How Wilderness Therapy Can Overcome "School Refusal Syndrome"
Written by WinGate Therapy, in Section Youth Trends
School Refusal Syndrome
Your child may be suffering from School Refusal Syndrome if:
- The subject of school attendance brings emotional distress
- Your teen feels anxious, or afraid of school
- Excuses and deception increase
Everyone feels these things about school at one time or another, but School Refusal Syndrome is more acute. It's akin to a panic attack at the possibility of having to return. Sometimes, unfortunately, this emotional response is for good reason. Oftentimes public institutions can let kids fall through the cracks, and peers can do some terrible things to one another during teenage years. Many adults who've been there can understand how overwhelming this can be.
Fixing The Problem
A fix can't be forced; what is needed is a change of perspective. Junior high and high school are only milestones early on in the road of life. Teenagers don't always realize that those milestones are not the most important part of life. Changing the perspective to help your teen understand, cope, and transcend the problem can't be done forcefully, it must be done by invitation. Part of getting a teen to be receptive involves giving them things to think about which have nothing to do with cell-phones, media, video games, or television. Wilderness therapy has been a very successful treatment option for many years, and offers a wide variety of positive experiences tailored to the individual, in addition to incorporating a group.
At the core of School Refusal Syndrome is an instability stemming from improper social dynamics of a child in a social setting of peers. Not in every case, but in many, the refusal to attend has more to do with students rather than teachers. A wilderness program predicated on teamwork under the guidance of professional therapists who understand the outdoors can build confidence, perspective, and mental and emotional peace. When the treatment has finished, school can be approached again. Now the teen has a resource to draw from when negative feelings return, and they can transcend them.
The Wingate Option
Wingate Wilderness Therapy offers a program that has been successful at helping teens 13-17, boys and girls, overcome school refusal syndrome. Wingate regularly helps at-risk or troubled youth with a variety of conditions; ranging form autism to substance abuse. Practitioners understand their craft, and have successfully helped many young men and women grow into healthy adults who can lead fully productive lives.