When is Turning to Outside Help The Answer
Written by WinGate Therapy, in Section Wilderness Philosophy
You don't have to struggle with your teen any longer.
Many parents are struggling with adolescents and young adults who suffer from mental health, substance abuse, and other issues associated with this age group. Although the usual courses of therapy and medications have been tried, for some, these therapies are just not working. In these cases, alternative therapies are being sought out.
One type of alternative therapy parents are asking questions about is outdoor therapy. This type of therapy has been around for decades, but is quite different from the first offerings parents may remember from years ago.
What is Outdoor Therapy?
Outdoor therapy is a treatment option that takes place over an 8 to 10 week period. Its purpose is to help adolescents and young adults with mental health issues and issues of addiction. It is a full immersion style therapy that can include one on one sessions with therapists and group therapy sessions with other participants.
Along with formal therapy, the participants take part in team building exercises and life skill courses. Part of the program also includes regular exercise, excellent nutrition, and incorporating healthy sleep habits.
The therapy is tailored to the individual after being assessed by a mental health professional. The patient is placed with therapists and peers with similar issues to promote optimal mental health benefits.
What are the Benefits?
Wilderness therapy is typically high structured for participants. Although there is downtime to eat and rest, most of the time spent is either in formal therapy or informal therapeutic activities. Young adults who discover they can not only survive, but thrive, in the wilderness, experience a greater sense of self and higher self esteem.
The therapy also promotes self reliance. For example, a teen who refuses to participate and learn how to build a fire will learn later on that they will have to eat their meals cold because of their reluctance to engage. The awareness that no one is going to do it for them forces the person to learn how to do it themselves or suffer the consequences of their behavior.
The simple nature of being outdoors promotes physical health. It has been shown in numerous studies that exercise bolsters mental health and can alleviate depression.
The therapy takes place outdoors, which means there is no place to isolate themselves from others and no electronics to hide behind. Participants must confront their issues head on.
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