blueFire Wilderness Therapy offers a unique style of residential treatment for struggling teens. There are a number of treatment options for teens struggling with mental health issues and risky behaviors, but many programs are designed to treat one or the other, rather than the intersection of these issues. According to a recent study, teens who completed a wilderness therapy program were 25% more likely to maintain lasting changes than teens in other programs. Wilderness therapy looks at teens’ issues holistically and empowers them to be more confident in multiple areas of their lives, rather than just addressing behavioral issues.
When looking for a wilderness therapy program for your teen, it is helpful to look for aspects of the program that may stand out from other options. As an adventure-based program, blueFire Wilderness offers a less restrictive environment than many other programs.
Unique Elements of blueFire Wilderness
In an outdoor setting, teens are removed from the familiarity of their routines and find it easier to break the cycle of acting out to cope with negative emotions. While many wilderness programs involve tent sleeping, blueFire Wilderness offers a base camp that they return to each week which is set up with gear, showers, food and supplies storage. This campsite is outfitted with a yurt for year-round sleeping during in-climate weather, complete with cots and heat. The site has a picnic and cooking area and storage for gear, which the group might use during their time there but can leave behind to travel lightly on multi-day expeditions.
Teaching Transferable Skills
This is a key component to your child’s success in a wilderness program. The primary purpose of your child going through this experience is to gain the coping mechanisms and skills needed to succeed in the real world. The skills teens learn in wilderness therapy programs may be in a natural setting but they should be designed to teach lessons that can be applied throughout the rest of their lives.
blueFire Wilderness introduces teens to a variety of outdoor activities, not just hiking, that help teens build confidence and communication skills. Our students have had a wide range of previous outdoor experiences. Some have participated in competitive sports, while others have preferred spending time playing video games. Our goal is to remove the competitive element and to use these activities to promote student’s overall wellbeing and healthy social activities. Adventure activities offered include rock climbing, mountain biking, yoga, kayaking, skiing, and many more!
Part of our rotating adventure activity programming includes equine therapy. Equine therapy usually involves grooming, feeding, haltering, and leading horses rather than riding them. During students’ interactions with the horses, our EAGALA-certified equine specialists observe and interact with students in order to identify behavior patterns and process their thoughts and emotions. As students learn to identify and take care of the horses’ needs, they learn how to be present in relationships and to recognize their own social needs.
Family is one of the most important pieces for an adolescent’s ability to heal and move forward. The best wilderness therapy programs will include the family throughout the process through weekly calls with a therapist, letter writing, scheduled visits, and family workshops. Our team works with your child to help them rebuild their relationships, repair family relations, and reintegrate clients into the family unit. The Family Spark therapeutic wilderness program occurs approximately halfway through a client’s time at blueFire. By having the families participate near the halfway mark of the program, this provides family members back home ample time to develop and practice new skills and prep for their child’s eventual return.
blueFire Wilderness Can Help
BlueFire Wilderness Therapy is an adventure-based program for teens ages 11-17 who struggle with mental health issues and 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.