River Stones Residential Treatment Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides treatment to challenging and intense boys ages 10-19.

River Stones is licensed in the State of California as a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP) and nationally accredited through CARF International.

River Stones was founded in 2000 by Executive Director, Russell Rice, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the quaint city Redlands, California at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains.

Mr. Rice has developed a unique and aggressive clinical program that employs Trauma Sensitive, Evidence Based Practices to successfully treat the needs of the youth and families.

River Stones is a leader in the field of adolescent treatment and has a unique relational model that many, including judges, researchers, therapists, social workers & parents have referred to as “model program”.

Our commitment is to treat our youth with the most effective treatments available by the most caring people available, and to prepare them for a life of success and independence.

Using relationship as a primary vehicle of change, River Stones blends the most progressive trauma informed and evidence based practices into a unique model that teaches and promotes pro-social skills, emotional intelligence and helps youth process and recover from the deep wounds of trauma.

Staff members on all levels are heavily trained in finding opportunities to teach and model positive social skills, managing one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others and to develop a habit of practicing moral and ethical decision making.
This comprehensive approach delivered by staff who are deeply caring, compassionate and committed has proven highly effective and has changed the stories of many youth that have graduated our program.





Mending Broken Lives

Mentoring Boys Into Men

Building ...

Evidence Based

River Stones unique treatment model uses a variety of evidence based practices depending on the needs of the youth including:

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy


Social Learning

Positive Psychology

Neurofeedback and

Nurtured Heart ­­®




It is a unique model that teaches and promotes pro-social skills, emotional intelligence and moral development.

Quality programs don’t just treat the youth, they treat the entire family system.

Our therapists specialize in creating healthy families and getting to the root of the problem.

We offer intensive family therapy, which includes a systemic approach, as well as teaching parenting skills specifically designed to parent intense kids.

Family Focused


Transforming their life narrative is a central part of our goal in working with youth.

To help rewrite their story we feel it is imperative to provide positive experiences to help shape a new way of talking about their lives.

We have provided some life changing trips and created some great stories for them to tell.


Some of these stories include travel, backpacking and camping in:

  • Hawaii
  • Washington D.C.
  • New York City
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Grand Canyon
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Eastern Sierras
  • Big Sur
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • House Boating on Lake Powell
  • Mammoth
  • Annual Beach House Spring Break in San Diego
  • Colorado

Rewiring the Brain: Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is an evidence based, non-invasive, neurocognitive intervention that retrains brainwave patterns and improves concentration, for those who lack focus (ADHD) and relaxation for those who are dysregulated.

With electrodes placed on the scalp, neurofeedback provides the child with a mirror of their brain activity on a screen and nudges the brain to make more of some frequencies and less of others, depending on where the neuro-deficits are.

For trauma victims, neurofeedback intervenes on the circuitry that keeps a one stuck in states of fear, shame and rage and helps the child learn how to relax and become less susceptible to automatic stress reactions. It simply helps stabilize the brain and help the child make better and more productive choices in responding to their emotions.

At River Stones, we have seen remarkable improvements in kids’ ability to focus in school and in their ability to regulate their emotions, make better decisions and feel in control of their lives.

Revealing Excellence: Transformation over Behavior Change

Our kids often come to us mired in labels, ADHD, Attachment Disorder, Foster child, Special Ed, etc.

Their “inner portfolio” is largely negative and being that they are “intense” kids, they often primarily elicit negative attention. It is our mission and goal to transform that inner portfolio, not just modify behavior.

Our staff are highly trained in the Nurtured Heart Approach ® to hone in on any amount of success or excellence the child displays, and if our lenses are adjusted correctly, we can see the toughest of kids are far more successful than they are unsuccessful.

Refracting the light of this success results in a new identity and transformed view of themselves.

A serious problem in residential treatment is the staff turnover, which teaches kids not to trust as employees are stuck in the training mode and fail to fully get integrated into the system of delivery.

River Stones’ staff members are not only committed and loving people, they love their jobs and have over four times the length of employment of the industry average.
That translates into the same people working with the kids throughout their stay.



The youth’s experience in our program is very important to us. Nearly all of the youth state that River Stones is the “best group home” they have experienced. This is relevant because it indicates they feel genuinely cared for, have good relationships with the staff and it provides motivation to grow in order to stay.

We regularly ask the youths’ feedback with regard to the program and evaluating the staff. The result is feeling heard and a sense of belonging.