Guiding Staff to New Heights of


Peak Experience Training → saw the dilemma..., found the solution..., The Clinical First Responder™, The Clinical First Aid™, Learn More & Register Today

Christine Lynn Norton, PhD LCSW
Associate Professor, Social Work
Texas State University

“I highly recommend the Clinical First Responder Training for any frontline, direct care staff working in residential treatment, outdoor behavioral healthcare, therapeutic boarding schools, and therapeutic adventure/wilderness programs.

The training equips non-clinical staff with the first response skills they need to manage a psychological crisis in the field, while still staying within their scope of practice. The training utilizes the latest neuroscience and evidence-based practices to help staff respond to client's mental health needs, while staying self-regulated themselves.

CFR participants learn these skills through hands-on, experiential scenarios in which they get to practice and get feedback from the group in a safe learning environment. I cannot say enough positive things about this experience!”

Direct Care Staff

SUPPORT and EMPOWER your staff with hands-on training to develop the skills they need to best serve your clients.

Expert Instruction

CFR certified trainings are co-facilitated by Dr. Sandy Newes and Dr. Scott Bandoroff, who collectively have over fifty years clinical experience.

The Dilemma

The therapeutic industry continues to thrive, offering innovative programming supported by sophisticated research, and new models of intervention are constantly being explored. Direct care staff are the unsung heroes of this work, realizing the visions of founders and implementing strategies devised by clinicians.

The Dilemma Clinical Treatment Training

Unfortunately, staff frequently report that they do not have the level of training they need to feel confident and competent in meeting the challenges of this demanding work while also understanding the underlying therapeutic process.

Under pressure to provide quality treatment within budgetary constraints, it can be challenging to carve out time and resources to provide training necessary for staff to excel. Consequently, staff often feel overwhelmed, underprepared, and stressed. This contributes to burnout, causing many staff to leave the field prematurely. Talented staff leaving the field takes a heavy toll—students, programs and colleagues all suffer.

The solution


The CFR Training is Uniquely Designed for Staff Working in Wilderness Therapy, Therapeutic Schools and Other Treatment Settings.

The Goal of CFR is to provide staff with tools to increase their effectiveness in facilitating positive outcomes for clients, while supporting them to work more effectively as valued members of a treatment team.

CFRI and CFR II both offer 4- days of action-packed training, loaded with relevant information and hands-on practice that help staff to become more effective at:

  • Becoming more intentional in choosing interventions.
  • Understanding issues and needs that underlie client behavior and symptoms.
  • Using the therapeutic relationship as a tool to effect change, resulting in fewer emotional crises and critical incidents.
  • Exhibiting greater flexibility in the application of their skills and knowledge.
  • Utilizing trauma-informed approaches.
  • Improving communication with clinical staff.
Teaching Pic

Along with improving their therapeutic skill set, staff will feel supported, empowered, and prepared—factors that enhance performance and improve staff retention. CFR Certified trainings also prepare staff to more effectively handle day-to-day treatment issues and to respond to the inevitable crises that occur. The end result is a more competent, confident, and inspired staff – resulting in a more successful and well respected program.

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What We Provide


CFR Module 1

Clinical First Responder™ Course

4 Day Course

  • Professional Development / Community building
  • Theories of Change
  • Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis Assessment Tools
  • Suicidality, Self Injury, Crisis Intervention...
See Full Curriculum

CFR Module 2

Clinical First Responder™ Course

4 Day Course

  • Adventure Facilitation
  • Motivational Interviewing Substance Abuse & Addiction
  • Trauma
  • Group Dynamics & Facilitation and more...
See Full Curriculum

CFA Certification

Clinical First Aid™ Course

4 Day Course

  • Professional Development / Adventure Facilitation
  • Human Development
  • Community Resilience Model
  • Goals of Misbehavior Boundaries and more...
See Full Curriculum

Customized Training

Custom Program Consultations for your Organization

  • Bring the Clinical First Responder™ or Clinical First Aid™ training to your organization.
  • We offer on-site, customized training programs.
  • Contact us to see how we can best meet your training goals.

Learn More

Upcoming Courses

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What Our Participants Have to Say


Great program!

Great information, great instructors and great program! I would certainly recommend the CFR to anyone working in a therapeutic setting of any kind.

Chad Thatcher, Ph.D.
Professor, Outdoor Adventure Leadership

Best Training Ever

This was the single best training that I have ever been to in my 15 year career! The content presented was directly applicable, balanced and well-supported, and the presentation itself was enjoyable, fluent and masterful. Not only would I recommend the CFR to any of my colleagues, I would require it.

Jen Ruben, JD
Founder/Director / The Way Home


What was taught is invaluable to our front-line staff. As a clinician, I learned several new approaches and ways to better communicate what I'm doing.  It was a fun learning environment that I definitely would want to attend again.  It hits the mark over and over...  I wish all of my colleagues were able to attend—they missed out!

John Raash, M.A.
Clinical Director / Ravens Way

Extremely valuable

The CFR was extremely valuable and directly applicable to our field and jobs. The instructors' commitment to the participants' competency and success was felt throughout the training.  Their inspiration motivates me to not only be a better guide and leader but a better human being.

Russ Shy
Assistant Field Director / New Vision Wilderness

Served many purposes!

At first I was concerned that this training was going to be more geared to wilderness programs and not as helpful for residential programs. I was pleasantly surprised and benefited immensely from the training.  It served many purposes: insight with new and fresh ideas, abundance of tools to bring back for myself and my staff and it provided validation for so much of what I do- and who couldn't use a little more of that in this work.  Thanks so much!

Gregg Andrick
Program Manager / Cascade Crest Transitions

Necessary training

​I believe this training​ ​should be necessary for anyone in a clinical  position.  The tools provided are extremely helpful and could be beneficial for anyone in and out  of ​the field.  I also think it should be necessary and mandatory to take this training as a wilderness  field guide.  Sandy and Scott have such an amazing wealth of knowledge to share.

Carlie Kraus
Field Guide / New Vision Wilderness

Practical & Informative

One of the most practical and informative trainings I have ever attended.  The instructors delivered the content in a very expert and accessible manner.  I enjoyed the combination of the lecture style entwined with experiential initiatives and practice sessions (i.e., scenarios) that really helped solidify the knowledge learned- excellent program and facilitators.

Lisa Dixon, CADC
Founder / Wisdom Heart Recovery Services

Most helpful

The scenarios, initiatives and discussions were most helpful.  The training provided easy to recall acronyms and phrases that make complex clinical topics more useable in the moment.  CFR has been an enormous help in adding depth, breadth and sophistication to my skills as a guide.  Reinvigorating!

Rachel Bisker
Field Director / Trails Carolina

More Prepared

This training is helpful to anyone working with and caring for youth- especially in the outdoors. The theory and skills provided have made me feel more prepared and better equipped for the work I do.

Megan Miller
Outdoor Program Director / Crofton School, Vancouver BC

Highly recommended

The CFR is a great training to gain a deeper and wider understanding of how, when and why we do what we do in wilderness therapy.  It offers theory as well as practice to increase staff’s understanding of the therapeutic aspect of the program.  I would highly recommend it.

Roberto Lara
Senior Field Instructor / Evoke

Many New Skills

The CFR training gave me a framework to apply the skills I already had, plus many new skills, in a more intentional and effective way.

Thor Jones
Field Supervisor / Trails Carolina

Do it!

Do it!  I learned so much about myself and my profession…The expertise exhibited by the trainers is enough to gain an abundant amount of confidence.  I’m very thankful for the opportunity and for the people who put such a useful training together.

Brendan Parker
Field Guide / Wingate Wilderness Therapy

Will challenge you

This training is so informational and will challenge you in a very professional way.  No matter how much previous training you have, you will gain self awareness and acquire tools to add to your tool belt: an awesome experience!

Archie Hamilton
Addictions Coordinator

Renewed passion

Very beneficial regardless of experience level in the field.  Information can be applied at any level and/or facility…Thank you for a renewed passion to teach others, increase my own knowledge and expertise, and most importantly, elicit change in ‘unchangeable’ youth.

Stephen Royer
Program Manager

Excited to share!

I am so excited to share information and ideas that I received from this training.  I am going to highly recommend that all of our Head Staff attend the CFR!

McKenzie Bauer
Lead Staff

Invaluable tool

This training is an invaluable tool for anyone working in the adventure therapy industry…I know this training will help me feel more competent to do a job I love.  Both Scott and Sandy brought their expertise, experience and overall practice to the course and made us feel better equipped to head back to the field.

Jenny Taylor
Staff Mentor / Outback Therapeutic Expeditions

Registrations Open


We are so confident that you will find our certified courses to be an excellent use of your time and money that we will fully refund your tuition if you are not completely satisfied!

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Student Clinical Training

CFR I, CFR II, and CFA each consist of 4 days of action-packed training, loaded with relevant information and hands-on practice designed to help staff to be more effective by:

  • Being more intentional in choosing interventions
  • Improving communication with clinical staff
  • De-escalating emotional crises to prevent critical incidents
  • Possessing a better understanding of underlying issues triggering behavior
  • Exhibiting greater flexibility in the application of skills and knowledge