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Creating a Culture of Research


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 services.   



Many have responded to these changes with resistance and defiance while others have embraced and even been ahead of the changing demands. One of the powerful ways programs have been responding to these changes is creating a culture of research and accountability within its program. Recently, a progressive group of programs took creating a research culture to the next level and hosted a research symposium dedicated to promoting quality research and program collaboration.

The First Annual
Therapeutic Programs Research Symposium



Recently, Discovery Academy, Discovery Connections, DiscoveryRanch, Oxbow Academy, Discovery Ranch for Girls, Redwood Grove and RedCliffAscent met to share and collaborate on research activities. Each program presented on their current research activities and outcomes. In addition, experiential activities were conducted to foster inter-program collaboration and to develop better ideas on how to further develop the culture of research within our programs.




To learn more about the specific research projects, go to the above program websites and look under the “Research” page. Or, please feel free to contact the admissions director for the programs involved. 

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