Wilderness Therapy is a Great Aftercare Program for Recovering Youth

Leave a Comment

Treatment for addiction is usually handled in one of two ways: inpatient treatment or outpatient. One alternative, however, is wilderness therapy. This unique form of therapy doesn’t run off a disciplinary model, as some might expect. It’s actually a popular clinical approach to addiction for adolescents and young adults. Nature has proven a great recovery tool.

In the wild, you’re free from many of the negative influences and triggers found in regular day-to-day life. Living in nature for long periods of time is a fresh new challenge for most people and a big opportunity to step out of their comfort zone. Adolescents in nature therapy are constantly monitored by qualified professionals—not camp counselors, but certified addiction counselors.

In wilderness therapy, patients are assigned tasks—primitive stuff like fire-making, backpacking, and building shelter—all designed to teach leadership skills and self-reliance. It’s all about team effort. These programs can last from three to eight weeks, more than enough time to build meaningful relationships with fellow patients as well as staff.

Wilderness therapy might just be a crucial step in a long recovery journey that continues with traditional outpatient treatment at home. Many specialists know how to deal specifically with teens fresh out of wilderness therapy and may be experiencing a bit of culture shock.

Note: Distinguishing wilderness therapy from wilderness camp, the military-minded counterpart, can be tricky. The latter is often referred to as “therapy” as well. Do your research. Get online, read parent testimonials, and go see the place for yourself. Above all, make sure the staff clinically licensed; if it’s not, stay away, because it’s not what you’re looking for.

A good rule of thumb is that anywhere which promises behavioral modification is a probably a boot camp. In the field of addiction management, there are no such promises.

For answers to your any pressing questions you may have about addiction, recovery, or the use of the outdoors as a therapy tool, contact us at (949) 637-5499. The staff here will be happy to speak with you and to refer you for help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

*

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

Megan
© 2022 OCTLC Inc.