Philosophy and Treatment of RedCliff Ascent

Guest Blog
By Steven DeMille, PhD, LCMHC 
Executive Director
RedCliff Ascent


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 of clients.”



Mission Statement

With the wilderness as our catalyst, we reveal potential, inspire hope, and save lives.
We believe it...We live it."




Philosophy and Treatment Model

Treatment at RedCliff Ascent is based on an Integrative Care model.  This model focuses on viewing and treating a client holistically. This includes addressing a client’s general health, mental health and addictive behaviors that are impeding appropriate and healthy adolescent development.


Goals of Treatment

RedCliff Ascent has two therapeutic goals.
·        First, we disrupt a struggling teen’s current dysfunctional behavioral patterns.
·        Second, we help reintegrate the teen into the appropriate developmental level.
For wilderness therapy to be effective, the first goal must be accomplished before the second can be initiated.





Our Approach

We achieve our goal through the intentional use of evidenced based treatments, wilderness living, interpersonal relationships, a robust curriculum, along with a healthy lifestyle (i.e. a healthy diet, sleep habits, work and exercise). The therapeutic interventions used at RedCliff Ascent are developmentally appropriate; strength based, and designed to foster resilience, thus improving a client's movement through the developmental tasks of adolescence and young adulthood. 

Who We Serve

RedCliff works with adolescents and young adults with emotional, relational, behavioral and addictive problems that are impeding appropriate adolescent and young adult development.





How we Measure Success

1.      Reengagement in the developmental progress of the client
2.      Improvements in a client’s physical well being, emotional health, interpersonal relationships and social engagement
3.      Mastery, a superior form of completion of the wilderness-based curriculum and mastery of the program structure
4.      Successful alignment with an appropriate level of aftercare services


Conclusion

Everyone employed or who volunteers at RedCliff Ascent plays an important part in achieving the Mission of RedCliff.  A clear understanding of what we do, who we serve, and how we go about achieving our goals is essential to successfully achieving our Mission: With the wilderness as our catalyst, we reveal potential, inspire hope, and save lives. We believe it...We live it.

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