Redwood Grove Transitional Systems


W. Christopher Tolen, PsyD,


Boys and Girls

Call admissions department for current tuition.

Our program generally lasts from four to six months. The contracted length of time in the program is four months, which we believe is the minimum amount of time necessary to make substantial, lasting changes in your home and community environment.

After you enroll in the RGTS program, we will assign a qualified and invested therapist to work with your child, family, and community. He/she will try to contact you and your child before your child comes home from his wilderness or residential treatment center, whenever possible. Or, if your child is already home, the therapist will contact you and set up a first meeting. Sometimes the first meeting (and only the first meeting) will take place at the therapist's office while you get to know one another.

But the core feature of our program is that the work is largely done in your own home and community. That is where your child has struggled in the past; that is where the change needs to happen. So your therapist will come into your home for as many as eight hours a week to provide individual and family therapy, observation, processing, and coaching. Your therapist will also contact (with your authorization) key members of your child’s community, including teachers, peers, coaches, spiritual advisors, etc. and will work with them to develop a strong network of support and encouragement for your child as he/she works to meet those goals that you will establish together (client, family, and therapist) during your first sessions in Phase I.

You will also be asked to complete several "therapeutic assignments" either 1:1 with your child or as a whole family unit, and those experiences will be explored as part of your clinical treatment. Also, each week you will spend 1/2 hour in a telephone or video cam conference with a supervisor from RGTS who will be assigned to monitor your progress and address any questions or concerns that may arise. Finally, between your therapist and your RGTS supervisor, someone will be available to you 24/7 to help with crisis intervention and management.

We believe that the most critical element for success must be the relationship that exists between the therapist and the client. For this reason, we encourage you to enroll in the program 3-4 weeks before your child is discharged from his/her wilderness or residential treatment program. This length of time allows us to establish a contractual relationship with a therapist that will best fit your needs, and then give that therapist time to contact your child before he/she comes home, thus forging a critical bond that will carry through the rest of the program and significantly contribute towards a successful outcome. However, we understand that often the decision to pursue transitional or aftercare is a last-minute one. In that case, complete your enrollment paperwork as quickly as possible. Our experience tells us that youth begin to "dip" emotionally 3-4 weeks after returning home; at this point the "honeymoon" has ended and life begins to return to more regular patterns that may or may not be conducive to healthy behaviors.

We contract with therapists who live and work near your home to be the direct service providers for our programs. We have already identified and trained therapists in several major US markets; however, if we receive an application from a new area, we consult with the client, educational consultants in that region, and nearby universities and clinics to identify local therapists who might have the background and skills that we require for our program. Once we’ve identified a potential therapist for the program, we require him/her to complete a comprehensive application, professional license verification, and criminal background check. We train all our therapists to use our treatment model because research tells us that compliance with our program design will yield positive and productive results for you, our client.

Our founder and clinical director is W. Christopher Tolen, Psy.D. Dr. Tolen is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the state of Utah. He completed his graduate training at Pepperdine University and The California School of Professional Psychology, earning two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Utilizing his practical emphasis on children, adolescents, and families, he has authored a series of children’s stories designed to assist young children who have been neglected and/or abused. He is experienced in assessing and treating multiple childhood disorders, including ADHD, pediatric bipolar disorder, separation anxiety, behavioral disorders, and childhood depression. He provides psychological testing for children, adolescents, and adults in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and a variety of other behavioral and emotional difficulties. In addition to his work with RGTS, Dr. Tolen is the psychologist at La Europa Academy, a residential treatment center for adolescent girls.

His most recent endeavors include specialized training and research in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric/atypical bipolar disorder as well as building and managing Advanced Behavioral Health, LLC., located in West-Central Illinois. Dr. Tolen is currently pursuing research regarding incoming and outgoing measurement tools and their accuracy, as well as training mental health professionals and teachers in the diagnostic differences between AD/HD, bipolar disorder, childhood depression, and childhood anxiety.

Dr. Tolen lives in Utah with his wife and their four children. He enjoys coaching his sons' little league teams and taking his children on fishing expeditions. During the fall season, you're likely to find him in the LaVell Edwards stadium, cheering the BYU Cougar football team on to victory.

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