Psychology Today conducted a survey, which focused on who really attends therapy. A whopping 59 million people were estimated to receive therapy and other mental health services. As the stigma surrounding therapy decreases, more and more types of therapy are becoming readily available. One particular type of therapy, wilderness therapy, is growing in popularity. With therapy programs scattered across the country, choosing a program can be tricky. In an effort to find a program that fits your needs, learn about the four things that the best wilderness therapy programs have in common.
Types of outdoor activities: multiple ways to interact with nature
Obviously, a wilderness therapy program requires the use of the great outdoors. However, as you begin to explore different programs, research what types of outdoor activities are available. Look for a program that has plenty of acres to explore! Are you looking for a true adventure to fully immerse yourself in nature? Many excellent programs have access to extreme outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, bicycling. Alternatively, are you looking forward to a mellower, contemplative experience in nature? Make sure the program you select offers quiet places outdoors for meditation and reflection. If there are multiple ways for you to interact with nature, you will be able to get the most out of your program.
Flexible length of stay
For someone in need of renewal or rehab, committing to a lengthy stay is intimidating or even scary. The best wilderness therapy programs offer flexible lengths of stay that range from couple of days to a few months. In addition, a good program will allow you to sign up for a few days and extend your stay as needed.
The cost of a good program, which has comfortable, safe accommodations with trained and licensed staff, can cost a substantial amount. Look for a program that accepts insurance to help make therapy more affordable for you. Some therapy programs also award grants to clients.
Trained, licensed staff
Because of the nature of a therapy program, the quality of the staff makes a tremendous impact on your progress. Whether you are seeking therapy for a addiction rehabilitation or just in need of renewal in your life, a therapist is there to guide you on your journey to recovery. As such, a therapist experienced with wilderness programs will be able to assist you in the best possible way. In addition, you will also want to make sure the rest of the staff are fully trained, including river guides, trail guides, etc.
In 2010 the Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs published an article supporting the success of wilderness therapy programs for teens, young adults, and adults; and the best wilderness therapy programs will have a lasting effect on a participant’s mental, emotional, and physical health.