Adolescent Program | Boys and Girls
Wingate is an owner-operated wilderness therapy program designed to assist troubled teens, both boys and girls, ages 13 to 17. We specialize in working with boys and girls with dual diagnosis, and believe strongly in a systemic approach. WinGate is licensed by the State of Utah as an Outdoor Therapeutic Program, and we are a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).
"...We serve troubled boys and troubled girls and their families by providing an individualized treatment approach..."
It’s normal and healthy for adolescents to seek new levels of independence and even to question those in authority. But teens struggling with behavioral or emotional problems can be particularly reactive to external direction and may pursue independence in unhealthy ways. Give a depressed or highly anxious teen a directive and they're likely to withdraw, retreat, or otherwise passively resist. Tell an angry or oppositional teen what to do and they're likely to explode. Troubled adolescents can be nearly impossible to control.
That's why we don't even try!
Instead, we provide adolescents with a profound—and unfamiliar—sense of time, space, and safety in our magnificent wilderness setting. In this healing milieu, our clinical team uses an alliance-based treatment approach to patiently invite, instead of force engagement. Adolescents are experts at hooking adults into a power-struggle dynamic, but our clinical and field professionals are experts at turning that dynamic upside down!
Alliance-based therapy requires a well-coordinated, extensively trained, talented team of therapists and field staff. This approach to treatment is not easy, but it works. Alliance-based wilderness therapy results in powerful, therapeutic rapport between our adolescent clients and our therapeutic staff. Clinical research confirms what we know from years of success in working with troubled teens: strong therapeutic rapport is the single most reliable predictor of treatment success.
We roll with resistance instead of creating resistance
Resistance ruins the therapeutic opportunity. The wilderness experience is unique in the fact that it automatically creates a responsive, rather than a resistant, environment, which enhances the therapeutic intervention.
Rather than seek to modify a troubled teen's behavior, we are able to connect with our students through responsiveness, allowing our students to gain insight into how their behaviors manifest. This is how we are able to teach our students; we can aid in development of skills for new, more effective choices and behaviors.
"...The goal of WinGate is to walk alongside a young person as they venture into change..."
Why 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.
Participants in wilderness treatment have a greater capacity for attention to the process, develop closer and stronger relationships with staff and peers and therefore, more quickly gain insight into previous unhealthy behavior and begin to make appropriate changes. This is further supported through overcoming the natural challenges encountered in the wilderness and the self-efficacy and esteem achieved in the process.
“He let me just watch him carve the flute and I just copied what he did. We didn’t say a word but before long I had my own flute. Yeah, he was my therapist, but while we sat there carving he was just a person and I was just a person. That changed things. For once, I was the one to break the silence.” Read Margot’s Story…
Call 1-800-560-1599 or email us now to discuss your adolescent’s
situation and to see if Wingate’s alliance-based approach might
be the answer.