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Adversity - Can We Avoid It?

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By Stephen C. Schultz

This week has brought some very poignant and sad discussions. A very dear and valued colleague of mine shared with a group of us that her son, who has had some developmental difficulties throughout his young life, was having problems with his sight. She spent time this last weekend at a local Children’s Hospital and they informed her he was going blind because his brain was beginning to atrophy, and that it was terminal. She sat, with tears in her eyes, asking for our emotional support. She said, “I just want to raise him and love him like I’ve done these few short years.”



I received a message today from a long time friend. She stated she was going through a divorce and that the relationship with her husband had deteriorated over the last 20 years. My heart sank and I was saddened not by the fact that she was separating from her husband, because I know she is strong and will be OK,but by the fact that she has to go through the pain and the process of a divorce. She…

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…

Do we all have a purpose in life?

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The sky was grey with wispy clouds having just released their moisture. The sun was just starting to peek over the distant horizon and break through the grey fluff. To see these surroundings would have you believe it was a beautiful winters morning.
The steam from my breathing wafted upward and created little ice crystals on my eyelashes. The sidewalk was covered in ice that had formed little pot holes from where people had walked before the snow could be shoveled. I was on my way to class at the local university. As I approached the corner, I heard a clicking sound accompanied by an almost imperceptible whirring. I glanced across the street and saw Trent, a 14 year old young man making his way down the street. I was able to wave and catch his eye.


I shouted out; “Hi Trent! Good to see you this morning!”
There was no response. He simply kept making his way down the street with a very determined, focused effort. Some might consider that behavior on Trent's part …

Maturity and the value of perspective

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The 1970’s were a time of demonstrations, hippies, communal living, acid trips, pot smoking and the constant questioning of the current “establishment”. Often, the establishment was the metaphorical embodiment of anything considered to be “authority” of any kind. So, whether it was the local government, police officers, church leaders, God, professors and universities, business owners or even parents, there always seemed to be scrutiny of some kind and a cause to try and make things better for the disgruntled segment of the population.

It is little wonder that the children of the 70’s, having been exposed to many of these conversations, rallies and demonstrations came up with a “tongue in cheek” theme song for elementary school. I recall kids walking down the breezeway at recess singing this song to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school. We have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule. We’re g…

The Relationship Between Shame, Teen Treatment, Dual Diagnosis and PSB

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By Stephen C. Schultz


I recently had a conversation with an allied health professional concerning a student who was already placed in a residential treatment program. The family was from the Boston area and were huge Red Sox fans. They are a close family and never planned on being in this very personal and lonely place concerning their son. This particular student has a history of being in previous treatment programs and sexually acting out at some of those programs. Each time he would be separated from the rest of the group, additional staff were brought in and the parents were asked to find another placement within 24-48 hours. This particular student has a low/average IQ and has been diagnosed with being on the spectrum. I got the call because this student, who is underage and is in another program, sexually acted out with a 20 year old.


We had a good conversation and I’m sure the family is in good hands with their consultant. My purpose in sharing this message isn’t to “armchair q…