While it may not make intuitive sense, winter is my favorite time of year in the wilderness of Southern Utah.  I have spent about 18 winters in the field with the concomitant adventure that each of those winters has presented.  I think the thing that I like most about winter is the clarity that it…

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One of the challenges of my job is my commute. Some people deal with freeway traffic or crowded subways. My challenge is Mother Nature. It’s about an hour drive from my office in Enterprise to the field where I meet with my clients. In the summer the ride is breathtaking. In the winter it can…

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Autobiographies and Parent Narratives:  A vital Part of the Treatment Process An important aspect of the therapeutic process for students at RedCliff Ascent is the compilation of an autobiography.  Students write a 40 page autobiography while in the program as part of completing the phase work.  This exercise affords students the opportunity to reflect on…

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Holidays such as Thanksgiving will be a very different experience for a student at Redcliff Ascent.  Instead of gathering at Grandma’s house for dinner with extended family, RCA students will spend the day with their group in a camp in the remote southern Utah wilderness.  The group will have a layover day on Thanksgiving, which…

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To a RedCliff wilderness therapy staff member there are few things more invigorating than waking up in the wilderness. Whether it has rained, dumped snow through the night, or is a perfect fall morning, there is something special to us about waking up in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing more than miles of…

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After four days of constant rain the temperature dropped and the rain turned to snow at our wilderness therapy camping spot.  We had been hunkered under a rain tarp erected over our fire for days, with a cold wind blowing rain into our backs.  Staff chose the windward side of the fire, taking the brunt…

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This is a story by a student who struggled with alcohol abuse. He left our program a few months ago.  I keep in contact with him and he is doing really well still. He gave me permission to reprint this – Roger Nelson, LCSW, RedCliff Ascent Therapist For I was Blind, But Now I Can See…

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“I had a lot of apprehension beforehand,” Andrea Burgess admits. “But it turned out even better than I thought.” Burgess is the Executive Director at RedCliff Ascent, a wilderness therapy program for troubled teens.  On April 7, the program hosted its first ever “class reunion” for wilderness graduates. Graduates had been pleading with the RedCliff…

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