What is Wilderness Therapy & What Is It Is Not Wilderness therapy as a form of cognitive behavioral treatment aims to bolster personal development, positive change, and bringing about self esteem using an outdoor setting. 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. The traditional approach of counseling is revised to be more applicable in an outdoor ambiance, whether it is doing horticultural tasks or exploring the wilderness either on foot or through horseback riding. 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. As such, wilderness therapy has become an invaluable approach of therapy together with the usual therapies for addiction, anxiety, depression, and other behavioral obsessions.
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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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Wilderness treatment clinics and boot camps are not one and the same; boot camps are a means of intervention that families seek out to try to recover control over their young child or teenager who is behaving wildly. 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 of these boot camps are operated by the government in their efforts to rehabilitate criminals to prevent them from going back to their previous way of living which was why they got into trouble to begin with. Boot camps that operate privately and aim at helping troubled teenagers use a similar approach and rooted as well on an environment of strict compulsory discipline. Some associate wilderness therapy to boot camps, but the two are actually have superficial similarities. A boot camp may also be located in a rocky environment, but it its approach in encouraging self esteem as well as self-discipline seems to be one and the same. Wilderness therapy, on the other hand, typically uses a more personalized or individualistic approach, instructing people to change how they think of challenging situations in order to encourage them to make positive decisions.

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