Sandhill Center

Sandhill Center is a residential treatment center that helps children, ages 5 to 13 on admission, with a variety of diagnoses. The common denominator amongst all the children at Sandhill is significant emotional dysregulation impacting their ability to function at home, in school, and in their communities.

Our holistic approach addresses a child’s needs on all levels by integrating our treatment philosophy into every aspect of a child’s day and creating a therapeutic web. This is done in a relationally-based, clinical approach that is grounded in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) developed by Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D. and The ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas.

Students may be presenting issues such as: exhibiting poor social skills, social withdrawal, difficulties in peer relationships, impaired judgment, impulsivity, poor anger management, mild to moderate aggression, lying, and stealing to mention just some of the problem behaviors.

Our individualized approach uses a variety of interventions designed to target the disorganized areas of the brain and develop the capacities needed to improve functioning. Understanding the holistic approach, using exercise, diet, animal assisted therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, while incorporating somatosensory interventions keeps us at the forefront of treatment.


"At Sandhill Center we strive to combine clinical excellence and a home-like nurturing environment in order to create a space “where healing begins” for children and families."


Phone: (505) 866-9271



City: Los Lunas, New Mexico

Closest Airport:  Albuquerque International Sunport


Average Duration:  5 -13 months.

Who we Help: Children Between Ages 5-13

Examples of Student Profile:

Many of the children that come to Sandhill have been diagnosed with the following:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder 
  • Mood Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Click Here to see Sandhill Center

School for Children Between Ages 5-13
  • Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
    Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
    Executive Director/ Founder - Sandhill Center
  • Elizabeth McGhee, L.C.S.W
    Elizabeth McGhee, L.C.S.W
    Director of Admissions - Sandhill Center
Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
Executive Director/ Founder - Sandhill Center

Linda Zimmerman  is the Executive Director and founder of Sandhill Center.  With over 30 years of experience in working with children and families, Ms. Zimmerman has been responsible for creating several therapeutic programs to address attachment issues and childhood trauma. Linda is regarded by some as a pioneer within the state of New Mexico not only for her current work in the clinical application of key principles of neurodevelopment, but also in the early 1990’s for introducing a treatment model focused on problematic childhood attachments and the formation of basic trust.

In 1996, Linda was named the City of Albuquerque’s “Woman on the Move” for her cutting edge work in the field of children’s mental health treatment. When Linda isn’t working with the Sandhill staff and residents, she can often be found co-mingling with the lovely Sandhill equines, or taking a long nature walk with her “muttley crew” of five sweet rescue dogs, ranging from a Chihuahua to a Bullmastiff.

Elizabeth McGhee, L.C.S.W
Director of Admissions - Sandhill Center

Elizabeth has worked extensively in the field of residential treatment for over 30 years in a variety of capacities. Currently she is the Director of Admissions and Business Development for Sandhill Center in New Mexico. Her first experience with residential treatment was working directly with adjudicated girls in 1985. After receiving her MSW from Boston University she eventually became a therapist in a program. Additionally she worked with an Educational Consulting firm in Marin County California, and has spent a great deal of time visiting over 100 therapeutic programs nationwide. Elizabeth has had the benefit of knowing and subsequently working with Sandhill from its inception in 2004. She is honored to have watched Sandhill Center work with Dr. Bruce Perry and the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, and develop into the clinically sophisticated and nurturing program it is today.

Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family, and hanging with her two pups, Andy and Gretel. She loves staying active, yoga, and watching as many baseball games as possible (Go Rockies!).

The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.

― Bruce D. Perry