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How The Wilderness Programs Work

Although a significant range can be found between wilderness therapy educational programs influenced, for example, with the philosophy and policy of the provider, as well as to the specific needs of the client for whom the program is designed. You can also look for wilderness adventure therapy for at-risk youth to help them in overcoming their problems.

As described in a research paper, many programs follow the model of three phases:

Stage # 1: Cleansing

At this stage, the client will be removed from the environment that is conducive to their healthy behavior, and are ready for their wilderness experience.

The cleaning stage usually involves a healthy diet, physical exercise, and instruction in survival skills and basic self-care.

Participants in the first phase of the wilderness therapy program began to learn personal responsibility through the natural consequences of their actions – a concept that would be strengthened as the process continues.

Stage # 2: Personal and Social Responsibility

Building upon initial lessons in the previous phase, the second phase of the wilderness therapy program emphasizes the result of individual actions, for example, students who do not learn how to make a fire will eat cold food, while those who fail to prepare for rainy weather would be wet.

In addition to developing self-confidence, students in the wilderness therapy program also learn the value of powerful interpersonal communication through their interaction with their field instructors and other members of their group.

Stage # 3: Transition & Aftercare

After gaining insight and achieving success in the wilderness experience of effective therapy, the participants then had to learn how to pick up their new healthy behaviors with them as they transition back home.

To achieve this goal, many programs combine training and education of families in their efforts. Transition and aftercare components of wilderness therapy programs are effective.