“The purpose of a wilderness therapy program is to separate youth from negative influences and place them in environments that are safe and support growth. Students are not merely thrown into the wilderness and made to suffer hardships. They are encouraged, challenged and given every opportunity to succeed in activities that are necessary, natural or reasonable. Children form bonds with each other, field staff and therapists while they endure adversity and struggle as a group to overcome natural challenges. Wilderness therapy is experiential, based on action methods and includes individual and group psychotherapy…A “wilderness therapy program” is NOT a “wilderness boot camp.”
Form a Rapport
Develop a trusting relationship with the client.
Challenge the Client
Challenge the client to step out of his comfort zone – physically, emotionally, and socially
Enable the client/give the client the opportunity to succeed at the challenges he faces on the hike.
Increase the client’s self-awareness through debriefing and discussions.
Improve client’s confidence and decision making – through questioning and debriefing.