Many different outdoor activities take place during wilderness therapy at Trail Carolina. Getting outdoors and stepping outside of a comfort zone can be very impactful for all ages.
Going on expeditions allows students to work with groups. Expeditions are heavily recommended to any students dealing with trust and cooperation issues. These activities provide excellent group work opportunities and promote socializing skills when working through different problems.
Adventure activities include expeditions like zip-lining, boating, rock climbing, and more. These can be more physical than some other activities, so it builds up students hoping to gain confidence in that area.
Emotionally, adventures make an impact as well. Most students have never had the opportunity to enjoy these activities and adventures in the past, so this allows for a new type of experience that can be memorable for a lifetime.
Most people initially think of games as purely entertainment, but they can provide a ton of benefit when used in wilderness therapy. Problem-solving games help boost students’ confidence, increase their self-esteem, and build leadership skills. Every single completed challenge can be a huge difference-maker.
There’s always time for recreational activities in any type of therapy. It’s a great way to get away from everyday life. It’s a way to discover new things as a student without being locked in or feeling like there’s a considerable challenge.
Does wilderness therapy also involve traditional therapy?
Wilderness therapy does not ignore traditional therapy strategies with mental health professionals and support groups. Most of the sessions are held in a group at Trails Carolina, but there are individual sessions to discuss pressing issues.
The goal of therapy is to eliminate negative beliefs and change behavior for the better. Having a more positive mindset can be beneficial as time goes on.
What does a typical group look like at Trail Carolina?
Trails Carolina spends a lot of time making sure that students share similarities with others. Most students are grouped with children of the same age and face similar issues. It also helps to keep students together who are at the same stage of treatment so that nobody is jumping ahead. The staff at Trails spend a considerable amount of time crafting groups to benefit all.
What is wilderness therapy used for most?
The first step of wellness therapy is having a student assessed so that all issues are determined. From there, it’s about finding the most impactful type of therapeutic approach that will help to manage emotions, build confidence, and strengthen relationships. The goal is to see personal development with every student.
The Wilderness Program makes a significant impact on a variety of mental health conditions. Trails Carolina students have benefited from wellness therapy while dealing with anxiety, depression, andtrauma.
How effective is wilderness therapy?
As time goes on, researchers learn more and more about the effectiveness of wilderness therapy programs. They’ve been able to make significant breakthroughs with students dealing with various issues, showing that it’s not ultra-specific to a particular type of student.
Studies done by Trails Carolina show that 86% of graduates show significant improvement in dealing with anxiety and depression. Showing that it can be a long-term fix as well, as students don’t revert once they return home.
Is wilderness therapy here to stay?
Many students are changing for the better and positively impacting their families back home. There’s a bit of a feeling-out process like with any type of therapy, but it’s rewarding to see significant progress in a short amount of time with various options.