With the wilderness as our catalyst, RedCliff Recovery inspires the greatest sense of life for women to recover. We believe in hope. We live in joy. We are free. We are women for women.
RedCliff Recovery is a part of RedCliff Ascent, a 25-year-old, renowned wilderness therapy program for adolescents that has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, A&E, CNN, and British TV.
Who do we serve?
We specialize in working with young adult women ages 18 to 30, whose substance abuse is causing problems in their lives. These women may also have other mental health problems including trauma, depression, anxiety, bipolar, personality disorders, history of suicidal ideation, family and other relationship problems, etc. It is important that our clients be open to spirituality and exploring that area of their lives.
How long are our clients with us?
The women in our program are typically at RedCliff Recovery for 45 to 60 days.
What do our clients do during their time at RedCliff Recovery?
Each day, our clients are becoming in-tune with their basic needs. They learn to meet these needs through foundational life skills by using primitive survival skills, cooking their own food, and building their sleep shelters. Our women also participate in a variety of elements including desert backpacking, rock climbing, fishing, and bike packing. Our course area is a 1000 square-mile field in which our activities occur.
While the clients learn technical skills and participate in different activities, they are also addressing their drug and/or alcohol addiction and any other mental health issues. We use a holistic approach, treating the whole person. We provide trauma-informed care and utilize evidence-based clinical practices, such as cognitive therapies. We teach our clients about the disease model of addiction and provide a foundation for recovery through the 12-Steps. Our clients participate in 12-Step meetings in the field, and we also bring outside speakers and 12-Step program members to the field for meetings. We also believe that the family plays a critical part in their family member’s recovery and so they are also involved in the treatment process.
Why do we use the wilderness for treatment?
We use the wilderness as a way to disrupt our clients’ substance use and we couple that with the 12 steps to arrest substance use and destructive behavioral patterns. The wilderness allows for the women to disconnect from their substance abuse and destructive behaviors, and learn a new set of skills – recovery skills, life skills, coping skills – to find hope, joy, and freedom and ultimately so they can reintegrate into their lives. In this environment, our clients are able to focus on recovery from their addictions and avoid replacing their addictions with new ones. Clients can enter the wilderness to detoxify their minds and bodies through therapy, the 12 steps, reflection, spirituality, a clean diet, and regular exercise.
Where do clients go after they complete RedCliff Recovery?
We recommend that this wilderness experience be the first on a client’s continuum of care unless she first needs to detox under medical care at either a detox center or hospital. Research has informed us that clients are much more successful after a wilderness experience when they attend and participate in a step-down program, such as sober living.
What do we mean by “we are women for women”?
Our program was developed, launched, and is run by a group of powerful and intelligent women – some of whom have had similar experiences to our clients and their families – that understand women’s specific needs.
Meet AJ Frithiof, LCSW – Redcliff Recovery Program Director
AJ Frithiof began working as a wilderness field instructor in 2004, which sparked a passion for working with adolescents and young adults in the wilderness, which ultimately led her to graduate school. She has a breadth of experience in various roles such as course director, program developer, staff trainer, therapist, recovery specialist, therapist supervisor, and now program director. Her experience… READ MORE