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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 …

RedCliff Ascent offers long term positive results to teens and families

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By Stephen C. Schultz

Research Link – A Comparison Group Study (Time limited link) Highlights This comparison group study looked at the impact of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare longitudinally on youth participants as reported by their parents.Findings showed that youth participant’s one-year post participation in OBH treatments were functioning significantly better than youth who remained in their communities.Regression analysis showed the only significant predictor of change was participation in the treatment group.

Dr. Steven DeMille
~Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Model program offers long term positive results to teens and families~
In 2007, Dr. Steven DeMille found himself working as a field guide in the back country of extreme Southwestern Utah. He was in charge of the activities of daily living for a group of nine students who were enrolled at RedCliff Ascent. Steve, as well as two or three other staff members who were responsible for the student’s safety, tau…

Parenting Insight in the Era of Phones and Technology

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The tears were running down her cheeks and dropping to the floor like small raindrops. There wasn’t the sudden heavy sobbing that accompanies truly despondent news, but there was some silent shallow breathing and the recognizable blurry vision that comes from the eyes slowly welling up with tears.
I stepped around the counter in the kitchen and asked my 16 year old daughter what was wrong. She was obviously in some distress. Like most teens, she simply stated;
“Nothing”
So, I pursued it a little more;
“Come on hon…what’s the matter? Obviously, something is bothering you.”
She responded;
“Nothing…really. It’s stupid.”
She eventually opened up and confided in me. It was some pretty normal teenage drama that most parents have seen and experienced many times throughout their lives, but to the teens it is new. I asked a few questions that included the old journalist mantra of “Who?, What?, Where?, When? and Why?”


During her explanation of the situation, she continued…

Battling the storms of teenage Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB)

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The “Nor'easter” was blowing in with reports of up to a foot of snow expected! The whining hum of the compact rental car was screaming at high RPMs just to stay ahead of the storm. The roads were wet and snowflakes hit the windshield in random patterns as the wind gust hit us broadside.

Springtime in the Northeast United States can be tricky with flowers and trees in bloom only to be hit with cold winds and a snowstorm.





Todd Spaulding, LCSW, CSAT and Clinical Director at Oxbow Academy was sitting next to me in the car. We were headed to western Massachusetts to visit with the clinical staff and students at John Dewey Academy. We had just wrapped up a visit to Chamberlain International School that morning.

The purpose of our trip to the Northeast was to visit the previously mentioned schools and provide staff training and workshops to two other schools about dealing with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB) from students in a residential and academic setting. La…

Parenting from the child's point of view

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By Stephen C. Schultz
Transactional Analysis- Ego StatesUnderstanding this model will be a valuable piece of information for you as you work with colleagues, parent your children, communicate with your husband or wife and interact with others in your community. These principles will assist you in gaining insight into your own style of behavior and communication. Remember that awareness is the first key to opening the doors of maturation, refinement and growth.
In the 1960s a psychological theory became available known as Transactional Analysis. The chief proponent of this new theory was Eric Berne, M.D., an Austrian psychiatrist. Transactional Analysis developed significantly beyond Berne's early theories through the work of others and has continued in its development and practice even to today. Berne recognized that the human personality is made up of three ego states. Each ego state is an entire system of thoughts, feelings and behaviors from which we interact with one another. …

"I Have To Run!" - The Adult Version

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By Stephen C. Schultz


The air was clear with a slight coolness starting to close in for the season. The light blue Astro Van clunked over the curbing and up into the driveway.



With a subtle click and the swoosh of the car seat protective pad shooting up over her head in a single motion, Amanda was out of the seat and opening the door. The van had not even come to a complete stop and she stumbled forward a step before regaining her balance.

She leaped from the van to the driveway, landing on both feet at the same time. She had her hands on her hips, looked from side to side and declared to the world in a loud booming voice that can only be mustered by a four year old;

"I have to run!"

She then took off in a flash and started her mission of running around the outside of the house. It wasn't a single trip with a detour to the kitchen for the latest treat. No, this was a "Five Times Around The House" effort...non-stop! Oh...to have that childhood energy again!



I st…

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…