Teen Mental Health And Wilderness Therapy
Teens suffer a staggering amount of inner and outer conflict, but anxiety and depression aren’t impossible to treat if you address the issues in a more comprehensive, direct way. Instead of 45-minute treatment sessions or the occasional outpatient treatment for teen mental health, wilderness therapy takes teens outside of their environment to disconnect from current habits and rethink proper coping mechanisms to approach everyday life challenges.
Teen Mental Health Issues: Anxiety, Depression and More
Teen Anxiety Treatment
We know anxiety is a serious problem, but research shows we can easily get distracted by the child’s behavior and miss the source. Fox 8’s article on anxiety says:
“This anxiety can be triggered by simply being told to complete a task that a teacher or parent may view as reasonable; however, it may cause overwhelming emotions for the child because they feel unconfident in their ability to complete it.”
They explain that emotional support by parents is the simplest and most effective way to fight childhood anxiety and secure teen mental health, but if this turns to depression, how will you know and what can be done? Furthermore, what if the communication between parents and teens is stifled?
Causes of Depression in Teens
Though not comprehensive by any means, it may be useful to consider some little-known causes of depression in teens listed in an article by Health Magazine, such as:
- Poor Sleeping Habits
- Poor Sibling Relationships
- Prescribed Medications
- Living in urban settings
Reminding Teens That Current Feelings Are Temporal
Teen depression is not hopeless. HNGN shows us in an article that explores this teen mental health problem. A study done with 600 ninth graders across three different high schools gave us new information.According to their research, educating teens just once about the changeable nature of personality helps lower depression symptoms among them.
“We were amazed that a brief exposure to the message that people can change, during a key transition – the first few weeks of high school- could prevent increases in symptoms of depression,” said lead author David Scott Yeager
This isn’t shown to work across the board, however, so what happens when a child needs more help? It may look a lot like this.
Q: My child has seen little success in traditional therapeutic settings. What do I do?
A: Let’s take a look at the best alternative wilderness programs for teen mental health.
Wilderness Therapy For Comprehensive Treatment
Digital Journal introduces us to blueFire Wilderness Therapy, a revolutionary outdoors adventure program that helps teens ages from 13 to 17, and their parents, process emotional and relational anxiety or depression.
“Studies show that comprehensive, collaborative care greatly improves success in teens, and blueFire’s newness allows us to incorporate the latest tools for success while applying all that we’ve learned through decades of experience in this field,” says Kathy Rex, Founder and Executive Director of blueFire.
blueFire approaches all aspects of the child’s life as a learning opportunity, including:
- Learning of hard skills like fire making, rock climbing and cooking, and soft skills like teamwork and conflict resolution
- Individual and group therapy
- Experience-based activities: equine, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking
- Each child’s unique learning style and pace
- A focus on family connections: letters, calls, family workshop, family therapy
At Wilderness Therapy programs, adolescents challenge themselves and their peers every day to overcome adversity, find support in each other as a team, and learn to appreciate their own achievements as they come.
If you would like to learn more about Wilderness Therapy as an alternative to traditional therapy for your child, please contact 1 (844) 413-1999 to speak to our admissions director, Reid, who can answer any questions and help you discover appropriate options for your family.