The Effectiveness of Wilderness Therapy
Healing is a process defined as making or becoming sound or healthy again. Our bodies have the natural ability to heal themselves, and we can take advantage of this ability by utilizing nature’s gift of restoration. Nature provides all of the natural healing mechanisms that we as human beings need. The only problem is, we don’t always know exactly how to utilize nature’s healing power, and many of us are so consumed in our modern day lifestyles that we neglect this natural gift. Wilderness therapy is a treatment modality that involves expeditions into the wilderness as a means of addressing behavioral or mental health issues. Wilderness therapy involves the participation in a variety of adventurous outdoor activities in combination with traditional therapeutic techniques, all while living in a wilderness setting for extended periods of time. Wilderness therapy programs are primarily geared towards at-risk youth and young adults in efforts to prepare them for adulthood, however some programs involve the inclusion of older individuals. We will further explore what wilderness therapy is, what makes it so effective, and the research and evidence behind the effectiveness of wilderness therapy programs on mental and behavioral health.