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Philosophy and Treatment of RedCliff Ascent

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Guest Blog                                                                                                       Call 801-921-8488 By Steven DeMille, PhD, LCMHC  Executive Director
RedCliff Ascent

If you find yourself reading this article, there is a good chance that you are struggling with your son or daughter in some way. Please know you are not alone. Teens and young adults are facing more and more pressure to excel with the knowledge that mistakes are instantly known about through social media. Relationships with parents also suffer as adolescents and young adults struggle with attachment, trauma, anxiety and depression issues. Sometimes a structured and deliberate time away can be helpful. 

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 …

Parenting Perspective and Associated Wisdom

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By Stephen C. Schultz


The air was cool and heavy. The smell of stagnant water and the sounds of creatures that inhabit it echoed through the night in an orchestra of unfamiliar and hauntingly eerie sounds. My phone buzzed and I instinctively looked at the number. I stood and excused myself from the others around the table and stepped closer to the water’s edge, acutely aware that I may become a late night snack for an aggressive alligator whose zip code is Tampa Florida.

The number was my wife’s. I answered with a simple “Hello”. I felt there must be something wrong. It is unusual for me to get many calls from my wife when I am away on business. Especially when there is a time zone difference and there is a good chance I will be involved in meetings or business dinners. She is fiercely independent, smarter than me and capable beyond measure. So, when she does call, I am confident it’s not going to be small talk.

She mentioned that my daughter Emma was at volleyball practice and start…

A Mothers Wish

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Guest Blog By Suzy Moon

(Editor’s Note: This is an experience that was recently shared with me. I received an email from a colleague of mine. It is heartfelt and raw. It flows from the soul of a mother who is trying, like the rest of us, to make sense of this earthly existence. I share this with permission from my friend and colleague. She only hopes that by sharing this experience, it can help to lighten the burden of another who reads it.)
“I have a son who is 24 years old.  He is funny, talented and kind.  He also has autism.  He is a great kid. Earlier this week, I dropped him off at a residential home for high functioning autistic adults. During the orientation, Josh cried for 35 minutes. I don’t remember the last time I saw Josh cry.  I think it has been over 20 years. He’s not emotional like I am.  It broke my heart.


I saw some parallels to the parents who bring their kids to our programs.  I know that the time Josh spends at Scenic View can be a positive change in his life that c…

Christmas and other random thoughts

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The smell of onions is strong in the air. Christmas music is playing in the background. The voices of my daughters upstairs are discussing the appropriate application of makeup and how they will do their hair.
This is the morning time experience I am living through at this time. My wife is busy in the kitchen making some cheesy broccoli soup for after church today. Two of my daughters are in the bathroom upstairs, laughing, joking and getting ready for church. All the while, the sounds of "Winter Wonderland", "Jingle Bells", "Silent Night" and "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" are playing in the background.
I was having a conversation with my daughter Amanda this morning about an article I read the other day. It discussed how some families are boycotting giving presents at Christmas. Some parents were mentioning that their children simply had no gratitude anymore. Some families were implementing a Christmas tradition of exchanging…

Discovery Academy – A Common Thread of Academic Competence

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By Stephen C. Schultz


The school model at Discovery Academy fosters student success by creating individual academic plans for each student. DA provides the academic support and clinical structure needed so each student can master the curriculum and experience academic achievement.

Teachers provide one-on-one instruction according to the student’s individual needs. This unique educational process allows the students to develop executive functioning skills through mastery of the principles being taught and demonstrating competency through evaluation and assessment. This rigorous academic model helps the students gain the confidence they need for future educational and professional endeavors.
This model has also proven effective at all of Discovery Academy’s sister programs as well. See for yourself the comments shared by the Academic Directors at Discovery Ranch, Discovery Ranch for Girls and OxbowAcademy. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------…

Ten Common Thinking Errors

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By Stephen C. Schultz

With the Holiday Season in full swing, I have personally witnessed the kindness in people as well as some pretty disturbing thoughtless actions. Whether it is total strangers or family members over for a meal, the Holidays tend to bring out the best and the worst in those around us.
Why is that? When I see some of the shoppers on “Black Friday”, I would imagine that if I interacted with them in any other setting, they would be personable, kind citizens, neighbors and friends. What happens in that situation? Why do some people get in their car and seem to have a change in personality? Road rage is real.


Here are a few thoughts for what they are worth. Below is a list of...what are called...“Thinking Errors”. These are common, automatic thoughts we have throughout any given day. We may be thinking this way and not even be aware of it. They are specific ways we look at the world around us and usually these types of thoughts lead to conflict of some kind. This list is a…

A Dads Holiday Message to His Family

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By Stephen C. Schultz


This last couple of days has been stressful for a number of reasons. I would like Stephanie, Ryan and Amanda to share this link with your spouses.

Many of the conversations, while well meaning, have been a combination of "Caring" mixed with "Self Serving"...this includes me.


One thing I know is that we all love each other. So, lets stop pointing fingers.
This is a piece I wrote for my blog that was inspired by an interaction I had with a mother of one of the students enrolled at Oxbow Academy. She was having a hard time seeing her part in the issues surrounding her son being in treatment. This isn't just a mom thing...Dads are equally found blaming others to help themselves feel better about the situation they find themselves in.
So, as we enter the Holiday Season, lets not carry grudges. Lets recognize that it is "our" responsibility to manage our emotions in a responsible way. That doesn't mean we stuff them down or ignore t…

In the interest of time, foster family relationships!

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The flames shot up into the air over 15 feet high. Heat scorched my hands and my cheeks as embers rose through the air on endless circular waves of heat. I used the old pitch fork to sift through the ash and scoop up rogue twigs and small sticks that still needed to burn.


It was fall time in Eugene, Oregon and the weather was perfect for burning some “slash” piles from the large oak trees that had fallen last winter in an ice storm. I was at my parents home with my 24 year old son. The two of us took a weekend road trip to spend some time with my parents, help with some chores and attend a University of Oregon football game with my brother and his young son.


There was nothing very exciting or earth shattering about these three days.  It was simply a father and son spending time in the car having various conversations and sharing insight on numerous topics. Then there was time spent hauling firewood with the tractor and managing the burn piles. There was chit-chat an…