Why You Should Choose RedCliff Ascent

RedCliff Ascent is a safe program. It is a program that has helped many teens find success. The program is located in Enterprise, Utah. But we help teens from all over the world.

An important key to that success is the treatment philosophy. That unique philosophy has resulted in a unique Wilderness Therapy program.

One of the important features of the program is the support system. The support system includes, but is not limited to, a licensed therapist.

The therapist is a vital part of a larger, integrated treatment team. At RedCliff Ascent, treatment teams also include parents and guardians.

Your teen will be part of a wilderness experience that will challenge them to grow. They will grow as people as they master new skills.

During treatment, they will constantly be exploring as part of the expedition model. They will experience life in primitive conditions.

Your teen will gain insight by adapting to these challenging conditions. As they develop, their growth will be celebrated with ceremonies and rituals.

Their healthy development and intellectual curiosity will be supported by values-based phase work. These are a few benefits that you can expect from a mature program like RedCliff Ascent.

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    Your Child Will Be Safe

    The first question that most parents ask is, "Will my child be safe?" The answer is yes.

    Safety is our highest priority. RedCliff Ascent has one of the best safety records of any wilderness program. We understand the level of trust you place in us when you allow us to care for your teen.

    Adolescents who spend time at RedCliff Ascent are safer than those who remain at home. For teens, spending time at RedCliff Ascent is safer than playing football.

    A few more resources.

    Wilderness therapy programs less risky than daily life.

    10- Year Incident Monitoring Trends in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare: Lessons Learned and Future Directions. Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs

    Your Teen’s Success

    You want your teen to become a healthy and productive adult. Preparing to become a healthy, productive adult is what the adolescent phase of life is for.

    If your teen is struggling, consider two factors. First, ask yourself, why is my teen struggling? Second, ask yourself, what will be the consequences if nothing changes?

    If your teen is going to be healthy, treatment has to do two things. First, disrupt the issue or issues causing the dysfunction. Second, help your teen to reengage in healthy development.

    The importance of taking your teen away from whatever is the cause of their issues is obvious. As long as they are exposed to the source of dysfunction, they cannot start to heal.

    But, removing your teen from the source of their issues is not enough. If your teen is away from the source of their problem, that does not mean they will be healthy. Something else has to happen.

    Something has to reconnect your teen with a healthy developmental process. Then your teen can reengage in the developmental process of maturity.

    That is what treatment at RedCliff Ascent does.

    Sometimes, something happens that stops healthy development. The cause of the issue is different for different people.

    Often, the issue is related to trauma, mental health disorders, or family conflict. The issues may also stem from addiction disorders or social problems. For many teens, the source of the issue is some combination of many of the issues mentioned.

    These obstacles disrupt healthy development. Teens learn unhealthy ways of coping. Teens will need to learn healthy ways to cope before they themselves can become healthy.

    RedCliff Ascent will help your teen identify and move beyond unhealthy coping patterns. They will learn healthy ways to cope. They will be better prepared to be productive adults.

    Treatment Philosophy

    For treatment to be effective and lasting, it has to do two things. Treatment must both disrupt dysfunction and reengage in health development. The wilderness is the best environment to achieve those two goals.

    RedCliff Ascent goes beyond those two goals as well. It also provides unique therapeutic experiences for your teen.

    At RedCliff Ascent, your teen will take part in traditional talk therapy. They will also take part in Experiential Therapy.

    In Experiential Therapy, your teen will be guided through real-life activities. Activities can be as diverse as role-playing or hiking through the wilderness. But they are done with the support and supervision of a trained therapist.

    The experiential activities will let your teen feel success, disappointment, responsibility, and more. A therapist will be there to help your teen understand those feelings.

    Over time, your teen will learn to understand feelings of pain they experienced in the past. They will learn how to let go of the pain that may be preventing them from moving on.

    Your teen will also learn how to become more comfortable with feelings of success. They will learn how to respond to successes appropriately.

    For most teens, the wilderness is a different environment from what they know. The novelty of this environment provides an opportunity.

    While teens explore the wilderness, they experience success and failure. That is why Wilderness Therapy is a popular form of Experiential Therapy.

    Therapists at RedCliff Ascent understand Experiential Therapy and the wilderness. They are able to use wilderness experiences in a prescriptive way.

    That means teens are not only guided through the wilderness. They are also guided through the right experience at the right time.

    When your teen comes to RedCliff Ascent, you can expect three changes.

    First, unhealthy systems and behaviors will be disrupted.

    Second, you and your teen will come to understand the issues causing dysfunction.

    Third, your teen will have impactful experiences and create healthy connections.

    These experiences and relationships will help your teen reengage in healthy development. This gives your family the best possible opportunity to heal.

    Your Wilderness Therapy Program

    You want the best, most validated Wilderness Therapy program for your teen. That is why you must choose RedCliff Ascent.

    Many programs describe themselves as wilderness therapy programs. But different programs provide very different wilderness experiences.

    That can make it difficult to understand what wilderness therapy is.

    For RedCliff Ascent, wilderness therapy has two important elements. The first element is embracing the healing traditions of the past. The second element is employing modern theories of change. Together, these two elements create change that is lasting and authentic.

    RedCliff Ascent combines these two important elements by focusing on developing relationships.

    Your teen's future development depends on how secure they feel in relationships. If your teen does not feel secure or does not feel secure in a social environment, expect dysfunction. The dysfunction may be an addiction, isolating behaviors, or unhealthy choices.

    Healthy relationships are the foundation for growth. For you to experience healthy development, your personal attachments need to feel secure. You also need to have a sense of social acceptance.

    Your Teen's Support System

    The support team prepares to meet the needs of teen's like yours. Not only do they care for teens' present needs, but the support team also prepares for the future. This includes preparing for environmental and behavioral issues.

    RedCliff Ascent’s own research shows relationships with staff members are also predictive. When teens like yours receive understanding and help, they make progress during treatment.

    Besides their therapist and staff members, your teen will also have help from peers. Small peer groups give your teen the chance to build healing relationships. These relationships encourage a feeling of community.

    When you have a sense of community, you know you're part of something bigger than yourself. Developing this sense will help improve your teen's attitude. They will become more likely to cooperate with others and contribute to the greater good.

    The best place for your teen to learn about a feeling of community is in a small group. In a small group, they can give and receive feedback easily.

    These are exactly the type of group your teen will find in wilderness therapy.

    Here, your teen will learn to work with others. They will learn from experience. That experience will be unique enough to be memorable. Because it is their lived experience, they will be able to apply it to future relationships.

    Your Therapist

    Preparation plays an important part in keeping your teen safe. The wilderness environment offers unique challenges. These challenges become manageable if people are prepared.

    RedCliff Ascent prepares people for all circumstances. The support team will help keep your teen physically safe. A licensed and experienced therapist will support your teen's mental health.

    Each student is under the care of a specific therapist. This allows each therapist to get and give feedback to every student. Open communication helps keep teens like yours safe.

    A therapist designs a therapeutic plan for each teen. Trained field staff to help put the plan in place. As a parent, you will be involved in creating and monitoring the plan.

    Therapists conduct weekly individual and group wilderness therapy sessions for each student. The therapist will also hold a telephone therapy session with you at least once each week.

    While your teen is away, your therapist will help you understand each other. When you reunite as a family, you will have begun the process of reuniting emotionally.

    An Integrated Treatment Team

    Every teen who comes to RedCliff Ascent is supported by a team of professionals. Each employee, whether field staff or office support, plays a valuable role. RedCliff Ascent provides quality treatment because our employees work together.

    Employees meet to coordinate treatment services. They ensure that treatment is holistic and balanced.

    The treatment team uses their combined experience, expertise, and creativity. They regularly collaborate. As a result, they are able to provide the best, integrated care services.

    Family Involvement

    Your family's involvement is an important part of your teen's recovery. A functional family is associated with the teen's healthy psychological and social development.

    The more involved parents are, the more successful treatment is likely to be. Support from other family members also helps teens' progress a great deal.

    Being in the wilderness setting creates a unique opportunity for reflection and insight. This environment will help you and your teen to reconnect. You will explore what was working and what was not working in the family.

    While you are apart, you will be better able to understand past conflicts. Your therapist will help you find possible resolutions. When you come together as a family, the healing process will have begun.

    A Novel and Challenging Environment

    Familiar environments, such as home, school, or work, do not promote insight. A unique physical environment prompts teens to question their world views.

    Being in the wilderness is a vital part of helping your teen heal. They cannot continue to take their viewpoints for granted.

    Your teen will be able to see their old challenges with a fresh perspective. They will be able to realize that there are new options available to them.

    As your teen's perception evolves, they will gain new insights. They will be able to understand themselves better. They will be able to understand their relationships better as well.

    Structure and Skills Mastery

    Feeling a sense of mastery and competence is a basic human need. The wilderness provides many challenges.

    It also provides many opportunities for mastery. Your teen will have the chance to experience skill and structure mastery.

    Skill master is the development of competence in a specific area. For example, your teen could come to master cooking over a fire.

    Even more vital to development is structure mastery. Structure mastery refers to having superior control over your environment. When your teen is able to meet expectations, they will show structure mastery.

    As their competency develops, their sense of responsibility will also develop. Your teen will find their own motivation to keep learning. They will be dependent on something outside themselves to motivate them.

    Your teen will find the drive to work hard inside themselves. The fulfillment they experience from gaining competency will keep them motivated.

    The Expedition Model

    From the time your teen arrives, they will be part of an expedition. The expedition, or journey into the wilderness, is at the core of our healing structure.

    Your teen will be part of a small, nomadic group. They will travel with their group throughout their journey.

    Your teen will trek through the backcountry for the majority of their stay. As a result, your teen will even receive treatment services while they are in the wilderness. Your teen's therapist will come to them.

    While living in a small group, your teen will be giving and receiving feedback all the time. So, your teen will have an easier time seeing how their actions affect other people.

    In other types of programs, group interdependence is not as important. The social demands involved in the expedition are replaced by other activities. Usually, these activities are some kind of entertainment.

    Entertainment is important to teens, but it's not usually conducive to lasting change. Meaningful engagement with other people is a better basis for change.

    That is why the expedition model provides your teen with the best opportunity to heal. Your teen will be part of a group that relies on all its members, both for work and fun.

    Primitive Living

    Your teen will learn about group interaction and mastery through primitive living. While living in the backcountry, your teen will learn to handle the unknown.

    The primitive living environment teens find in the field is totally unfamiliar. They must confront the environment and solve real challenges.

    To succeed in this new environment, teens like yours develop mastery. They learn to master individual survival skills and master structure.

    The primitive living environment requires technical, emotional, and social skills. These skills are often underused or undeveloped in troubled teens.

    In the wilderness, everything seems more simple. Teens are better able to identify the skills they need. They learn to master those skills and care for themselves. They learn how to function in a community.

    RedCliff Ascent has helped hundreds of teens learn how to thrive. They can help your teen too.

    Challenging Activities

    Learning and growth don't happen without a challenge. Both experience and research shows this is true.

    RedCliff Ascent provides many different kinds of challenges. There are physical and technical challenges like learning primitive skills.

    There are also mental and emotional challenges. Being away from family and friends is hard. So is being in a new environment.

    While at RedCliff Ascent your teen will have the support that they need to meet these challenges. The support they receive will help your teen mature.

    Your teen will also be part of a small group. The group will give them real-time and ongoing feedback. Their choices have a direct and observable impact on other group members.

    Physical, emotional, and social challenges are a central part of treatment.

    Ceremony and Ritual

    RedCliff Ascent uses many different ceremonies. These ceremonies will mark your teen's progress through the treatment process. Ceremonies serve two purposes. They foster or invite change. They also validate growth.

    RedCliff Ascent uses four main ceremonies. We welcome newcomers with the Spoon Ceremony.

    The Naming Ceremony marks a significant change. It represents a teen leaving their old self behind and becoming a new person.

    Teens who earn a remarkable degree of trust take part in the Knife Ceremony. This allows the teen to use a knife in the field. It is both useful and a great show of trust. Not every teen takes part in the Knife Ceremony.

    Finally, teens take part in an End of Trails Ceremony when they have completed treatment.

    Each ceremony serves a unique purpose in achieving RedCliff Ascent's treatment goals.

    Values-Based Phase Work

    An important part of caring for your teen is promoting their intellectual well-being. That is why RedCliff Ascent provides an intellectually challenging environment.

    The phase work at RedCliff Ascent helps teens to stay engaged in academics. Your teen will have opportunities to learn while outside a traditional school setting.

    Some of the teens who come to RedCliff Ascent are concerned about falling behind in school. If academic progress is a concern for you or your teen, RedCliff Ascent can help.

    The phase work your teen will complete is an accredited curriculum. It is accredited through Cognia.

    Your teen will have the chance to earn up to three credits.

    ½ a credit in physical education

    ½ a credit in health

    ½ a credit reading

    ½ a credit in writing

    1 credit in electives

    Also, phase work is value-focused. This helps to provide teens with a foundation for values-based decision making. Phase work is one of the tools that will help your teen engage in age-appropriate behaviors.

    Benefits of a Mature Program

    RedCliff Ascent wilderness therapy was founded in 1993. The program was founded on three guiding principles. Those principles are healthy relationships, personal character, and professional competence.

    The management team has remained together. They provide hands-on leadership to RedCliff Ascent’s day-to-day activities. The program's leaders care about fostering healthy families. This is both a professional responsibility and personal duty.

    RedCliff Ascent has improved the lives of well over 10,000 teens and their families. Teens have come to RedCliff Ascent from across the USA and around the world.

    RedCliff Ascent has worked hard to establish credibility. The program is recognized by respected therapeutic organizations.

    The program belongs to the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). It is also a Founding Member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC). It has been accredited through The Association for Experiential Education (AEE). In addition, the program has been recognized by the Joint Commissions. This represents recognition for excellence in business and clinical practices. 

    At RedCliff Ascent, we know our program can save teens’ lives. The recognition of professional organizations helps to support that.

    RedCliff Ascent has more than 25 years of wilderness therapy experience. The experience of our model contributes to our high rate of clinical success.