How Wilderness Therapy Programs Differ From Boot Camps

Wilderness therapy has become more popular with parental figures that are looking for a more liberating alternative.

woodsWhen a rebellious teenager becomes too much for a parental figure to handle, there needs to be some sort of intervention that can dramatically provide results. Fortunately, these troubled youth programs do exist, and they’re called wilderness therapy programs.

Now, most of you have heard of boot camps. And, many of you might not want to put your child through a militarized form of therapy. Rather, by choosing wilderness programs, one can avoid the harsh environment and replace it with the calming effects of nature.

Examining the Differences Between Both

Wilderness programs differ from traditional boot camps and similar behavior modification schools in that nature becomes the primary facilitator of change – not the drill instructor. Nature can’t be bended at its will and cannot be manipulated by anyone. Defiant teenagers will succumb to the calming effects of the wilderness through a series of group activities that promote strong leadership and accountability for him or herself and others. This results in a positive experience and promotes cooperation with others when performing activities such as food preparation, camp set-up, and fire building. All of the activities that are performed are safe as well as rewarding. There is no drill sergeant screaming at your child and scaring them into conforming. Rather, the teen will undergo transformation through self-discovery – and make a few friends along the way. Boot camps tend to be more restricting and place the teen in a jail-like setting.  This might send a strong message to the rebellious teen, but know that your child could come out of the program emotionally-scarred and anxiety-ridden for years to come. The damage could be more profound than when he or she first arrived to the program.

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