Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness therapy, sometimes known as outdoor behavioral healthcare, is an experiential, adventure-based therapeutic treatment style that takes place in a wilderness setting. Wilderness therapy is typically targeted at adolescents and young adults and uses expeditions into the wilderness as a way to address behavioral issues or mental health problems. Wilderness therapy is used in both individual and group settings and its primary goal is usually behavior modification and/or self-improvement. Participants develop communication skills, self-confidence, learn how to work in groups and how to rely on their own knowledge and strengths. Think this approach might be right for you (or a young person in your care)? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s wilderness therapy experts today.

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Meet the specialists

 

Whether online or in person, Flower has a wealth of guided exercises for how to connect through nature in a healing way.

— Lori Flower, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Boulder, CO

I believe that nature is one of the best healers we have. A solid relationship with nature, including our own wild nature, is conducive to total health. The wilderness, which can be found even between cracks in the sidewalk, can teach us so much. Some of the best I've ever received came from a tree after it listened to me vent. I can't often work with clients in truly wild spaces, so I try to incorporate natural wisdom in the office or by taking walks along the creek outside the office.

— Gary Howard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Boulder, CO
 

I have experience working at a wilderness treatment center. I currently provide outdoor walk-and-talk sessions to incorporate nature.

— Hannah Ellis, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I am still very much deep in learning and always will be in this field. It is important for my clients that they have a general idea of where they come from, what came on the land before them, and what is there now. I want them to have these things in mind when we are out on the land so that they can orient themselves and learn from the rich history, bio-life, and experience that they have during our sessions.

— Ariella Hubbard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Wheat Ridge, CO
 

I find great benefit in walk and talk therapy, gardening and activity based therapies.

— Sarah Vogt, Clinical Social Worker in West Bend, WI

Nature is a great mirror for humans, since we too are nature. It is spiritual by nature and teaches us how to live abundantly and in alignment with ourselves. Nature doesn't need humans to survive but we most definitely need nature. Everything is alive and well in nature so we have a lot to gain from being in relationship with all the elements of nature.

— Robert Watterson, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in Black Hawk, CO
 

I have a background in wilderness therapy and outdoor behavioral health. I have hopes of beginning the first active wilderness therapy program for teens (not counting substance use programs) in the state of Virginia within the next 5 years.

— David Gosling, Licensed Professional Counselor