Teen Identity Development

Your identity is how you see yourself. That includes how you see yourself as an individual and within social groups, such as friends or family.  Identity continues to evolve throughout your life. Having a positive sense of your own identity helps you to develop healthy relationships and feel a sense of direction and purpose in…

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Validation Techniques

When Your Teen Is Upset, Try This Therapeutic Technique: Validation Most parents of teens have had an experience like this: your teen is angry or upset, and you do not know what to do. Simply validating your teen may be the key. When you validate someone, you show that person that they are being seen…

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Boot Camps Don’t Work. Here’s Why.

Punishment-based programs such as boot camps and Scared Straight programs are not effective in improving troubled teens behavior. Amy Morin, LCSW, succinctly describes the problem with boot camps. “Kids in military-style boot camps learn to do what they’re told when someone is yelling in their face and threatening to make them do push-ups but when…

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Reflective Listening

Reflective Listening If you are a parent having difficulty communicating with your teen, many therapeutic techniques can be useful. One of the simplest and most effective is Reflective Listening. The key points of Reflective Listening are in the name itself. The goal is to sincerely listen and then reflect on what you have heard. At…

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Anger Management For Teens

Anger Management For Teens Emotions are a natural part of life, and people of all ages experience them. Many teens experience anger for varying reasons, and a lot of them don’t know how to handle it or properly express it. It’s important to understand how to identify, address, and treat their anger. Teen Anger: What’s…

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Managing Emotionally Intense Interactions

Managing Emotionally Intense Interactions Steven DeMille, Ph.D. LCMHC For many teens, handling the emotions of growing up and dealing with everyday life can be difficult. Emotions are confusing and often conflicts arise from a lack of understanding and awareness of these emotions. RedCliff Ascent seeks to educate students on the proper recognition and then handling…

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Boot Camps For Troubled Teens

Why Are Boot Camps For Teens Ineffective? Many parents looking for help for at-risk kids tend to look first to boot camps, so-called “brat camps,” and scared straight programs. However, from the perspective of research and experience, that is a mistake. As this article will demonstrate, a wilderness camp for troubled teens is both a…

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Ceremonies At RedCliff

RedCliff Ascent believes in ceremony and celebration. From welcomes and goodbyes to celebrations of growth, we work to honor your teens through their process of wilderness therapy. Welcome/Spoon Ceremony When new students arrive at RedCliff Ascent, they are in a vulnerable place. Many students are scared, uncertain, or angry. Within the first two days that…

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Wilderness Therapy in the Winter

Does winter impact the effectiveness of treatment in the wilderness? In the wintertime, the ability to maintain a group on expedition becomes more challenging, but it is possible. Specific research conducted by RedCliff Ascent has shown that clients make just as much clinical progress in the winter as compared to other times of the year.…

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Holidays At RedCliff

Special Ceremonies For Special Days As a wilderness program for at-risk youth, celebration and ceremony are a big part of life at RedCliff Ascent. Staff members have flexibility in how they make sure that special days are kept special. However, over the more than two decades RedCliff Ascent has been helping troubled youth, RedCliff Ascent…

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Separating To Come Together?

Separating to Come to Together It seems counterintuitive. The thing you want most in the world is to bring your family together. Then why on Earth would you send away your troubled teen to the Utah desert? How could being away from your teen for weeks at a time help anything get better? However, sometimes…

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Technology Addiction

Learning to Live in the Real World Walk into any restaurant, coffee shop, or anywhere that people gather and you will likely see someone bent over a screen. For most people technology can be a distraction. For other people, technology can be an addiction. In particular, for many troubled teens, screen addiction interferes with their…

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