Wilderness Therapy Programs for Teens from Utah

WinGate Wilderness Therapy - Adolescent enjoying therapeutic healing of outdoors at wilderness program

What is wilderness therapy and why is it so effective for troubled teens?

Wilderness therapy is a therapeutic intervention that involves getting troubled teens from Utah into a wilderness environment and having them confront their problems. With no cell phone service, TV, or internet, the wilderness environment is very different than the one we are used to. It’s just you and the wilderness. This is one of the reasons wilderness therapy is so effective. It is a way to get a person to focus on the present moment and whatever issues they may be dealing with. It also provides a person with a unique opportunity to get away from the pressures and stresses of society.

What is wilderness therapy?

Wilderness therapy is a type of intensive therapeutic treatment that has been proven to dramatically reduce mental illness, behavioral issues, and addictive behaviors. Many who try wilderness therapy find their lives have changed forever because of the improved perspective that they have gained through this type of treatment. Wilderness therapy programs have similarities to what we see in typical treatment programs, however, there are several key differences that set them apart.

Why is wilderness therapy so effective?

Just like the name suggests, wilderness therapy is all about getting into nature. This is because just being in nature allows you to focus on your inner self. Your thoughts become clearer and you can focus on the activities you are doing and what you are learning about your surroundings.

Wilderness therapy is the process of putting teens through a type of outdoor experience that forces them to think about their actions, how they got there, and what they want to do in the future. Wilderness therapy is a way for troubled teens to get away from their distractions and troubles in order to reflect on themselves, life, and the future. This type of therapy leads to higher chances of getting sober or graduating from high school. Teen learn self-reliant skills like problem solving and building trust with their counselors.

What are the benefits of wilderness therapy programs for Utah teens?

Wilderness therapy programs drastically improve mental health and overall well-being for many teens that have struggled with severe issues. It helps troubled teens reconnect with themselves and their environment through physical challenges, creative expression, and group process.

Another benefit that wilderness therapy provides teens is reducing and removing the trauma and stress that is built up in their lives. Trauma in teens is such a huge factor in their mental health that many parents feel it is a very long road to recovery, but wilderness therapy can get them back on track in a big way.

Who needs wilderness therapy?

Wilderness therapy is an intervention for at-risk teens that utilizes the use of wilderness environments to facilitate growth and equip Utah teens with skills necessary to overcome life's obstacles.

Wilderness therapy is successful in treating many challenges commonly found in Utah teens and young adults.

  • ADD/ ADHD
  • Addiction
  • Adoption issues
  • Anger issues
  • Anxiety
  • Behavior issues
  • Body image issues
  • Cutting and self-harm
  • Divorce conflict
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders that don't require medical intervention
  • Suicide ideation
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

What happens after wilderness therapy?

Often, after spending time in the wilderness, teens in these programs come out with a better understanding of themselves and their peers. This is a far cry from other treatment programs that place teens in suburban facilities. After spending a week in the wilderness, the teens are surrounded by nature and a challenging, life-sustaining activity. The traditional treatment programs lack real connection and do not include a supportive community. If you or someone you know is struggling with issues of depression, or other mental health and/or behavioral challenges, consider getting more information on the power of wilderness therapy.

Should I send my kid to a wilderness therapy program?

Wilderness therapy is a quality program that focuses on teaching teens from Utah how to work cooperatively and respectfully. What's more, wilderness therapy promotes the development of self-confidence and new personal skills.

There is no doubt that wilderness therapy programs offer a great space for troubled teens to work through their issues. There is no need for shame or guilt in parents who have made the decision to send their children into the woods. In the end, your child's mental health is vitally important now and for their future, it's worth investing in.

Wingate Wilderness Therapy

At WinGate, our wilderness therapy program helps to instill inner reflection in a safe, nurturing and supportive environment. Our technique relies on the very practical experience of one's surroundings with any student that participates in our program. Over thirty years of combined experience has helped us further develop an Actual Wilderness Experience model as an integral part of the way we approach treatment. Unlike our competitors, our proven model utilizes guided interaction with natural environments and situations, rather than solely focusing on classroom-based learning opportunities isolated from nature for extended periods of time.

Is Your Child a Candidate? Call for a FREE Confidential Screening (800) 560-1599.

Mental Health Resources for Parents in Utah:

Utah Department of Substance Abuse & Mental Health (DSAMH) - The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) was instituted as the State of Utah’s mental health and substance abuse authority. The mission of DSAMH is simple: to cultivate health, hope and healing while overseeing the publicly subsidized treatment and prevention policies. If you, a friend, or a family member is struggling with a mental health problem, or an issue with alcohol, tobacco or substance abuse, there is assistant available to you.

Utah Recovery Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA) - USARA's mission is simple: to support, advocate, celebrate, and educate our citizens on behalf of alcohol and drug addiction recovery. As Utah's established addiction recovery community organization, USARA centers on the reality of long-term recovery from addiction and other substances for the both the abuser and their families. As a recovery community organization, USARA's goal is to increase the quality and capacity of support available to all those seeking long-term addiction recovery.

Daily Advice For Parents:

Does you feel your young person might have ODD? There are some simple techniques to encourage him to behave in more socially acceptable ways. You can give him praise and positive reinforcement whenever he shows cooperation. Don’t have too many rules, but focus on a few important ones, especially the ones that involve safety.

People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main ways to handle it are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Teaching your kids to express their angry feelings in an assertive, non aggressive, manner is the healthiest way to express it. Now, this doesn't mean being pushy or demanding, it means being respectful.

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