WinGate Wilderness Therapy
True Wilderness Therapy.
Designed to Help Families in Crisis
Are you a parent paralyzed by fear? Is your child dealing with emotional, behavioral, psychological or neurologically diverse challenges? At WinGate, our wilderness therapy program provides a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment in which your child can heal. Founded on principles gained in over 30 years of combined experience , our program is one of the oldest and most revered in the industry. Unlike our competitors, our proven model utilizes an Actual Wilderness Experience (A.W.E.), in which the wilderness environment itself plays a vital role in the therapeutic process.
Away from the negative influences and distractions that often disrupt their world, our students are free to engage in a process of personal healing that offers introspection and clarity in a way few other systems can. Supported by professional clinicians and caring field staff, your child will receive a personalized treatment plan as part of the best therapeutic experience available.
Is Your Child a Candidate? Call for a FREE Confidential Screening Call Us Today.
10 Pillars of Change
Developed Over Decades, These 10 Pillars are the Basis
of Our Relational Model
Academics in Perspective
Academic struggles frequently emerge out of mental health struggles, the undistracted treatment of the later powerfully addresses the former.
Holistically Trauma Informed
For the most powerful treatment of trauma, both the therapeutic techniques and a properly designed care program should be in place.
At WinGate, we are relationship driven. This philosophy is our preeminent feature. It permeates all aspects of our staff training, family work, and clinical practices.
Clinical Effectiveness Multipliers
WinGate’s unique program is built around providing the most sophisticated clinical experience in the wilderness treatment arena today.
A Focus on Family is at the heart of everything we do. Our therapeutic model is centered around family dynamics and helping to heal and connect the relationships involved.
No Level System
We focus on intent, not behavior. We do not believe a system that rewards behavior by levels is able to effect long term change.
We Do Not Use Punishment as Therapy
We do not believe in techniques that result in transitory or non-lasting change. We invite a change of heart, and therefore by design encourage a lifelong change.
Engaging Agency as a Catalyst
We believe that true change can only come from the inside out, and it must be the result of each individuals own choices. Our goal is to inspire change through engaging agency.
Actual Wilderness Experience (A.W.E.)
At WinGate we offer an Actual Wilderness Experience. Unlike other outdoor programs, we remove all distractions and allow the Wilderness to enhance the healing process.
Acknowledging Internal Change
At WinGate we have a deep-seated belief that every person is capable of dramatic internal change. Our therapeutic model inspires this type of change.
“The Wilderness is a Powerful, Tranformative Experience...”
The greatest tribute to our program are the stories that have been shared by those who have experienced it first hand.
During our first visit, I told Sandra's therapist, "No one tells Sandra what to do without a fight." He just smiled and said, "That's why we won't."
- Sandra | WinGate GraduateLearn More
"I know this program saved his life.. If we would have waited, even another week longer, I truly do not believe he would still be here..."
- Parent | WinGate GraduateWatch Now
"That moment which occurred so many years ago, is why I do this work today." Discover Your Path. Discover Your Purpose. Discover Your Life.
- Shayne Gallagher | WinGate FounderLearn More
The Top 5 Questions About Wilderness Therapy
Therapeutic treatment in the wilderness offers a stark difference from traditional settings. The opportunities for consistent observation and intervention are uninterrupted by the day to day distractions of traditional settings.
With no media, cell phones or trips into town, wilderness has a greater impact and a better chance for long-term change. A wilderness setting provides the epitome of experiential treatment, happening 24 hours per day, blended with traditional individual and group therapy sessions.
During the first stages of the Wilderness experience, students often express negative emotions due to the new environment and way of life they are introduced to. But this anger generally dissolves into more worthwhile emotions and understanding within a few weeks as they begin to see more clearly the reality of their lives and the necessity of what the experience is teaching them.
It is understandable that as a parent you are concerned about the safety and welfare of your child. At Wingate, we take that concern very seriously. The truth is, a Wilderness experience is much safer than what most of our students were subjecting themselves to back home. If you think about the friends and activities they were engaged in, it is easy to see how a controlled wilderness environment (albeit challenging and uncomfortable) is far safer than the often unreliable situations they often found themselves in. In the Wilderness there are no drugs or alcohol, no cars, no windows to sneak out of or compromising situations to get into.
Plus, we have incredible field staff who are with your child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you think about it, this will likely be the safest your child has been in a very long time.
During their stay at WinGate, your child will be guided and counseled by experts in the field of Therapy and Wilderness living. They will receive weekly therapy from trained clinicians, frequent visits from medical staff, and daily interaction and guidance from professionally trained field coordinators who cook their own meals, sleep under the stars and engage in the same daily activities as the students.
During your child’s stay at WinGate they will be in the care and protection of caring professionals from a multitude of disciplines, each one providing the right support and care at the proper time.
Our students have the opportunity to send letters on a weekly basis and receive communication back one day a week. Depending on their progress, every parent will be invited (exceptions made during Covid restrictions) to the facility to spend a full day with their child and become acquainted with the daily rituals they are experiencing. Due to the nature of the therapy we provide and the need for each student to be free from influences that can alter the progress they are making; we do limit their interactions from outside environments in order to protect the purity of the process.
As a parent you will receive weekly communication from your child’s therapist, informing you of their health and overall progress.
The Wilderness Therapeutic Approach
"Amazing what a week without distractions can do for the soul"
Wilderness Therapy is the optimal setting for a true therapeutic effect to occur because it removes all the disruptive patterns that interfere with recovery. In order for true change to occur, your child must get to a place of acceptance and humility; then, and only then, can they begin to gain the clarification and perspective necessary to WANT to change.
With the help of caring professionals and clinical Therapists, these moments are turned into breakthroughs that will restore your child from the inside out.
Wilderness + Proven Therapeutic Principles
= Long Term Change
Is Wingate the Right Fit?
We are often asked by parents and referring professionals, “How do I know if WinGate is the right fit for my child?” In addition to an initial evaluation from clinical and admissions team, we also like to have every parent consider the following: The journey your child will take at WinGate is both challenging and revealing. There will be hiking and other physical activities, as well as daily routines that will build confidence in their abilities to do hard things, and to increase their own self-reliance. They will also work through situations that require group effort, allowing them to learn relational dynamics and the power of unifying strengths to accomplish goals.
A Typical Day at WinGateTake the Tour
Our application process is designed to ensure that everyone enrolled at WinGate will have the best chance at success.Apply Now
A True Awakening