Wilderness Therapy: The Facts and Misconceptions About It 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. The methods of wilderness therapy are as varied as the practitioners themselves, but they all have this common threat that nature has the power to effect change and balance in ways which can be descriptive to those who are struggling with the challenges of 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. 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. Pressure from peers, problems in the family, the desire to do well in school, drugs, and countless of other demands are especially overwhelming for teenagers already bothered by the natural changes that adolescence itself brings.
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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. 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. Boot camps maybe situated in a rough atmosphere, but they have a tendency to use some one-size-fits all strategy in the way they inspire self-discipline and self-worth. Wilderness therapy, however, usually takes a more personal and customized approach and teaches people on how to alter their manner of thinking about demanding situations to effect more positive decision choices.

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