Recently in Wilderness Therapy Category

A Wilderness Therapy Symposium will take place in Boulder, Colorado September 5th-7th, 2013. Like any health-related gathering there will be a keynote speaker, presentations, workshops and opportunities for industry networking. But unlike other health-related gatherings, this one will have many off-site workshops in the wilderness where practices and ideas are actually tested in person.

One of the things I was surprised to learn is that continuing education credit is available for many different health professionals who choose to attend the symposium including psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses from numerous states across the U.S.

This looks like an amazing opportunity for health professionals to gain more first hand experience in Wilderness Therapy practices!


Open Sky Wilderness Therapy

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Right away, let me say that I was completely sold on this program. I was trying to keep my critical eye, but they passed my first reviews with ease.

This is the program link:

And this is the You Tube documentary (about 7 min) that first caught my attention:

Here's what I like about the program:
- I like the pictures of where and how it takes place - the vibe was good.
- I love that there is an emphasis on clinical practice and research, which made the staff sound focused, knowledgeable, and patient-focused.
- I liked that it was geared towards teens, young adults, and families
- Their mission statement totally hooked me: "At Open Sky, we assist teens, young adults and families struggling with difficult challenges and life circumstances. We provide a life-changing opportunity to discover and create a healthy life that is an intelligent and authentic expression of one's true nature as capable, worthy, honorable people. We invite you to explore our comprehensive website to learn more about the Open Sky experience."

There is a research section that follows students closely for a year after they leave - it is a heck of a system.

I searched for complaints or negative reviews of the program, and only found positive comments. They might also have an amazing marketing team, but I genuinely liked the program. From what I could see, alumni have only positive things to say and the research honestly reflected the findings.

My questions going forward would have to do with going further down the epidemiology path. I would want to see if this program could help think about some of the measurement issues we've talked about earlier this year (like how much "green" is the right amount of green). There are some issues with the Open Sky population, because in a mental health setting, you'll have differences with what people are willing to participate in. Still, I think that this program might be able to lend insight because it has already covered the science proving that the program is having measurable and sustained positive outcomes for alumni. They have an opportunity to go deeper from justifying their existence to engaging with the field in a broader way!

What a program!

Wilderness Therapy Program Accreditation

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While I was looking for information about Wilderness Therapy, I came across The Association for Experiential Education (AEE). This non-profit association provides information about and resources for many experiential based therapy programs, including wilderness therapy ones. This information is provided for practitioners, students, educators, and people looking to have involvement with these programs in some way.

In a few posts last week, I read about the concern for making sure a program is truly wilderness therapy and not boot-camp. Utilizing information provided by this organization can help! The organization provides accreditation for programs and information about programs that have been accredited by them. This provides people with additional information so they can be more confident in the type of program that they or their loved ones will be involved in.


Wilderness Therapy

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"Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity to the human spirit." - Edward Abbey
I found this video that gives a 7-minute documentary of a Wilderness Therapy program located in Durango, Colorado. In fact, it is the only holistic wilderness therapy program in the country. I thought it was awesome to see OpenSky use whole/organic foods in their natural state. They also use meats that haven't been "contaminated" by hormones and antibiotics. This would be an awesome experience. Field trip anyone? haha :)

Wilderness Therapy


Here is an interesting site I found about wilderness therapy in Minnesota. This program is dedicated to children, teens and adults. I have found that many programs cater to those who are in need of guidance, and this seems to be a helpful way in making changes in ones self efficacy. While this is important for those who need the extra help, I think it is crucial to make these trips more widely available for everyone, as a way to unwind and reconnect with nature. wilderness-youth-programs.jpg

wilderness therapy and relaxation

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Last week I found it difficult to find care farming farms in the United States so for this week's blog I really wanted to figure out if wilderness therapy is popular in the United States or just in the United Kingdom, like care farming. I was really excited to learn about how popular wilderness therapy is in the United States. This website alone lists some of the organizations that provide wilderness therapy and are looking to hire new employees.

From this website I found Pacific Quest, an organization that provides wilderness therapy in Hawaii! They have programs for young adults and adolescents. Here is a video of their philosophy. I think they do a good job of nurturing their students in a way that both helps them with whatever they may be dealing with and providing them with a safe and adventurous environment.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Wilderness Therapy category.

Therapeutic Landscapes is the previous category.

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