It can be difficult to engage teenagers in meaningful conversations about change when traditional talk therapy often serves as a barrier in communication. Teens are often resistant to individual therapy as they struggle with expressing their emotions and opening up to authority figures. Therapists in wilderness therapy programs try to use creative strategies in individual therapy to keep students engaged and to empower them to take a more active role in the process.

Intensive Individual Therapy 

Going to a therapist on a weekly basis is a great way for teens to begin to build a relationship with a professional, but often does not offer enough support for teens to practice applying skills they talk about in session throughout the week. 

Wilderness therapy programs offer an experiential therapeutic environment where teens are able to focus on how underlying issues show up in their everyday lives. Instead of focusing on problem behaviors, we focus on helping teens find their “inner blue fire.” While we can’t always change external situations and stressors that teens face, we recognize that we can teach them skills to build confidence and emotional resilience. 

blueFire Wilderness stands out from other programs as they offer more frequent individual therapy with a Primary therapist and Milieu therapists that guide adventure activities. This allows therapists to build rapport with students outside of traditional therapy sessions. 

Evidence-Based Strategies

Staff and clinicians working with the client have extensive knowledge and experience. blueFire uses evidence-based therapies to best help each person with their needs. These approaches include:


  • Motivational interviewing
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Experiential therapy
  • Recreation therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Neuro-feedback
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)


Individualized Treatment Plans

We’ve learned that a one-size-fits-all approach is unrealistic as every teen has unique strengths and needs. Our client-centered approach invites teens to play a more active role in identifying their personal goals. By collaborating to create meaningful treatment plans for each student, they are more likely to be willing to participate in the process and make changes in their lives. 

Other factors that shape individualized treatment plans include:


  • Psychological testing is offered on-site to help teens get a more accurate diagnosis.
  • Youth Outcome Questionnaires are conducted at the beginning and end of their stay to monitor progress.
  • Learning Styles Assessments are offered to help teens better understand their learning differences and strengths. These results shape teens’ individual academic goals. 
  • Parent input provides valuable insight about how these issues show up in their child’s everyday lives and ways they have affected relationships. Parents play an active role in their child’s therapeutic process through family therapy and workshops.


blueFire Wilderness Can Help

BlueFire Wilderness Therapy is an adventure-based program for teens ages 11-17 who struggle with addictive behaviors. 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. Students 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. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 1-844-413-1999.


Previous reading
Boredom Leads to Risky Behaviors for Troubled Teens
Next reading
How to Approach Early Intervention for Behavior Issues