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Showing posts from 2017

Oxbow Academy - Credible Voices

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By Stephen C. Schultz

Oxbow Academy is now fast on it’s way to 15 years! Wow! I am writing this specifically for mental health practitioners and allied health professionals. Those in the legal profession may find this interesting as well. Please allow me to share some observations that I have made over the years that may be useful as you assist the families you work with. The majority of students currently enrolled at Oxbow have come to us with some previous treatment experience. We are often contacted when these previous treatment settings fail to meet the clinical needs of the student. I’d like to share a couple of scenarios that may be helpful in understanding these students and how to assist them in working through their sexual issues.

1)     The student enters a general treatment program; wilderness or RTC. They are admitted for the more traditional reasons of anxiety, depression, anger or substance abuse. It may also be trauma of some kind. Any sexual issues are either denied, minim…

RedCliff Ascent...A Student's Perspective

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Guest Blog Post by Moonstone Tiger 120 (Jordan)



RedCliff Ascent Wilderness program is a place for troubled kids to work on themselves in a safe environment with an experienced group of people who want the best for each & every student as well as their families.



My name is Jordan & I attended RedCliff Ascent, a wilderness treatment program. My first few weeks were rough & all I wanted was to refuse and get pulled. If you are a parent reading this...DON’T pull your child!!! It is really difficult & you really miss them at first, but it is beyond beneficial in the end.

Once I was motivated & worked on myself the staff were always there to talk to me & work with me through rough times. In wilderness, everyday is a new day which is very helpful & every piece of progress you make is always recognized by those around you so you feel good about the change you’re making.

Not only did RCA support me in my change, they also incorporated skills that I’ll use for the rest o…

Summer Days...Emotional Healing at DRG

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By Stephen C. Schultz

It was one of those summer days...those days when you get out of your temperature controlled car and the heat hits you like you’ve just stepped into a dry sauna. One of those days when you break into a sweat and you feel your heartbeat in your forehead. On any other day, I would have made a beeline right back to the comfort of my air-conditioned car! On this day however, I embraced the heat and started walking towards the lake.

Even with a slight breeze blowing from my right to left, I could still make out the faint sounds of laughter, water splashing and the distorted syllables of distant conversations. I knew instinctively that the next two days would bring laughter and tears, frustration and joy, disappointment and dignity. You see, this trip to the lake was not about recreation or the opportunity to cool down in the summer heat. Yes, those things did happen, but I was honored to be entering the world of families who had a daughter enrolled at Discovery Ranch fo…

The polygraph...A lie detector or clinical tool?

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By Stephen C. Schultz

“The polygraph is not what you think it is. It is not a lie detector machine...there is no such thing as a lie detector machine...and the polygraph is not one.” ~ John Pickup, Polygraph Examiner
Over the years, Oxbow Academy has consistently had to answer one question;

“Why do you use the Polygraph?”



To provide an effective answer, it is important to understand the student population at Oxbow. Oxbow works with students who have engaged in Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB). This behavior can take many forms and effect students in many different ways. The one common factor is that this behavior has affected the student's life or the lives of their family members in a chronically dysfunctional and unhealthy way. The students at Oxbow have generally lived a life of secrets and manipulation. Their parents don’t trust them and they often feel trapped by the unhealthy family dynamic.

Parents and mental health professionals regularly mention they “feel in their gut” the…

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 …

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…