Wilderness Programs for Troubled Teens
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Wilderness programs are usually short term, but they have a definite impact on the teen. Typically while in the program the teen sincerely feels the need to change and may even admit that he or she needs to change their behaviors. In some cases educational consultants will recommend a wilderness program to prepare a teen for a long term placement. Sometimes a wilderness program alone is not long enough to make lasting changes in the teen's life. These outdoor therapy programs emphasize behavioral and emotional change. Wilderness programs range in time from two weeks to 3 months. The typical cost for a wilderness program ranges from $8,000 to $20,000.
Wilderness camps teach teenagers cooperation, self-reliance, and responsibility for personal behavior.
Teens learn how to work within a group and respond to positive peer pressure from other students in the
group who have already experienced the first few levels or phases of the program. Parents report higher
levels of self-esteem, a stronger sense of personal responsibility, a renewed sense of accomplishment
and the ability to achieve, as well as improved behavior within the family setting upon return home.
The emphasis on behavioral change through well-established therapeutic techniques makes the wilderness experience an affective program for a troubled teen. Wilderness programs can be a good short-term program during which therapists and parents can evaluate a child's continuing needs, possibly recommending continuation in a boarding school or some other long term placement.
As you know there is something to be said about being out in nature. There is a tendency in this setting to have more quiet time to reflect on what is really important, and what course they are on. Quiet time around the campfire at night is almost a spiritual experience and a great time for teaching a tired youth. However, there is always the danger of extreme weather conditions, and the problems encompassed therein. On the other hand wilderness programs have had a place in the overall plan for years, and there are definite benefits from having a teen get back to basics in this way.
To find more information about wilderness programs for teens call us or fill out our contact form
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