Constantly Improving our Wilderness Program – Current Research

Part 5 in a series – click here to read part four on wilderness health.


Improving our wilderness program – Current Research

As a world leader in troubled teen wilderness therapy we are committed to providing the highest quality of service. One of the ways RedCliff achieves this is through assessing our program. We began research over 20 years ago and have become a standard that other wilderness programs emulate. In fact over 90% of the research data used by other programs comes from RedCliff Ascent. We are a  founding program of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) Council and the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative (OBHRC). This organization currently sets the standards for research in wilderness therapy. In addition to our independent research efforts, RedCliff Ascent collaborates with the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP), OBHRC, and Universities. Our goal is to produce research on our treatment effectiveness.

Evidence-Based Practice

The services provided at RedCliff Ascent integrate the best available research knowledge for treating adolescents. This includes providing treatment that is developmentally appropriate, strength based and fosters resilience. Basing treatment interventions off evidence-based practices increases the likelihood of a positive treatment outcome. It also meets standards for best practices.

Research Supported Treatment

With RedCliff’s long history of conducting outcomes research, we now have a body of research literature. In addition we have a large body of testimonials to support our mission of providing the highest quality wilderness therapy treatment.
“RedCliff Ascent is proud of being the industry leader in effective research and setting the standards for outcomes research in wilderness therapy; however, Redcliff’s research efforts go far beyond just effectiveness studies. RedCliff also leads the industry in risk management and client safety research, health and nutrition research, as well as development research. RedCliff’s dedication to continued improvement and research allows us to provide families and adolescents a superior wilderness therapy experience.” – Steven DeMille

Program Evaluation, Development, and Client Satisfaction

We provide an effective and safe treatment for adolescents and families. In addition, we are determined to provide a quality and satisfying wilderness experience to adolescents and their parents. To do this each family and student completes an exit survey which evaluates each component of the program. This allows for RedCliff to address and improve specific components of the program. This in turn gives the best wilderness experience to our clients. Thousands of our families have been surveyed. This data is used by administrators, therapists, staff and others to monitor the quality of service. This data is gathered using a 7 point Likert scale.

25 years of Wilderness Treatment

BACK to part 1 of the research Series: “RedCliff Ascent’s Research mission: To provide the highest quality wilderness therapy treatment.”