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

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
 

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

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

— Russell Murray, Counselor in Asheville, NC

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
 

Research is now piling up supporting what those of us who have loved the outdoors for centuries already knew: that time in nature helps calm and regulate our nervous system. I incorporate simple nature-based exercises and wilderness therapy into my work with clients in a way that supports nervous system regulation, calms stress hormones, and boosts focus/concentration and mood. This looks differently for each client, but could be as simple as holding a session outdoors or going for a walk.

— Becky Howie, Licensed Professional Counselor in Boulder, CO

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
 

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 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
 

Seaside Life Services offers Outdoor/Walk-Talk Psychotherapy (Spring through Fall). Outdoor/Walk-Talk Psychotherapy may involve sitting outdoors on a bench/chair or walking in a public place such as a park while addressing therapeutic goals and topics. Schedule your appointment today! Available to those who work/reside in Solano County. Call 925-414-1581.

— Natalie Matsche, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Fairfield, CA