Wilderness Rehab Programs: Not Just Your Average Adventure CampApril 15th, 2015
For decades, researchers have studied an emotionally restorative form of rehab that has shown great advances in helping both adolescents and young adults overcome substance abuse, emotional difficulty, and the crumbling effects of personal and family conflict.
This rehab does not take place within the sterile walls of a federally funded treatment center or within the strict regimens of a discipline-focused boot camp. Instead, this breakthrough therapy takes place amid the extravagant simplicity and peacefulness that is nature.
Wilderness therapy, as it’s called, takes the troubled teen or adult far away from the environment that triggers frustration or chaos and plunges them deep into awe-inspiring landscapes, expecting of them nothing more than boosted leadership, elevated confidence, and a feeling that their life is in fact only beginning.
From the craggy, dramatic landscapes of the West to the verdant, wooded mountains of the East, nature offers a retreat from the congestion of home and school life that brings new clarity to the mind.
Wilderness Camps For Young Adults Help Uncover and Nurture Strength Within
Developed by Outward Bound in the 1970s, a wide number of wilderness therapy programs exist throughout the country. All follow a similar educational structure while keeping the same goal in mind for teens (ages 12–17) and young adults (18 and over). Regardless of economic situation, poor choices, or clinical diagnosis, all youth have a future and are capable of greatness.
This foundational belief of wilderness therapy allows educators and counselors to address the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual makeup of the individual teen or young adult.
Wilderness therapy serves to help the youth of today with a multitude of struggles and problems, including:
• Substance abuse and addiction
• Self-esteem issues
• Oppositional defiance
• Grief over the loss of a loved one
• Anger, depression, and other emotional difficulties
The programs usually last six weeks and are based on something called “The Stages of Change” or the Transtheoretical Model. Understanding how a teenager works through wilderness therapy via this model helps parents relate to and further courage the personal development made at these outdoor programs.
“The Stages of Change” is comprised of six steps: Pre-Contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, and Termination. The point of the stages is to set up the individual to see clearly how and why poor choices are ineffective or destructive. At the “Action” phase, the consequences of making poor choices are clear. “Maintenance” is regular practice of sustaining the new habits. And at “Termination” the behavior has finally been replaced with a more positive and constructive alternative.
Wilderness Rehabilitation Programs Can Help When Nothing Else Does
Without distractions, therapists are able to really get through to a young person when at home maybe no one else could. Nature and outdoor involvement also inspire and encourage active group participation and effective communication skills, and open the door for expanded leadership. The result is a happier, more confident, and well-adjusted individual, ready for the real world awaiting at home.
During wilderness therapy, each program is tailored to an individual’s needs, background, and issues. Educators and therapists have the training and foresight to see what particular task would best suit a teen’s needs for growth. This task becomes a metaphor for navigating other similar issues, a reference point of which to continually show the young person that he or she really has the skill set to tackle any challenge.
Find the Best Wilderness Rehab Programs For Your Teen Today
Start looking for a life-regenerating retreat today for yourself or your teen by contacting us for a no-obligation consultation. We’ll help you gear up to explore the uncharted terrain of a life renewed and redirected.