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Showing posts from 2015

Are you into Extreme Sports? We’re into Extreme Life!

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By Stephen C. Schultz



As a field guide with RedCliff Ascent, you’ll get paid for being outside with a whole bunch of people who like the outdoors as much as you do. You’ll make your living working with struggling teens that are privately placed with us by their parents from across the globe. You will have the opportunity to work closely with therapist and other allied health professionals.




RedCliff is un-like anything you’ve ever experienced. It’s work without walls. This job makes you better, stronger and surer of who you are and what you want in life. It’s an experience you will never forget!
You can have it here at RedCliff Ascent. 


For well over 20 years, the staff at RedCliff have helped thousands of teenagers and their families find a new beginning.
RedCliff is an extraordinary wilderness treatment program with research based outcome studies to back up its success. The effectiveness of the program and the significant changes made by students and families have a direct correlation to …

Navigating the rough waters of ADHD

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By Stephen C. Schultz



Now that we are in the heart of the Holiday Season, it is easy to ascribe some childhood behaviors to excitement and anticipation of gifts. There are high fat foods and sugary treats that affect energy levels and metabolism. Everywhere you turn there are high stimulus lights, sounds and decorations.

While that may be the cause of some hyper behaviors, those who have children who suffer with ADHD know all too well there is much more to this physical ailment than meets the eye. Parents often describe embarrassing moments while in public and constant calls from schools. There are frustrating interactions, arguing and exhaustive research flanked by trips to the doctor and medication.




If you are new to the overwhelming world of having a child diagnosed with ADHD, I hope you find this information helpful and encouraging. If you are an old pro at this and a seasoned parent with lots of experience, I hope you will feel encouraged in your commitment and efforts. Feel free…

Thanksgiving...Having an Attitude of Gratitude

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By Stephen C. Schultz
The wall approached quicker than expected! The light tapping on the brakes did little to slow the momentum! Fortunately there was a slight increase in slope and the car slid to a stop. Pushing the ignition button and simultaneously pulling on the door handle, with a bump of my left shoulder I slid from the front seat and balanced myself on the icy parking lot.


My two colleagues stepped out of the car and didn’t seem to think twice or even notice that we literally slid into our parking spot. The three of us gingerly stepped up onto the curb and moved along the walkway to the door. We awkwardly shuffled each step along the icy surface. Our purpose in this adventure was a trip to RedCliffAscent to have a discussion with the clinical team about treatment plans and documentation. This particular stop along the way was to get ourselves some breakfast at a rural McDonalds just off the interstate since we were half way through a four hour drive. We stepped through the door a…

Concerned about your teen? Check The Wilderness Advisor!

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By Stephen C. Schultz



A Note to RedCliff Ascent:

"Ryan, my friend Laxxxx Rixxxx, spoke with you regarding her daughter, Saxxx. I just wanted to let you know I recommended RedCliff because of the great experience my daughter, Raxxxx and I had. 

She's a mom now and is starting Nursing School next week! I will always believe the lessons she learned in the field - and from Winter Rose [Therapist] - saved her life. The pictures still make me cry ... happy tears now.

Thank you again for all the great work you do! I'm a true believer!


Trxxx Olxxx" [Parent]





When parents have a struggle with their teen, often they hope that seeing an outpatient therapist will be a solution. Often it is a good experience and families begin to heal.

However, equally as often, the teen simply sees the therapist as an extension of the parents, someone hired by the parents to "Fix" the teen. There is generally some resistance and the teen never really engages in the therapy process. The thera…

Top 5 Signs of Adolescent Technology Addiction

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By Stephen C. Schultz

I recently received some interesting information about Gaming and Technology use from a good friend of mine, Chris Mulligan, LCSW. Chris is the founder of the Cyber Addiction Recovery Center located in Culver City, CA. He sent me a list of the Top 5 signs of technology addiction in teens.
Chris and I were able to spend a couple of nights in the back-country with a team of students enrolled at RedCliff Ascent. These students struggle with many issues and concerns but the common thread always seems to be technology. You can read about one of the students we met in this blog post I wrote soon after returning from the field.


Is there a way technology can be used in a healthy way? There are lots of opportunities for teens to excel and find career opportunities when technology is appropriately used and managed. It’s a fine line and one that parents must constantly be checking in with their teen about.
Here are the Top 5 Signs of Adolescent Technology Addiction
Difficul…

Pay It Forward With Kindness

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By Stephen C. Schultz

I walked in the door at home after a long day of work. I made my way to the kitchen when my cell phone rang. It was my wife calling from the doctors office. She mentioned that my 14 year old daughter had an infection and needed some antibiotics. She told me that the doctors office had just now called in the prescription to a Walgreen's store down the street. I wasn’t excited to leave the house again, but turned around, grabbed my keys, slipped my shoes back on and headed out the door.

I pulled in the parking lot and got out of my car. My short walk across the parking lot was met with a welcome blast of cool air as I stepped through the automatic doors. Even though the kids are back in school, it is still summer as far as the weather goes. So, once inside, I made my way to the back corner of the store where the pharmacy is...halfheartedly noticing the non-descript music playing overhead.



As I rounded the corner of the isle, I was met with a line of about 10 peopl…

The value of relationships in transition

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The air was crisp with the feel of late summer. A dull glow was slowly appearing over the muted green horizon that was laced with the tops of large Douglas Fir trees. I stood next to the trunk of one of those very trees, gazing out upon the calm morning water that would bring with it a day of fishing. With my son, my father, my brother in-law and my nephew, we set out on the water. In fact, it was a day that began a week of travel that included three different lakes, fishing and family visits.


The lakes were Odell Lake in Central Oregon, Collard Lake on the Oregon Coast and Bear Lake that splits the Utah and Idaho border. Activities included the before mentioned fishing but also much needed time with grandparents, uncles, aunts cousins and extended family.


There was blood from the prick of a fish hook. There was sweat from time spent cleaning and sweeping the roof and rain gutters of grandparents too frail to keep up with the never-ending chores of home ownersh…

Does therapy in the wilderness change lives?

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Posted by Stephen C. Schultz Submitted by Jason

This is a message sent to RedCliff Ascent by a former student. I’ll simply let the pictures and the message speak for themselves.



“I just wanted to write to you and let you know that looking back at the experience that I had gone through there, although challenging at times, in looking back at the whole experience I believe that it was beneficial to me.  To this day I enjoy the knowledge of being able to start a fire with the bow drill, and knowing how to survive in a challenging environment.  The most memorable staff member was a lady by the name of White Winds, an older lady with the longest and whitest hair I have ever seen.  I have a box of all of the clothes in my basement and every time that I open the box I am engulfed with the smell of 99 days of fire and wilderness. 


While reading the first page of the website I noticed a quote from a former student, who said,
 ‘I don't think that I can explain it to anyone.’ 
I can't agr…

Vertical Thinking - A New Therapeutic Insight For Teens

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By Stephen C. Schultz

"Vertical Thinking is a type of approach to problems that usually involves one being selective, analytical, and sequential...vertical thinking consists of using more of a conscious approach via rational assessment in order to take in information or make decisions."
For those who may not be aware, I simply want to make a brief introduction to Oxbow Academy. The administration team has been working with teens who demonstrate Problematic Sexual Behaviors since 2001. The very specialized and clinically sophisticated services of Oxbow Academy were launched in 2007. Oxbow offers treatment for sex specific issues as well as a blending of best practices and philosophy form RedCliff Ascent, Discovery Academy & Discovery Ranch.


Oxbow Academy is on the cutting edge of research and treatment specifically geared towards adolescents. Uniquely designed to work with students struggling with Problematic Sexual Behavior, Oxbow recognized years ago these problematic t…

The Adventures of Little Kids & Big Trees

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By Stephen C. Schultz

The clouds were low and gray. A few drops tapped the bill of my hat as I pushed the mower along the edge of the sidewalk. The smell of damp cut grass filled the air and a slight breeze blowing from the west let me know a rain shower was on its way.
It was the middle of the morning and I felt a bit of pressure to get the lawn mowed before the storm rolled in. So, I was focused and moving at a little quicker pace than normal. I looked up and saw three of the neighbor kids climbing in one of my trees. I kept the mower going and moved closer to the tree. On my way towards them, they noticed that I saw them. They looked away and then glanced back at me with that childhood curiosity that screams;

“Is he going to tell us to get down? Are we going to get in trouble? Will he tell our parents?”
In the fifty feet it took me to get to the tree, I also had a flood of thoughts. I recalled many instances in my childhood climbing trees and having make-believe adventures around …

5 Reasons young adults struggle to stay in treatment

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By Stephen C. Schultz

Many young adults in today’s society, those who are 18 to 26 years old, find themselves contemplating mental health treatment of some kind. This self- realization comes to them because they are struggling in college to maintain good grades while partying throughout the week. There are some who simply flunk out of school and go back to live with mom and dad. Still others graduate high school, live with their parents and move from job to job never really making that transition into adulthood.


When partying and gaming take over their lives, these young adults start getting pressure from family to turn their life around. Their behaviors start to affect family relationships.  They may also suffer from bouts with depression, anxiety or other emotional issues that are symptomatic of their situation. It turns into the typical “Failure to Launch” syndrome.
When things get bad enough or when there is enough pressure from family to take care of the problem, these young adu…

Discovery Academy - College Prep For Struggling Teens

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By Stephen C. Schultz

Join us as we travel through an education paradigm shift! We at Discovery Academy have one of the most innovative education systems anywhere. Spend a couple of minutes with us and see what we do at Discovery Academy.


When you think of academic delivery, what do you think of? We often think of classrooms, teachers, lectures, chalkboards, projectors, tests, semesters, class periods and ringing bells. There are hall monitors, food fights, tardy slips and cramped lockers. 
In this traditional setting, time is the constant; 5 days a week, 16 weeks a semester, 2 semesters a year, summer vacation. Again, Time is the constant…Learning is the variable.
What if we flipped this concept on its head…reversing the equation? What happens when Time is the variable and Learning is the constant?
Students enter our system at different levels of competence and mastery in each subject. In our competency based learning system, students work with certified teachers in each subject. Th…

Is work the answer for teenage entitlement?

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By Stephen C. Schultz

Life experience is only as valuable as our interpretation of it!
Do teens know how to work anymore? Do they know how to meet the needs of an employer? Are they always looking for the next exciting activity, trip, technology or game? What are they learning from a society of instant gratification? Has substance abuse and emotional concerns increased because our teens are constantly searching for the next thrill, but never able to find it?
When teens and young adults find themselves battling the demons that are associated with emotional concerns and family turmoil, they miss out on some crucial life and work experiences.


Throughout their young lives, the focus has been on their journey through the Adolescent Stages of Development. What has been missing are the very important Formative Stages of Career Development.
I don't see the paperboy anymore or the bag boy/girl at the grocery store. We have online news and self check out at the store! While this may be more conv…

Is Your Teen Safe Tonight?

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By Stephen C. Schultz



For many parents, the first night their child spends at RedCliff Ascent is the first night they have slept peacefully in a long time. There is no more wondering where she is or if she will come home safely.
RedCliff Ascent is the wilderness program parents choose when it’s time to intervene and stop the sleepless nights.



Your child thinks and behaves as though the whole world is her personal playground. No responsibilities. No consequences. No problems.
In other treatment settings, your teen may be labeled only by his diagnosis:  Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, ODD, bipolar mood disorder,or others.
At RedCliff, they know the teen and their illness are two distinctly separate matters. Their therapeutic model addresses each one specifically.
“We are not a high adventure recreation camp or a boot camp or any other kind of camp” said Scott Schill, Executive Director. “If a camp or recreational activities were the answer, parents wouldn't be looking at RedCliff Asce…

UK Journalist Explores Teen Sexual Issues

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By Stephen C. Schultz

As a partner in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that works with students who are demonstrating out of control sexual behavior, I regularly get calls and emails from the media. Some are legitimately interested in learning more about the issue…others are only looking for a few controversial or humorous sound bites.


I recently had a conversation with a journalist from the UK by the name of Trisha R.  It was obvious through her questioning that she had some preconceived notions and ideas about sexual issues in general. I would like to share with you some of her questions and some of my responses. My reason for this is that I’m sure many parents probably have some of the same questions, even if not discussed with allied health professionals personally.
She asked some very general questions that leaned towards a simplistic view of sexual issues. So, I tended to answer her questions with more refined questions. Most parents want to avoid having to deal with their te…

Teen Therapeutic Interventions At A Glance

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By Stephen C. Schultz


This is information I have gathered to be helpful for educational consultants, clinicians and other Allied Health Professionals. Please don't hesitate to stop by each of the sites to learn more!




Discovery Ranch for Boys -- Boys RTC - Highly anxious socially awkward boy. The student who “acts in” as opposed to “acting out”.  The model is Experiential with use of DBT, Calf and Equine Therapy. 



Oxbow Academy – Boys RTC – Anxious, socially awkward students with sexual concerns. Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB) and poor social boundaries. Provides comprehensive Psycho-sexual evaluations and works with co-morbid issues. Separate campus for ASD, NLD and highly anxious students. Model is Experiential with use of equine therapy.

Connecting Generations...It's not about technology

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By Stephen C. Schultz

“Mom!...Mom!...Mom!”,  she exclaimed as she burst in the room. Rough around the edges and worn from age, the door stuck for just a moment when she turned the knob and hit it with her shoulder at the same time. With an unbridled motion, she was through the door. The glass pane rattled and the faux wood blinds swayed back and forth as she caught the inside edge with a left handed back-swing and sent the door whistling to its closed position.


Past the old wood stove and into the kitchen, she kept yelling, “Mom!...Mom!”.  

While I’m not her mom, but her dad, I finally said,
“What is it hon? What’s the matter?”
She turned and said with a heavy breath,
“It was so cool! We sang Over the Rainbow and Puff The Magic Dragon with them!”
With her heart rate still up and short rapid bursts of breathing, she continued,
“We even painted their nails! It was so fun…but so sad. They were so happy to see us. One lady even played the ukulele…she was so talented!”
Then my daughter Emma, al…