5 Lessons Learned: Treatments

Wilderness Therapy: The Facts and Misconceptions About It

Wilderness therapy as a form of cognitive behavioral treatment aims to bolster personal development, positive change, and bringing about self esteem using an outdoor setting. The methods of wilderness therapy are as varied as the practitioners themselves, but they all have this common threat that nature has the power to effect change and balance in ways which can be descriptive to those who are struggling with the challenges of life.

The traditional approach of counseling is revised to be more applicable in an outdoor ambiance, whether it is doing horticultural tasks or exploring the wilderness either on foot or through horseback riding.

The individual is given the chance to interconnect with the world beyond and other individuals, and this interconnectedness is reinforced in such settings while simultaneously encouraging self-reflection in the absence of disturbances of present day living like cell phones, television, etc. Consequently, wilderness therapy offers a useful route in addition to more conventional treatments for obsessive behavior. including anxiety, depression, and addiction.
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Most wilderness therapy centers, however, tend to cater more to adolescents or young adults experiencing problems in overcoming the challenges of becoming an adult. The need to stand out in school, peer pressure, drugs, family problems, along with numerous other demands are particularly mind-boggling to young adults who by now are stressed out by the innate transformation caused by puberty itself.
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Wilderness treatment centers are nothing like boot camps used by families as intervention for susceptible teens or adolescents who manifest undisciplined behavior in trying to regain authority over him/or her.

Behavior modification boot camp style is much more violent and the approaches are a version of the strict discipline of armed forces base camps. Some are actually run by state as a rehabilitation center for criminal offenders so they get themselves in trouble ever again. Private boot camps that are focused on helping teenagers follow a parallel model and in an atmosphere of rigidly enforced discipline, unlike the method of wilderness treatment centers which is more passive.

Some associate wilderness therapy to boot camps, but the two are actually have superficial similarities. Boot camps maybe situated in a rough atmosphere, but they have a tendency to use some one-size-fits all strategy in the way they inspire self-discipline and self-worth.

Wilderness therapy, on the other hand, typically uses a more personalized or individualistic approach, instructing people to change how they think of challenging situations in order to encourage them to make positive decisions.

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