All Kinds of News for May 09, 2018
An interview with AJ Frithiof, Program Director of RedCliff Recovery.
AJ, as we get started, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I worked for a wilderness therapy program for about seven years full-time as a field staff and supervisor. Ultimately, I went back to graduate school and got a master’s in social work. I ended up moving to Utah. I’ve been in Utah, now, for about four years. During that time, I was a clinician at a therapeutic boarding school and then a residential treatment center. In both places I specialized in substance-use disorders. I have also been a therapist supervisor.
Ryan Walton and I worked together a couple years ago together at the therapeutic boarding school. When this opportunity came about, he recommended I look into RedCliff. I had been looking at getting back into wilderness anyway. Then came the opportunity to develop a recovery program. I was really excited. I’ve got a lot of program development experience from my time working at the wilderness company that I was at before. I have done recovery programs at the last two places I’ve worked at as well.
Tell me about the new program.
We’re RedCliff Recovery. We work with women ages 18–30. These women will usually have dual diagnosis, so substance-use disorders. We’re specializing also in trauma. From there we anticipate that we’ll have lots of other things like anxiety and depression, and perhaps some bipolar or perhaps some personality disorder. But our main focuses are substance-use and trauma.
When will this program start?
We are launching May 1, 2018. Our website just went live and our Facebook page went up. Slowly, but surely, we’re getting the word out.
How is RedCliff Recovery different or similar to RedCliff Ascent?
We’re working specifically with adult women. Our focus is on substance-use disorders and trauma. So those two things already distinguish us from RedCliff Ascent. And then we’re adding some adventure components. We’re going to be doing some bike-packing. So one week the women will be hiking and the next they’ll be bike-packing and then they’ll be hiking, and so forth. We’re also going to be having some climbing days in there, as well as some fishing days. So once a week they’d either climb or fish, in addition to whatever the nomadic activity is.
RedCliff Recovery is also quite Twelve Step centric, if you will. We’re using the Twelve Step model as part of our program curriculum. We’ll focus on Step 1, 2, 3, and 4.
What could one expect to learn at RedCliff Recovery?
One could gain an understanding of the Twelve Step program. The women at RedCliff Recovery will get individualized treatment planning and individualized therapeutic work.
One will also gain new skills, as well as skills to live healthier lives. A focus will be a healthy and clean diet. Connecting to nature is another big part of what we do, as well as gaining exposure to new healthy hobbies and activities like mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and climbing. Women at RedCliff Recovery will learn new things to replace the old behaviors that they were engaging in, those unhealthy behaviors they were engaging in.
We’re using the line, “we are women for women.” Another thing that sets us apart from other programs and wilderness programs is that we are women who have somehow been touched by addiction and recovery. We’ve created this program. We feel really strongly that we know what they’ll need, and know how to provide for those needs.
About RedCliff Ascent and RedCliff Recovery
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. We focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and evidence-based approach.
RedCliff Recovery is a women's specific, 12-step adventure based wilderness program. Designed by women, specifically for women.