Wilderness therapy programs can offer a unique blend of therapeutic modalities and experiential learning to help individuals overcome personal challenges. We’ll help you find the right school with the right help for a child who has special needs, or has special abilities that are not met at the current school. We know the best wilderness therapy schools who offer help to children with life-controlling issues. Call us today.
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Listing of all wilderness programs that we know of. If your wilderness program is not listed, or the information needs updating, please contact us. This listing includes wilderness camps, wilderness boarding schools, wilderness treatment programs, and wilderness programs with academies.
Wilderness Therapy Programs
|Deer Hill Expeditions
|Eckerd Youth Alternatives
|Outpost Wilderness Adventure
|Outward Bound Colorado School
|Outward Bound Hurricane Island School
|Outward Bound National Office
|Outward Bound North Carolina School
|Outward Bound Pacific Crest School
|Outward Bound Voyageur School
|SUWS of the Carolinas – Aspen
|SUWS Youth Program – Aspen
|Wilderness Quest – Idaho
|Wilderness Quest – Utah
|Eagle’s Nest Foundation
Wilderness Therapy Programs: An Overview
Wilderness therapy, also known as outdoor behavioral healthcare, is a therapeutic intervention that uses the wilderness setting and experiential education as primary tools for emotional and behavioral growth. It is designed for adolescents, young adults, and even adults facing emotional, psychological, and behavioral challenges.
Key Components of Wilderness Therapy Programs:
Nature as a Therapeutic Setting: The program utilizes the wilderness, away from modern distractions and conveniences, to help participants confront their problems in a raw, natural environment.
Experiential Learning: Participants engage in hands-on experiences, like building shelters or navigating hiking routes, which can teach them responsibility, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
Structured Routine: Daily activities are organized and follow a set routine, helping participants develop discipline, self-reliance, and a sense of accomplishment.
Group Dynamics: Participants often work in groups, fostering social skills, empathy, communication, and understanding of group dynamics.
Skill Development: Participants learn various wilderness skills such as fire-making, cooking, navigation, and first aid. These skills can boost self-esteem and give a sense of achievement.
Physical Activity: Hiking, backpacking, and other physical activities are common components, which can benefit participants both physically and mentally.
- Reflection and Solitude: There are periods designated for individual reflection, allowing participants to process their experiences, emotions, and the therapeutic content.
Benefits of Wilderness Therapy Programs:
Personal Responsibility: Being in the wilderness forces participants to take responsibility for their actions, as they directly impact their well-being and that of the group.
Improved Self-Esteem: Overcoming challenges in the wilderness can significantly boost confidence and self-worth.
Enhanced Coping Skills: Participants learn healthier ways to cope with stress, anger, and other emotions, replacing previous negative behaviors.
Better Communication: Group settings and therapy sessions promote improved communication skills and understanding of others.
Break from Negative Influences: The wilderness setting isolates participants from peer pressures, harmful environments, or substances that might have contributed to their challenges.
Wilderness Program Considerations for Selection:
Safety: While most wilderness therapy programs prioritize safety, it’s essential for guardians or participants to ensure the program is accredited and staffed by trained professionals.
Cost: Wilderness therapy can be expensive, so it’s crucial to consider the financial aspect and potential insurance coverage.
Duration: Programs can last several weeks to a few months. The time commitment required should align with the participant’s needs and the family’s situation.
Aftercare: The transition back to regular life after the program is crucial. Many programs offer aftercare support to ensure continued success outside of the wilderness setting.
In conclusion, wilderness therapy programs can offer a unique blend of therapeutic modalities and experiential learning to help individuals overcome personal challenges. As with any therapeutic intervention, it’s essential to research and find a program that fits the individual’s specific needs.