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An Open Letter to Parents Researching RedCliff Ascent

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By Stephen C. Schultz


"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave."


Having been raised in Oregon, I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage year’s steelhead fishing the coastal waters, climbing the Middle Sister in the Cascade Mountain Range, drifting the McKenzie River and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. 
I have mentioned to friends, family and colleagues on many occasions;  
“From a therapeutic standpoint, there is no better place to have a student’s issues manifested quickly than in a wilderness setting.”
The question then becomes, “Why do therapeutic issues rise to the surface in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program like RedCliff Ascent?”


Throughout the years of teenage development, most teens spend a lot of time with friends. These friends think the same, dress the same, act the same, listen to the same music and sometimes get into the same types of trouble. Some teens also develop patterns of communication and manipulation while simultaneously avoiding…

Philosophy and Treatment of RedCliff Ascent

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Guest Blog By Steven DeMille, PhD, LCMHC  Executive Director
RedCliff Ascent

RedCliff Ascent is a Wilderness Therapy Treatment Program or more accurately an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Program. Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare programming can be defined as the “prescriptive use of wilderness experiences by licensed mental health professionals to meet the therapeutic needs of clients.”


Mission Statement
With the wilderness as our catalyst, we reveal potential, inspire hope, and save lives. We believe it...We live it."




Philosophy and Treatment Model
Treatment at RedCliff Ascent is based on an Integrative Care model.  This model focuses on viewing and treating a client holistically. This includes addressing a client’s general health, mental health and addictive behaviors that are impeding appropriate and healthy adolescent development.


Goals of Treatment
RedCliff Ascent has two therapeutic goals. ·First, we disrupt a struggling teen’s current dysfunctional behavioral patterns. ·Second, we hel…

Creating a Culture of Research

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By Steven DeMille PhD, LCMHC Executive Director RedCliff Ascent
The mental health field is entering a new phase of transparency and accountability. This includes therapeutic schools and programs. There has been a forceful push across the healing professions for increased accountability for the services we provide. In some cases government agencies and insurance companies are requiring mental health professionals to justify their effectiveness in order to receive financial reimbursements. Furthermore, there has been a movement for a “consumer driven intervention” in the mental health field. Many professional and nonprofit organizations are educating consumers on how to question mental health professionals to hold them accountable for their services. Resources are also being given away for consumers to “rate” their therapist or treatment program. A program “report card” has been developed and is available online for consumers to grade treatment facilities on the quality of their servic…

The Emotional Ups and Downs of Social Media

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By Stephen C. Schultz


I am always amazed at the emotional energy some people demonstrate through social media. If you spend any time at all on some of the social media platforms, you realize very quickly that everyone is living a much happier life than your own...right? Not really! It may look that way, but you can be assured that every family, individual and member of society has there own demons to slay and burdens to bare.


Everyday is not a “Day at the Beach”...unless you’re a lifeguard or a fisherman, or a sailor, surfer, longshoreman, or work on a Caribbean island ...OK, lots of people probably spend all of their time at a beach. My point is, that life is full of mundane activities. It’s not all parties and excitement. The majority of people around the world spend most of their time involved in the activities of daily living, family and work.

The situation that started me thinking about this topic happened when I made a post to my Google Plus account. I saw a painting while in Berm…

Logging, Liberty & West Coast Compassion

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By Stephen C. Schultz


Lib·er·ty - the power or scope to act as one pleases. "individuals should enjoy the liberty to pursue their own interests and preferences" synonyms: freedom, independence, free rein, license, self-determination, free will, latitude "personal liberty" It was an unmistakable voice that reverberated throughout the house. It wasn’t angry. It wasn’t jovial. It was calm. It was calculated. It was firm. It was direct. It was followed without question by all within its sphere of influence.
“OK...all Schultz kids! Go to your rooms...and get any of the toys you don’t play with anymore! If you have clothes you don’t wear, get those as well. Then load up in the truck, we’re headed to the coast!”, said R. Conrad Schultz, my father.

Having grown up in Eugene Oregon, our family spent quite a bit of time at the coast. As a young family, we would camp at places such as Alder Dune Campground and Honeyman State Park as well as various other spots along the coast. This p…

The Value of Clinical Collaboration

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By Stephen C. Schultz

Collaboration:  to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor

I just wanted to share a quick note and let you know that RedCliff Ascent, Discovery Ranch for Girls, Discovery Ranch for Boys, Oxbow Academy and Discovery Academy had their Administration teams come together for an Inter-departmental workshop. This is simply a deliberate way to have our Clinical, Academic, Residential, Human Resources, Accounting and Admissions departments all share experiences and best practices. It allows our people to get to know each other better and develop meaningful relationships. We’ve been doing this now for a few years. What a great group of folks we have!!!



As you may be aware, each of the above listed programs has achieved the status through NATSAP as a Research Designated Program (RDP). Through our research efforts, we have been able to measure student health and wellness, staff burnout and satisfaction, academic achievement as well as the st…

Content is King and other Family Blog Lingo

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By Stephen C. Schultz

Having been in raised in Eugene Oregon, I am very familiar with the term evergreen. I grew up exploring the temperate rain forest of Western Oregon. I have spent many a night camping in the rain under Cedar, Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir trees to name a few. The sound of rhythmic drops of water falling from a hundred foot tree to the forest floor brings a sense of peace, comfort and fond memories found nowhere else.

Even though I don’t consider myself a professional blogger, over the years I have become somewhat intrigued with the blogging lingo. I regularly hear that “Content is King” and every once in awhile there is a mention in an article about “Evergreen Content”. Evidently, evergreen content is written material that is never outdated.

I was recently reading through some of my older blog posts. I was amazed at how many articles I have written where the subject matter is timeless. I may have written it three years ago or even five, but the principles don’t eve…

Parenting & The Hard-Easy Principle

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The sun was peaking over the snow capped mountain. The morning sky was awash in a brilliant amber color. Mornings often bring an unexpected gift.
For some odd reason, my 15 year old daughter Emma and her friend Ramzie enjoy having me drive them to school so they don’t have to ride the bus. I don’t really mind, it is fun hearing them talk about their days in high school. They tell me that most of all, they like “70’s on 7”, the 1970’s music channel on the satellite radio in my car. So, as the typical awkward dad, I talk about and share stories of my time as a teen listening to the likes of Led Zeplin, Boston, Van Halen, Journey etc, etc, etc!



As we were winding our way through town, I happened to hear an infomercial talking about a local radio program that will be discussing the benefits of walking to school vs riding the bus. My focus immediately shifted to the radio since I happened to have two anti-bus culprits right there with me.

The report continued to mention…