Many parents have questions about how outdoor therapeutic programs compare to traditional forms of teen treatment. Wilderness programs, like blueFire Wilderness, ensure the highest quality of care by combining evidence-based wilderness therapy in individual and family therapy sessions with recreation therapies, like adventure activities and equine therapy. Our therapists are all licensed professionals that have been trained in a wide range of treatment modalities and are matched with students based on their individual needs. 

Types of Therapy Offered at blueFire Wilderness

We believe it is important to include client’s input when coming up with an individualized treatment plan. If your child does not agree with their clinician’s goals and approach, they are less likely to be invested in the program and confident about their success. We also take into consideration psychological testing, Youth Outcome Questionnaires, Learning Styles Assessments, and parent interviews to decide the most appropriate treatment plan. 

As we reject the idea of a one-size-fits-all approach, our therapists integrate a variety of evidence-based therapies into sessions, depending on what the client may benefit from. The role of all Blue Fire therapists is primarily as an advocate for teens by helping each individual and their family recognize emotions and patterns that are not beneficial to them. We are helping clients and families “let go” and establish new behaviors that better allow them to maintain healthy relationships and balance in their life.

Some of the evidence-based therapies we offer include:


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Equine-assisted psychotherapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Mindfulness



How is Nature Considered a Therapeutic Tool?

We believe that the best wilderness therapy programs not only offer therapy in a wilderness setting, but they also use the wilderness as a tool for therapy and experiential learning. Spending time in nature offers a positive healing atmosphere, but it also offers many therapeutic metaphors for life. For example, everything in nature is constantly changing and growing. The moon changes phases, leaves bloom and fall in cycles, and streams continue to flow. Plants and animals learn to adapt to their environment. The natural environment role models resilience and self-sufficiency for struggling teens. 

Our field guides use these metaphors as daily lessons to help teens frame their experiences and to feel more connected to their natural environment. While many teens struggle to adjust to a technology-free zone, they also realize how much media distracts them from sitting with themselves and using their own internal resources. Time outdoors slows down their pace of life and brings them back to themselves. There is a reconnect that can’t be experienced in any setting other than the wilderness.

Located in the high plains desert at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains, our natural environment offers a myriad of opportunities for adventure activities. Our therapists take an experiential approach to working with teens, as they recognize many teens struggle with awareness of their thoughts and emotions, which is central to most forms of talk therapy. Instructors work with the blueFire team and clients to decide which part of our local operating area they want to explore.

The experience of planning a multi-day trek, preparing for the journey and following through with it is unique and powerful – unique because clients truly experience the positive results and sometimes negative consequences of their decisions during the planning process and in the field. Through multi-day wilderness experiences, clients face challenges and measure their emotional and behavioral reactions, which are immediately transferable to their lives and relationships back home. Participating in adventure activities highlights challenges that teens face in other social settings and teaches them skills related to teamwork, communication, and building confidence.

blueFire Wilderness Can Help 

blueFire Wilderness Therapy is an adventure-based program for teens ages 11-17 who struggle with mental health issues, like ADHD, anxiety, depression,  and behavior issues. Wilderness therapy removes students from the distraction of peers, devices, and demands of life and allows them to heal in a supportive and nurturing environment. Clients will be able to focus on themselves and become more aware of their troubling behaviors. BlueFire gives them the skills and tools they need to combat these behaviors and be on their way to a happy and healthy life.

For more information about evidence based wilderness therapy, call 1-844-413-1999. We can help your family today!


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