What is Wilderness Therapy & What Is It Is Not Wilderness therapy is a new field of psychotherapy and a type of cognitive behavior renewal program that uses the outdoors to inspire personal growth and positive change, and the building of a person’s self-esteem. No matter how diverse the approaches and practitioners of wilderness therapy, they all turn toward the power of nature to restore balance and effect change in a person’s life, particularly the ones who are struggling with something in life. Instead of the usual counseling, a modified approach which is more suitable in an outdoor situation is used, such as engaging in gardening activities, or traversing the countryside on horseback or by taking a walk. The individual is given the chance to interconnect with the world beyond and other individuals, and this interconnectedness is reinforced in such settings while simultaneously encouraging self-reflection in the absence of disturbances of present day living like cell phones, television, etc. In effect, wilderness therapy is a practical course of treatment alongside more traditional treatment practices for anxiety, depression, addiction, and other compulsive behavior.
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Most wilderness therapy centers, however, tend to cater more to adolescents or young adults experiencing problems in overcoming the challenges of becoming an adult. Peer pressure, family issues, drugs, the need to outdo others in school, and many other issues can be too much for a young adult to adult who is already anxious of the changes that naturally comes with growing up itself.
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A wilderness therapy center is not similar to a boot camp that families used as intervention for vulnerable teenagers or young adults that are showing uncontrollable behavior in efforts to regain authority over the child. Behavior modification boot camp style is much more violent and the approaches are a version of the strict discipline of armed forces base camps. Some are actually run by state as a rehabilitation center for criminal offenders so they get themselves in trouble ever again. Private boot camps that are focused on helping teenagers follow a parallel model and in an atmosphere of rigidly enforced discipline, unlike the method of wilderness treatment centers which is more passive. Some people consider wildness therapy as synonymous to boot camps, yet their resemblance is rather superficial. Boot camps, although it may be found in a similar rugged environment, tend to adopt some uniform approach in the way they encourage self-respect and self-discipline. The basic approach of wilderness therapy meanwhile is more customized as well individualistic, teaching people how they can adjust the way they think about situations that are challenging that will lead them towards better decision making.

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