19.1 C
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Troubled Teen Program: Is Wilderness Therapy Effective?

- Advertisement - data-full-width-responsive="false">
- Advertisement -

Adolescence can be a difficult period for teenagers. Several physical and emotional changes occur during this period and this can make teens prone to various mood disorders including anxiety and depression.

Wilderness therapy has been identified as one of the solutions for teenagers who are going through such situations. This therapy has been applied for several years especially in learning institutions and teen programs to develop character among adolescents.

- Advertisement -

Research has revealed that this approach can promote personal growth, resilience, self control and self confidence.

Wilderness therapy exploits nature’s uplifting and healing powers to assist troubled teens overcome various personal challenges and empower them to regain control in their lives. Its main objective is to restore happiness and health in teenagers.

It has proved effective for several teenagers who are dealing with depression and anxiety.


How it Works

Wilderness therapy begins with cleansing. Teenagers are removed from environments that contribute to their anxiety and despair. The cleansing can include engaging in physical activity, eating nutritious meals, and learning self-care and basic survival skills.

At this stage, program participants are taught how to take responsibility for their actions. They experience natural consequences of the actions they choose to take and this reinforces the personal responsibility idea.

Once the cleansing is complete, teenagers learn about social and personal responsibility. The consequences of their actions are highlighted during this second stage.

Program participants may be taught how to make a fire and those who do not grasp the skill end up having cold meals. This phase also involves learning how to communicate effectively. Programs also focus on interdependence for survival in the wilderness.

In the third phase, participants learn how to transition from the wilderness to their normal surroundings. The program teaches them to apply the skills learned in the wilderness in their day-to-day activities.


Family involvement is crucial at this point because the members are a significant part of the teenagers’ environments.

Why is it Effective?

Wilderness therapy is an effective approach for helping Troubled teen program because of its focus on developing strong interpersonal relationships. Healthy relationships are valuable especially for teenagers who are undergoing difficult transitions from childhood into adulthood.

Close interactions with nature gives teens an opportunity to overcome both physical and emotional challenges. Therapy programs include a variety of activities that are designed to promote decision making, control, self-understanding, and assertiveness.

The improvements participants make are often maintained after the program and this can be quite helpful for troubled teens.

This form of therapy involves task accomplishment and this can promotes self-autonomy and self-efficacy. Participants have to understand themselves and their environment to survive in the wilderness and this encourages self-growth.

Teens discover their limitations through the tasks they engage in and this encourages them to explore alternatives that will help them solve challenges. It can even be a spiritual journey for some teens.

The wilderness offers teens a chance to learn new skills and knowledge in an environment that is free of most of the distractions found in their normal surroundings.


There are no smartphones, TVs, laptops, tablets or video games to distract them in the wilderness and this makes it easy for participants to explore things they may have overlooked.

It is also easier to focus in such an environment, allowing for greater growth.

- Advertisement -
This post was written by a Guest Author. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to Contribute towards the growth of The Parentian, please check our Contributor Page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our growing community.
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Trending Now

Why and How Kids Play

You have no doubt experienced your child being fascinated by the box while an expensive new toy sits beside him. Boxes awake the imagination of...
- Advertisement -

Flea Bites on Humans During Pregnancy – Do’s and Dont’s

When a woman is pregnant she is an at an increased risk for many different types of infections. This is due to the changes...

Is Breast Milk Good for Adults?

Breast milk as we know it is for baby as that is their only source of energy and an excellent source of...

Tips to Increase IVF Pregnancy Success Rate

IVF pregnancy success rate depends upon the women’s age and physiological factors along with the IVF treatment centres, IVF treatment destination, IVF...

50 Flower Inspired Names for Your Baby Girl

Around the turn of the last century, Flower names for baby girls and boys began to be considered fashionable and became very...

Stillborn Birth: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Stillborn birth is when a baby is born with no signs of life at or after 28 weeks of gestation.  In other...

Soceraphobia Fear of Parents-in-law

Most people usually aspire to get married, settle down, probably have kids, and grow old with the person they have chosen to...

Popular and Unique Punjabi or Sikh Names for Your Baby Boy

While choosing a cute name for your new-born can be an exciting journey, it can also be an overwhelming task. Whatever name...

Preeclampsia: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Preeclampsia toxaemia (PET) is a pregnancy disorder or complication. It is characterized by high blood pressure, and a high amount of protein...

10 Qualities of a Good Mother You Should Know About

At some point, we tend to ask ourselves the question of what makes a good mother? Sometimes, we just look and say...

What is Tandem Breastfeeding, and is It Safe?

Nursing a toddler and discovering that a new baby is on the way can be intensely questioning for some mothers. If you're...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Related posts

Preterm or Premature Birth: Causes, Symptoms and Precautions

Preterm birth which is also known as a Premature birth is child delivery before the end of a pregnancy term. A term in pregnancy means...

Abdominal Pain Presentation and First Aid in Children

Stomach ache is a common pediatric condition. However, putting it medically, it is the abdominal pain which children feel in between lower end of...

The Risks of Allowing Your Children Longer Screen Time and Access to Educational Apps

As a growing child in the largest West African city, I didn't have a limit to screen time (we didn't have electricity 27/7 by...

Causes of Infertility: Can Foods Make You Prone to Infertility?

Infertility is one of the major rising concerns of the world today. Women alarmingly are at a higher risk of it as stats show...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here