Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness therapy, sometimes known as outdoor behavioral healthcare, is an experiential, adventure-based therapeutic treatment style that takes place in a wilderness setting. Wilderness therapy is typically targeted at adolescents and young adults and uses expeditions into the wilderness as a way to address behavioral issues or mental health problems. Wilderness therapy is used in both individual and group settings and its primary goal is usually behavior modification and/or self-improvement. Participants develop communication skills, self-confidence, learn how to work in groups and how to rely on their own knowledge and strengths. Think this approach might be right for you (or a young person in your care)? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s wilderness therapy experts today.

Meet the specialists

I wrote my dissertation on wilderness therapy with youth at risk. I believe strongly in nature as a healing modality. I try to incorporate that into the work I do with all my clients.

— Rami Vissell, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Aptos, CA
 

Work in nature enables us to use metaphor and experiencing to heal and more deeply understand ourselves. Its benefits are innumerable. I offer counseling combined with time in nature to provide you with increased benefit. We will collaboratively design a treatment plan that brings more nature into your life in ways that work for you. This can be accomplished through walk and talk therapy in the forest, sitting in a peaceful setting by the pond, or in almost any way we can imagine!

— Sabrina Merz, Counselor in Boulder, CO

Research is now piling up supporting what those of us who have loved the outdoors for centuries already knew: that time in nature helps calm and regulate our nervous system. I incorporate simple nature-based exercises and wilderness therapy into my work with clients in a way that supports nervous system regulation, calms stress hormones, and boosts focus/concentration and mood. This looks differently for each client, but could be as simple as holding a session outdoors or going for a walk.

— Becky Howie, Licensed Professional Counselor in Boulder, CO
 

I offer walk-and-talk therapy sessions in beautiful environments. I believe that nature has calming benefits and moving the body while talking about difficult topics can help with anxiety.

— Jennifer Jolly, Counselor in Birmingham, AL