There’s a big difference between saying that you “can’t” do something and acknowledging that you haven’t done it before. Many girls that struggle with low self-esteem have been discouraged by past experiences or are fearful about trying new things because they are scared that they won’t be able to do something the way they want to do it. They often have high expectations for themselves to excel at anything they do the first time they do it. When the fear of striking out keeps them from playing the game, girls are vulnerable to social isolation and depression.

Wilderness therapy helps young girls explore their identity and build self-confidence through a variety of adventure activities.

What are the Causes of Low Self Esteem in Girls?

Low self-esteem is linked to teenagers feeling negative about themselves and their lives during their adolescent years. Self-esteem is an important determinant of adolescent mental health and development. Girls who have a stable sense of self that is not contingent on other people’s approval are more likely to feel confident about their ability to manage stress and follow their goals. Low self-esteem has been associated with a number of social and emotional consequences that may influence successful adolescent development and the transition to adulthood.

The pressures and stresses of adolescence create a negative atmosphere, causing an increased risk for behavioral and emotional challenges such as depression and anxiety. As teens spend more time online, they are constantly bombarded with images of perceived perfection. Not only that, but academics and activities are far more demanding in teenage years. Teenagers may not be able to balance extreme workloads, friendships, activities, and maintain positive self-esteem. If any of these factors feel overwhelming, girls may feel discouraged and internalize that it is their fault, which influences their motivation to manage these stressors. Teens’ self esteem is also shaped by the messages they hear in relationships and approval from others.

Some factors that influence low self-esteem in teens may include:

  • Authority figures in conflict
  • Preoccupied caregivers
  • Bullying (with unsupportive/oversupportive/uninvolved parents)
  • Disapproving authority figures
  • Academic challenges
  • Traumatic events
  • Social media

How Does Wilderness Therapy Help?

The goal of adventure therapy is to offer fun, challenge ourselves (and gauge reactions to these challenges and, perhaps, moments of frustration) and to create experiences where reflection, self-awareness and discovery can occur. Adventure therapy is not about mastering different sports or exercising to get in shape. This takes off some of the pressure of trying these activities. Instead, adventure therapy is focused on developing skills that will be transferable to the real world. As students focus on their own behaviors and begin to identify their feelings, they start to understand where those feelings are coming from and learn healthier ways to cope with those feelings. These activities also help teens build leadership skills as they work with others in a team and practice giving others feedback. 

Removing young girls from their fast-paced lives and away from distractions helps them reflect on their own behaviors and the way that these behaviors impact the world around them. In the wilderness, girls do not have access to technology, mirrors, makeup, or other distractions, which helps them live in the moment and worry less about comparing themselves to others. This is an ideal time for our team of field instructors and therapists to engage with your child to support her as she develops courage and self-identity. 

Benefits of Gender-Specific Programming

While blueFire Wilderness works with both boys and girls, we divide groups by age and gender. As teens face significant social struggles during this period, they benefit from the support of a smaller close-knit community. Separating younger teens from older teens allows staff to use developmentally appropriate approaches to helping each group. For example, younger students in our Embers program may struggle more with low self-esteem, social struggles, and executive functioning issues while older students are more likely to have begun experimenting with riskier behaviors, like substance use, to cope with these feelings.

Girls are typically more comfortable expressing their emotions than boys and thrive in an environment that allows for connection and support from their peers. This requires a different approach from boys groups, which might focus more on identifying and regulating emotions. There is a greater focus on teaching relational skills, like building trust, respecting others, and healing from past experiences of being bullied or rejected by their peers. Surrounded by other young girls who have gone through similar issues, students find the motivation to make changes in their lives and to participate ina variety of adventure activities we offer. 

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.

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