Helping adults from ages 18-25+ Foster Lasting Change
Our mission is to help to foster lasting change for students and families using residential treatment, classroom academics, and outdoor adventures in an evidence-based and clinically-driven community.
Summit Ascent’s program model is unique. It provides young adults the opportunity to engage in our unique Ascend-to-Work curriculum, designed in partnership with the White Mountains Community College which helps them prepare for a future job or college, participate in our enriching therapeutic milieu, and spend part of each week engaged in exciting adventure activities.
This hybrid design seamlessly integrates six key program components:
- Academic classes are provided three days per week on our campus and one day per week at White Mountain Community College in North Conway, NH, our original Ascend-to-Work program allows students to take college-level coursework, where they can earn up to 11 articulated college credits that simultaneously help them prepare for the workforce while also practicing skills for further academic pursuits. This program utilizes a blended learning approach, featuring a multidisciplinary and multi-sensory curriculum that puts the student at the center of learning and allows students to earn transferable college credits.
- Job shadowing The coursework prepares students to enter the workforce. Through a diverse list of internships with local businesses (click here for the current list), students work up to spending 4 hours per week shadowing and learning through on-the-job training.
- Adventure experiences conducted three days and two nights per week, exposes and interrupts self-defeating behavior by fostering personal achievement while building self-esteem and confidence. Involves backpacking, canoeing, and rock and ice climbing.
- Residential community encourages adults to practice new skills in a social setting, easing the transition from the wilderness to a setting more like home, college, or living on their own. This also includes life skills development and healthy use of technology.
- Client-centered therapy focused on individual treatment issues, includes weekly individual and group therapy sessions conducted by a master’s level mental health professional, combined with daily group processing that is at the core of the Summit Achievement approach.
- Family inclusion in the treatment process puts the focus on the adult’s maturation, including the family in whatever way is most appropriate. Parents are often involved in the treatment planning process and participate in up to three face-to-face, in-person family therapy sessions, coupled with weekly family sessions facilitated by the primary therapist via telephone or video conference.
Our Proven Approach
The Time Frame
With consistent effort, students can complete the program in six-weeks, progressing through one of our six levels per week. Each student is unique, however, and the process of change is an individual one. A successful stay may extend to eight weeks or more depending on the needs of the student and the family. We encourage families to plan for 8-10 weeks.
The Ascent team members share a cabin on campus, live, attend school, participate in group sessions, and go on expeditions together.
Adults are grouped into teams of up to 8 individuals. The team shares a cabin on campus where they live, attending school, participating in group sessions, and going on outdoor adventures together. Assigned to each student team are four direct care staff (referred to as guides) who work in teams of two, each working one week on and one week off.
The guides are responsible for living with the adults during all program activities, developing a therapeutic rapport, providing instruction in skills development, monitoring goal setting and individual growth, and serving as a liaison with the clinical team.
Adults progress through six program levels, each featuring a rich array of program activities designed to empower adults to take responsibility for their decisions, actions, and emotions.
During the first few levels the therapeutic focus is on recognizing self-defeating behavior patterns, increasing acceptance, and engagement in the therapeutic process, and helping young adults meet their own basic needs.
As the young adult progresses into the upper program levels, the focus gradually shifts to self-management and leadership development, with teaching skills to newer participants, providing appropriate peer support, and practicing leadership skills playing an increasingly important part of the process.