Wilderness Treatment Center

Activities galore. Fun. A beautiful environment. When most people think of therapy, these are not the words that come to mind. At BlueFire, however, all of the above is true. No longer is therapy a chore: it is now exciting, active, and truly lets the patient be in control. As a wilderness treatment center for teens ages 11-17, BlueFire has helped hundreds of young people achieve success.

The benefits of choosing BlueFire are far too numerous to count. Not only is there a wide range of things to experience (rock climbing, canoeing, camping, and many others), but all the experiences are tailored to be safe and educational.

One of the fundamental concepts of adventure-based therapy is the presence of perceived risk while maintaining safety. At BlueFire, professionals monitor the well-being of all children. In a manner, this strikes the perfect balance between risk and safety – on one hand, a struggling teen learns both self-reliance and teamwork through danger; on the other, the danger poses no real threat to their health.

BlueFire offers a hands-on learning experience for our clients. By using specific situations to address certain areas of a child’s struggles, the Wilderness Treatment Center approach allows the child to heal through real-world examples rather than theory.

Whatever troubles a teen is facing, our Wilderness Treatment Center can help. Be it symptoms of a mental disorder, school refusal, habitual lying, substance use, or something entirely different, a Wilderness Treatment Center starts the child off on a journey toward feeling better.

Highly trained, caring staff is always present. At BlueFire, the child’s happiness and health is of utmost importance. Therapists and experienced guides join the children on their adventures and help them make the most of their time. With BlueFire, a troubled teen can put their troubles behind them.

What is a Wilderness Treatment Center?

There are many types of therapy available to troubled teens. However, not all methods use a holistic approach – one that simultaneously focuses on mind, body, and spirit – to help a troubled teen through their struggles. That is a wilderness treatment center.

A Wilderness Treatment Center is a residential program that utilizes a number of different types of therapy related to the wilderness and, in many cases, adventure. Wilderness therapy and adventure-based therapy share multiple common traits and are often both offered at a Wilderness Treatment Center.

A Wilderness Treatment Center emphasizes the interconnectedness between all of nature – humans and animals included. As such, animal therapy and equine therapy are also frequently included as part of a child’s treatment. In short, a Wilderness Treatment Center is a healing space: a place where a lost child can find themselves once again by reconnecting with the most natural aspects of life.

How Can BlueFire Wilderness help your struggling teen?

Having variety at a Wilderness Treatment Center is not merely for show. Every person is different and no two issues are alike. One teenager may be battling depression; another might be dealing with stress. Some might be suffering as a result of trauma, while others simply need some time to get their thoughts together. The only unifying factor is that no problem is too insignificant to be addressed.

A mental issue is a mental issue – and seemingly “minor” problems have the potential of being as damaging in the long term as the “major” ones. Left untreated, a problem can grow and cause distress in the future. Decreased school performance can lead to fewer employment opportunities. 30% of teens with depression turn to substance use.

At BlueFire, one of the leading wilderness therapy programs for struggling teens, a client is given individualized care – that is to say, there is no one approach to fit all cases. Instead, every child has a specialized treatment plan that fits them specifically.

In the Media

It’s hardly a secret that many celebrities go through various facilities. As far as the yellow press is concerned, all these situations involve spoiled superstars spending time in rehabilitation for no good reason.

In reality, however, there is a wide range of issues that numerous celebrities confront – drugs and alcohol only being the tip of the iceberg. Although it may be hard to take Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan seriously, many famous actors and singer have gone through some form of residential treatment and came out stronger for it.

Demi Lovato, for example, has spent time in a facility in order to battle eating disorders and self-harm. Celebrities ranging from Matthew Perry to Whitney Houston have attended residential treatment to treat various issues.

It is important to note a shift in the media’s perception of wilderness therapy. Unfortunately, due to the questionable practices over fifty years ago, the term “wilderness therapy” has often been followed by a negative connotation. In recent years, however, the media has slowly begun to accept the wilderness therapy of today as sharing no more than a name with its predecessor.

Today, wilderness therapy is a cutting-edge form of healing based on respect and kindness. If anything, modern wilderness therapy is less a boot camp and more a resort.


Therapy one Wild. < http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/09/therapy-wild.aspx > DeAngelis, Tony

An article published by the American Psychological Association argues the benefits of wilderness therapy and the progress it has made since its inception. While it argues that more research is needed given the youth of the program, all the signs point to an extremely positive trend.

Health and Nature – New Challenges for Health Promotion <http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/18/3/173.full.pdf+html> St. Leger, Lawrence

The Health Promotion International from Oxford Journals discusses the relationship between nature and health. In it, the basics of wilderness therapy are addressed – the therapeutic qualities of a simpler, more natural approach are extolled.

Healthy Nature Healthy People: ‘Contact with Nature’ as an Upstream Health Promotion Intervention for Populations http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/45.short Maller, Cecily; Townsend, Mardie; Pryor, Anita; Brown, Peter; St. Leger, Lawrence

In another article from the Health Promotion International, the “benefits of contact with nature” are explored. The article calls not only for “an augmentation of existing health promotion and prevention activities”, but for “<providing a> basis for a socio-ecological approach to public health”.









BlueFire Wilderness helps teens from states like:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, HawaiiIowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,Michigan, Minnesota, MississippiMissouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina,North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont,Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

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