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

 

My research in graduate school focused on the healing powers of being outdoors. I have an extensive background in working in Wilderness Education and have seen the impact of being outside on the mental health of clients and for myself. Wilderness Therapy is one of many modalities that increases our time and experiences in the out of doors.

— Marie Graven, Counselor in Swannanoa, NC

My research in graduate school focused on the healing powers of being outdoors. I have an extensive background in working in Wilderness Education and have seen the impact of being outside on the mental health of clients and for myself. Wilderness Therapy is one of many modalities that increases our time and experiences in the out of doors which has been shown to have positive impacts on a variety of both Mental health and Physical health conditions.

— Marie Graven, Counselor in Swannanoa, NC

At Evolve in Nature, nature-based or wilderness therapy is individualized therapy in a natural setting. These sessions take place outdoors instead of in the office, using traditional psychotherapy practices, such as: body-centered psychotherapy, mindfulness based therapy, EMDR therapy, psycho-education, gestalt therapy and when appropriate, combine experiences in nature as a catalyst for change and personal growth. We believe nature is a natural healer.

— Evolve In Nature Psychotherapy, Psychotherapist in Boulder, CO
 

I offer walk-and-talk therapy sessions in beautiful environments. I believe that nature has calming benefits and moving the body while talking about difficult topics can help with anxiety.

— Jennifer Jolly, Counselor in Vestavia Hills, AL

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, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Golden, CO
 

I worked in this field and saw positive results for children as well as families.

— Russell Murray, Counselor in Asheville, NC

Retreats are my favorite unique delivery system for therapy. It's intensive, accelerated, focused on providing all the safe and soft places for a person to dig their deepest to connect with their inner most wounded inner child and hurt places. When you include unplugging, solitude, forest bathing, mother nature supported, gentleness of all that is natural and organic - including delicious nurturing food prepared for you with love and a hot tub under the stars for starters.

— Diane Adams, Clinical Social Worker in Alberton, MT
 

Prior to earning my masters in social work, I worked as a field guide in a wilderness therapy program. I am aligned with and familiar with aspects of the wilderness therapy model and currently work with several clients who have attended wilderness therapy programs in the past. I stay connected and up to date on research and professional development opportunities within the field of wilderness and adventure therapy.

— Julia Stifler, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in North Bennington, VT

As a clinician, I offer walk-and-talk therapy in natural settings to clients who express interest in alternative therapeutic modalities. I have often found that clients are able to open up in new and insightful ways when we are walking side-by-side, and I believe that nature holds such power to heal. I only offer these services to folks living in Santa Cruz County.

— Sienna Forest, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

I wrote my dissertation on wilderness therapy with youth at risk. I believe strongly in nature as a healing modality. I try to incorporate that into the work I do with all my clients.

— Rami Vissell, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Aptos, CA