Parent Narratives
July 17, 2009
Lessons Then and Now
November 9, 2009

Recently the mother of a RedCliff graduate commented, “This is the first thing he’s ever finished in his life!” Amazement was obvious in her words and her face.
          She continued, “I know it’s because he had such a great therapist. And the field staff…!” Her voiced trailed as she shook her head in wonder.
          This family recognized their son’s RedCliff experience was the result of a team of professionals who worked together closely throughout months of therapy.
          Doc Dan describes the communication process as continuous.
“There are designated touch points throughout the week, “ he says, “but depending on the student, the therapist and field staff can be in communication multiple times throughout the day.”
          “Field staff also have the option that if there are unexpected events or information, they can get in touch with the therapist whenever they need to.”
          Communication begins the moment the student is enrolled. The administrative team meets and determines the most effective placement for the student.  Does he or she need a group where all of the members are adopted? Does the student need a group with a 12 Step emphasis? 
          Because RedCliff’s therapeutic core is the same from group to group, the administrative team is able to move a student as clinically recommended taking advantage of group dynamics or even the physical features of wilderness, such as Outpost.
          “That flexibility definitely gives us an advantage of therapeutic interventions other programs don’t have,” he says.
          Before field staff begin their shifts they meet with the therapist and go over each case. The therapist provides written instructions that outline the specific needs for each student and any assignments for the coming week.
          “Those instructions become a therapeutic template for the week’s experience,” Doc Dan explains.
          In the field, the therapist meets with field staff prior to meeting with the student. Field staff provide an update on the week’s events and share critical observations.
          After the student therapy session, the field staff and therapist meet again to make any modifications to the treatment plan.
          Each week clinicians meet as a team to review their caseloads with their peers. They exchange ideas and provide feedback for enhancing therapy.  
          Doc Dan says on-going communication throughout the program requires close coordination. But it definitely works.  Just ask the mother of that student who finished, and finished strong.