Strengthen Your Family With Wilderness Therapy – Our Clinical Services

Clinical Services

The foundation of our success as a program and the success of our graduates is attributed to the intense clinical model that engages multiple therapeutic options to achieve long-term healing and change. Many parents who reach out to us are in desperate need of respite. They have exhausted all their community support to help their child, but the situation continues to escalate. Many students and families that arrive at RedCliff feel like they are in a state of chaos. They have made choices and have engaged in behaviors that affect the entire family. Poor attendance and/or grades at school, engaging in risky behaviors, struggling emotionally, experimenting with drugs, and conflict at home is commonplace. These young people, for whatever reason, have fallen off track and are no longer developing the way we would expect at this point in their lives. Students arrive from all over the country and even outside of it. Our reputation is far reaching and our student body is beautifully diverse.

If any of the above sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. We believe in the good that exists in all people, especially the struggling teen. Unlike a boot camp or high adventure program that focuses on one aspect of initiating change, our clinical program leaves no stone unturned. We are thorough because we know that you can’t solve an equation without identifying all of its variables. We get down to the detail and root cause of the why. All teens have a paradigm by which they are making the choices they are today. With the expertise of highly trained and educated clinicians, we will take your son or daughter on the journey of a lifetime. It will be difficult. They may get frustrated, angry, or become disrespectful. We welcome this. Before their journey is done, you will have a deeper understanding of your child. Most importantly, by engaging in this carefully orchestrated program, your teen will come to know themselves. They will recognize and take responsibility for their actions; they will develop strong self-esteem and a work ethic. Our students develop the skills and experience needed to continue carrying them forward in time without looking back and being measured by their past.
“With the Wilderness as our catalyst, we reveal potential, inspire hope and save lives. We believe it and live it.”
There is no greater calling in the world. With over 20 years in the industry and the research to support us, we believe in success.

How we achieve our success:

Our success is achieved by utilizing an Integrated Care Model. This means we attend to the entire person. When a teenager is struggling there are always multiple factors that contribute to the adolescent’s struggles. This can include emotional and mental issues, relationship struggles, addictive behaviors, developmental problems and general health issues. Treatment at RedCliff understands the dynamic nature of an adolescent’s struggles and provides a treatment that integrates the various risks factors associated with those challenges.

Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness Therapy is the clinical use of the outdoor environment to achieve therapeutic goals and personal growth. Nature and the outdoors have been used for centuries as a stage for change and personal growth. It continues to be considered an optimal setting to engage with struggling teenagers in overcoming their emotional and behavioral struggles. The wilderness treatment provided at RedCliff Ascent has been shown in numerous studies to significantly reduce the distress and dysfunction teenagers experience and is a powerful treatment option when other attempts to help have been unsuccessful.

Narrative Family Therapy

RedCliff Ascent is the only wilderness therapy program that provides a family therapy approach specifically designed for the wilderness that is supported by research. Part of helping a teenager overcome their challenges is engaging with the family. RedCliff Ascent uses a Narrative Family Therapy approach that allows for the family to be part of the weekly therapy sessions even though they may be miles away from their child. At RedCliff, family therapy does not just happen in the middle or end of a teenager’s treatment when the parents come to visit, it is an ongoing part of treatment that occurs weekly with the family and child engaging in a systematic family therapy process.
In addition to the family therapy, each parent also works with parent coaches on issues relating to their child and each other. The parent coaches are in addition to the Narrative Family Therapy and weekly phone calls with the treating clinician. The parent coaches work exclusively with the parents to provide them the unique support parents need while participating in a wilderness therapy program and having their child away from home.


According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) integrated care “produces the best outcomes and proves the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple healthcare needs.”

A majority of the teenagers that receive treatment at RedCliff Ascent also struggle with co-occurring addictive behavior. This includes addiction to substances or process additions such as gaming and technology. As part of the Integrated Care approach, treatment at RedCliff includes treatment for the addictive behaviors that contribute to an adolescent’s distress.
Part of treating addiction is a focus on connection. Wilderness therapy provides an optimal environment to disrupt the isolation and withdrawal that addiction causes. Teenagers are removed from the addictive substances, devices, and environments and placed in a highly interactive environment where they learn to rely on people. This provides a challenging and complex social environment that fosters healthy connection and engagement with others.

Because of the dynamic and integrated treatment approach used at RedCliff, we have been able to be a significant positive impact in the lives of thousands of teenagers and their families.
It’s no wonder that we love what we do and that we are so successful. When you find a tried and true formula like this, it’s hard not to want to share it with the world. What a miracle our young people are. An investment in them today means endless potential unlocked for their future in addition to a happy and flourishing life.

If you have any questions as to how to make RedCliff admission a reality for your teen, please contact us: 801-921-8488