Outdoor adventures provide more than stunning landscapes; they also serve to rejuvenate and reframe our minds, giving young people confidence that they can overcome whatever life throws their way.
Many of these challenges stem from peer pressure. Students can become less dependent on their peers through mindfulness practices, confidence-building exercises, and an approach which considers all aspects of mental wellbeing.
What is Wilderness Therapy?
Wilderness therapy (also referred to as outdoor behavioral health) is an integrative form of treatment that combines experiential education and therapeutic activities in natural settings, frequently employed for treating adolescents who struggle with eating disorders and substance abuse.
At wilderness therapy programs, teens are immersed in an immersive natural environment free from distraction and presented with challenging experiences that will help them grow as individuals. Through wilderness therapy programs, teens will develop key life skills such as grit, flow and self-efficacy as well as gain greater internal locus of control that allows them to better regulate their emotions.
At wilderness therapy, children will get to know each other in ways that cannot happen in school or at home, making the bonding an essential element of healing. They’ll learn how to support one another as well as communicate in healthy, positive ways with peers.
Why is Wilderness Therapy Effective?
Bear in mind that wilderness therapy activities do not serve as therapeutic ends in themselves; rather, the experiences can help people examine their motivations and beliefs while working or communicating more effectively with others.
Wilderness therapy has proven an effective treatment option for many students as it provides them with an opportunity to step away from daily distractions and focus on what matters most in life. Furthermore, wilderness therapy enables them to build trusting relationships with family and develop effective interpersonal communication skills for daily life use.
As it’s essential that all wilderness therapy programs meet a standard of quality care, it is also wise to look for one accredited by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Center (OBHC) so your child will receive only top-of-the-line attention in a safe environment. Also don’t be intimidated to read reviews from parents and students who have attended similar programs before making your choice.
How Can Wilderness Therapy Help Me?
At Trails Carolina Horror Stories, students are taken out of their current environment and immersed in an immersive natural setting. This change of scene provides at-risk adolescents an opportunity to take a step back from current struggles and focus on building bright new futures ahead.
Students gain real-life coping skills they can implement in daily life at home. Students learn breathing techniques, journaling, mindfulness meditation and listening to body cues and emotions as part of this curriculum, in order to manage behavioral and emotional challenges without using substances or engaging in harmful behaviors like skipping school, defiance and aggression.
At Trails Carolina, students learn more than just survival skills; they also develop self-confidence and develop a sense of personal responsibility. Trails offers family-focused programming such as mid-point parent workshops and Common Ground experiences to foster healthy communication, understanding, and support during and after their wilderness program. Our therapists collaborate closely with teenagers and their families to craft effective reentry plans that ensure successes achieved during wilderness programs carry over into everyday life at home.
What are the Benefits of Wilderness Therapy?
Wilderness therapy offers participants a safe space in which to explore their thoughts and emotions freely. For young people struggling with issues in their life, wilderness therapy offers an incredible opportunity to reflect upon past experiences and identify patterns in their behavior, providing the insight necessary for taking control of life decisions that lead to healthier outcomes moving forward.
Wilderness therapy programs often incorporate mindfulness practices, which have been shown to decrease stress and anxiety levels for adolescents as well as reduce depression and improve overall emotional health.
As well as offering therapeutic advantages, wilderness therapy programs provide teens and young adults with an unparalleled bonding experience. Students participating in wilderness therapy get to know each other more intimately while learning outdoor skills such as camping and water filtration – helping build teamwork while simultaneously increasing self-confidence.
As part of wilderness therapy programs, wilderness therapy often includes academics to address behavioral issues that impact school performance. This often includes personalized academic support from qualified teachers or wilderness therapists.