I admire all the staff. It’s obvious that they are not here for the money. Rather they are here because of their desire to help us. I also look up to the way they are able to handle stressful situations without deviating from a regulated mood. I have come light years in self-regulation. I can stay calm and remain assertive even when others are visibly anxious. I have also learned how to be a better leader, as my assertiveness has improved. This place has set me up to find my own success.
Our child was really struggling and involved in very dangerous activities. BlueFire saved his life. The whole community helped him look at himself and face the choices he’d been making, allowing him to change course. I can’t say enough about how helpful they were.
blueFire is an amazing program and I highly recommend it. The staff are experts in their field. They are professional yet caring. blueFire was a transformative experience for my son and our family.
Trusting others with the care of your child in need of help is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. Bluefire and all of the administrative staff, field guides, and therapists were instrumental in giving our child the help, respect and space needed to start their journey toward the right path in a way that we were not able to at home. All the while, we were kept informed with family sessions, letters and photos of that growth. Bluefire is heavily invested in the family relationship and we could not have asked for a better experience or outcome for our child.
Everyone at Bluefire was helpful and understood that our family is in a difficult and confusing situation. Our therapist was Charles. In 8 years of therapy, he was the only that reached my son in a way that will change his life for the better. My son came out with a greater understanding of what he needs to work on, and of others. He now knows that he can be a leader, and he doesn’t have to feel bad about himself.
We think he’s on the right path, and Bluefire was the right place for him.
Our son went to Blue Fire depressed and had no self confidence. He left with leadership skills he never knew he had. It was a difficult journey but it changed him in a good way. We are thankful for his wonderful therapist and staff.
We sent our 13 year old to BlueFire because he was struggling with severe anxiety and depression — much of it exacerbated by Covid shelter-in-place in the spring. It was a very difficult decision to make as we had never been away from him for long periods of time, could not visit BlueFire in advance, and were very worried about what was going to happen. I can honestly say that sending him to BlueFire was the best decision we could have ever made. I wish I had not stressed and worried so much! The staff and program at BlueFire is amazing. It completely changed his life and the life of our family. He is by no means cured — mental health is a life long challenge — but in 12 weeks he had a complete reset, embraced personal responsibility, can talk articulately about his feelings, and has a whole toolbox of skills that he has been using to deal with difficult feelings, conflicts, and challenging experiences. He had been going to therapy for years before going to BlueFire and it was kind of working but then stopped helping altogether once the pandemic started. I wish we had sent him sooner before his mental health struggles had really hit rock bottom. I was worried that BlueFire would be unsafe or that he would be around other kids with severe issues which would drag him down. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The environment there is amazing, the therapists are really top notch, and the final 4 day family workshop (Spark) is fantastic for reintegrating your teen into the family. I highly recommend attending it. One other concern we had before sending our child to BlueFire is that, like many kids who go to wilderness therapy camp, he would need to be sent to a therapeutic boarding school to solidify the progress he had made. In our case, we were advised to send him but our therapist told us that if we did decide to bring him home, she would support that too. In the end, we decide to bring him home with the support of Homeward Bound, an organization that coaches parents after their kid comes home from a residential program and BlueFire was very supportive. Every family needs to do what is best for them — we really could have gone either way. There have been ups and down in the month since we have been home, but so different than before and we are so so so grateful to BlueFire for all the time they put into working our child. Expensive but worth every single penny. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Update: 2 years later. Kid doing really well. BlueFire was the initial catalyst. We have continued working with the therapist and with a parenting coach to have clear boundaries, expectations and repercussions and it has been a lot of work for everyone. Ups and downs but overall Howard trajectory. I credit BlueFire for starting us down a good path. If you bring your child home from wilderness be prepared to put in the work in yourself needed to create an effective home environment different from before and think of it as a marathon and not a sprint.
I can highly recommend BlueFire Wilderness Therapy. Wether your child likes or dislikes camping is besides the point. My child did not like camping but the outdoor experience at BF is carefully planned out to encourage the child to be responsible for himself and eventually others as far as food prep and group therapy. The team at BF are incredible from the office to the therapists in the field with the kids. The therapists spend so much time with the kids in the field, the kids get so much therapy which might be rock climbing rather than sitting in a room on a couch. The therapy works and the skill, patience, and training that the BF therapists have is incredible. It will benefit your child as well as you and your household weather still together or like ours, two split households. We all benefited from the Family therapy concept that BF includes in their practice. BF has helped us all grow and heal together.
BlueFire was a godsend for our child, who had no desire to live anymore due to mental health challenges. We did not know how to keep him safe at home and get him to engage in therapy. Bluefire turned his ship around. The psychologist overseeing his care was brilliant and had decades of experience not just in therapy, but specifically wilderness therapy, which is more intense given both the setting and the extreme circumstances that drive families to enroll their kids in such programs. He helped our child challenge her beliefs, rediscover herself, and rebuild herself. It was not an easy process, but it was very successful. The family therapy he facilitated was also good. Our child told us that the staff that she interacted with on a more daily basis were great – patient, supportive, encouraging, and relatable. The conditions were intense, especially as our child was there November – January, which is VERY cold in Idaho, especially when they went backpacking a lot. Despite that hardship, because of that hardship, our child gained strong confidence in her ability to overcome physical, emotional, and social challenges. She was so proud of herself at the end and thanked us for sending her there. It’s not an easy thing to send your child away for a while, much less to such an intense setting and program, but we are so glad we did.
It is not an understatment to say that blueFire likely saved our son’s life. We are so happy with the progress and all the work that he did. We are all still a work in progress, of course. But the whole family has had a second chance. The reboot that it gave us and our sone was so life changing. I can not recommend them enough.