What is Wilderness Therapy?
Wilderness Therapy is a type of short-term residential treatment for teens and young adults with mental health issues that is primarily used for assessment and stabilization. Wilderness is often the first step for people learning new coping mechanisms and building confidence to make long-term changes in their lives.
Why Short Term
Most wilderness programs last between 30-90 days depending on the program and the student’s progress. The goal of wilderness is to remove individuals from negative influences in their problem environment and provide a supportive community to help them find the motivation to make changes.
Potential Next Steps
Wilderness therapy programs tend to be shorter than other residential programs as they are used for stabilization. Many longer-term programs will not accept applicants that have not gone to a stabilization program in order to minimize risk. Wilderness provides a safe and secure environment where teens aren’t exposed to negative influences and are able to focus on themselves.
01GIVES THEM THE TIME THEY NEED
Transitional Living Programs allow for a gradual transition at an individualized pace for re-entering society. Giving them the support and care needed to successfully become independent and healthy in the real world.
02ABILITY TO APPLY IN REAL LIFE
These programs provide an environment to practice healthy habits and skills learned in previous treatments. They’re given the chance to use what they’ve gained in treatment out in the real world, allowing for a smoother transition.
03SKILLS TO HELP THEM SUCCEED
Resources and stability are provided to individuals entering the next stages of their lives. Instead of just being thrown back into the world, they’re given a helping hand with resources attached if they need help with challenges. They learn important skills, like how to cook a meal for themselves, apply for jobs, or solve roommate issues.
04CREATING LASTING, HEALTHY FRIENDS
Through the provided emotional support and being a part of a “healing” community allows one to develop healthy social skills and learn to manage challenging situations and process things with others.