The Admissions Process


It takes a lot for you to make the initial call. Generally, most parents never expected they would be at a place to consider a wilderness therapy program for their teen. We want to help make the admissions process as easy as possible. By ensuring we are available to answer questions, and discuss your teen, we determine whether our program could be a potential step toward healing your family. My team and I work hard to make the admissions process as smooth as possible.


We do not sell our services. Instead, we want to make sure we can help. We want to make sure that we are the best possible first step toward rebuilding a healthy family. If another program better fits your teen’s needs, then we will try to help you find the other program.


Another beautiful aspect of wilderness therapy is that we can also move as quickly as a family needs. At RedCliff, we bring in students 24/7 365 days per year.

Steps in the Admissions Process

The first step is for a family to find RedCliff either online, from an alumnus, or from a referring professional. We have valuable information on our website. However, it’s extremely beneficial for a prospective parent to contact us directly so that we can learn about their teen. Every teen is different. We don’t define teens by their diagnosis. They are also not defined by how the worst choices they have made.


Next, once a family is in contact with RedCliff, we walk them through how wilderness therapy works. Specifically, we talk about how we could help them and their teen. When they are ready to move forward, a family completes the online application. The application helps us understand their teen even more. We can also start to discuss a potential therapist and group fit to ensure we are delivering the best possible options for their son or daughter.


After the application is complete, we will discuss the appropriateness of RedCliff as the place for their teen. We look at challenges, academic needs, clinical needs, medical needs, and begin to outline a treatment plan. Once we have the approval to place a teen, we send over a few documents for review and electronic signature.


Finally, we will work together to create a transition plan from the home to RedCliff. This can come in the form of a transport company, or a family bringing their son or daughter directly to RedCliff. We make recommendations based on the needs of the family.

Common Misconceptions  

One of the biggest misconceptions for parents is that they are alone in this process. We work with hundreds of families every year who have an adolescent at home who is struggling to make age-appropriate decisions. Often these teens can benefit from learning how to manage relationships, depression, anger, and anxiety. That is where RedCliff can help.


Families are never obligated to come to RedCliff. We are grateful to discuss your teen and your needs. You are not bound to our organization at any point. This is your child, and we respect the chance to discuss this process with you all.


You will NOT feel pressured. We are very passionate about our program and the work we do. However, we will not sell a family on coming to us. We know we can’t work with everyone, and sometimes another program may be a better fit. for those teens who would benefit from RedCliff, we will tell you how and why RedCliff can help.  



We want our process of working with families to helping them to feel a level of comfort as they navigate such a challenging time. We know adolescents and their challenges. Therefore, we can provide direction, discussion, and a path to success. Families can expect to hear from our admissions team throughout the process and on the day of admission.


Once their teen is in our program, we will continue to give them updates over the first three days on how they’re integrating into RedCliff. It’s essential that families know they’re part of a team now, all committed to helping them and their son or daughter.   


Parents can expect to be challenged, to feel strong, and sad, to feel growth, love, and happiness, and to feel a massive sense of success and healing. This is not an easy process, but it is worth it. We strive to ensure families feel connected to RedCliff, to their child and each other. One of the biggest changes to the process has been the family support group, that has weekly calls for parents that are both navigating this course, and those that have children in our program.


If you are interested in learning more about RedCliff Ascent, I invite you to look at our website. After doing this for 25 years, we have a wealth of resources for families. From videos, family testimonials, research on success, and parent references, we are confident that parents will get the “real look” into who we are, and how we work with adolescents. When you are ready to take the next step, please call (801) 921-8488 for more information. Someone will be ready to help.