolescents have “special needs” along with traditional school, summer, and post high school planning. She also works with divorced parents in their efforts to develop mutually acceptable educational plans for their children. Prior to founding Bodin in 1979, Miriam was employed in public and private schools both as a teacher and as administrator. She acquired teaching credentials in the fields of English and social studies, and has taught in those curricular areas. She has studied extensively in the areas of counseling and curriculum development She has also served on numerous committees, boards, and accreditation teams including two terms on the Board of Directors of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). She is one of the founders of the credentialing body of educational consultants (AICEP) and served on its board for several years. She developed the “Guidelines for Good Practice” which has become part of the operating document both for IECA and for AICEP. Miriam holds a Master’s degree from The State University of New York at Buffalo.


Sue Shachal, Office Manager

Sue has been the office manager for the Bodin Los Altos Office since 2002. In this capacity she provides support services to the consultants as well as additional office administrative responsibilities. Prior to Bodin Sue spent over seven years in increasingly responsible positions in human resources with such companies as Veritas, Informix, US Web/CKS and 3Com.  Her prior work experience has also allowed her to gain valuable experience in office management. Sue received her BS in Office Administration from Bryant University.

Katherine Nitz, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Katherine Nitz is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY20620). Dr. Nitz completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She went on to obtain her M.A. and PsyD. (Doctor of Psychology) from the California School of Professional Psychology.  Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Nitz worked as a behavioral aid for children with Autism. In her graduate training, Dr. Nitz focused her work around educational and psychological assessments in school settings as well as at the Glen Roberts Child Study Center. She also received training in substance abuse/dependence at the Tarzana Treatment Center. Dr. Nitz enjoys her work in completing assessments for children, adolescents and young adults. She finds that the information is invaluable when it comes to creating an effective treatment plan and making recommendations that are aimed to help each individual reach their individual goals and achieve their full potential. In addition to completing assessments for Bodin, Dr. Nitz also has a private practice (Gained Insight) in Pleasanton, CA.

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Sarah Anderson, College and Post Secondary Consultant

Sarah brings over 13 years of experience in guiding teenagers and their families through the possibilities for each student's next chapter, the foundation being understanding each individual's unique context as they transition to independence. She is trained in navigating the often complex and sensitive nature of the college search process, as well as the exploration of post-secondary options, for high school and college-bound students with special needs. Her career includes 9 years on the leadership team of an admissions and financial aid office at an independent high school in San Francisco, 5 years of mentoring high school students in the college application process, and a professional certificate in college admissions counseling and career planning from UC Berkeley. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, her Master's of Liberal Arts from Stanford University, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bonn, Germany. The ultimate criterion of "fit"—places where the student will thrive academically, socially, physically, and emotionally—drives her process. Passionate about working with adolescents and young adults, her goal is to help students set themselves up for success for the rest of their lives.