Wilderness therapy as a form of cognitive behavioral treatment aims to bolster personal development, positive change, and bringing about self esteem using an outdoor setting. While there are many individual wilderness therapy programs as there as many practitioners, they all have this common thread about nature as some powerful force of balance and change in helping people who are struggling to overcome life’s challenges.
Instead of the usual counseling, a modified approach which is more suitable in an outdoor situation is used, such as engaging in gardening activities, or traversing the countryside on horseback or by taking a walk.
The individual is given the chance to interconnect with the world beyond and other individuals, and this interconnectedness is reinforced in such settings while simultaneously encouraging self-reflection in the absence of disturbances of present day living like cell phones, television, etc. Consequently, wilderness therapy offers a useful route in addition to more conventional treatments for obsessive behavior. including anxiety, depression, and addiction.
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On the other hand, a good number of wilderness therapy programs are more geared toward young adults and teenagers who seem unable to face up to the demands of growing up. The need to stand out in school, peer pressure, drugs, family problems, along with numerous other demands are particularly mind-boggling to young adults who by now are stressed out by the innate transformation caused by puberty itself.
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A wilderness therapy center is not similar to a boot camp that families used as intervention for vulnerable teenagers or young adults that are showing uncontrollable behavior in efforts to regain authority over the child.
Behavior modification boot camp style is much more violent and the approaches are a version of the strict discipline of armed forces base camps. Some are actually run by state as a rehabilitation center for criminal offenders so they get themselves in trouble ever again. A private boot camp that focuses on helping young adults observe a model similar to that of a boot camp and in an environment of strictly imposed discipline as well, which is very different from the more receptive approach of wilderness therapy centers.
Some associate wilderness therapy to boot camps, but the two are actually have superficial similarities. Boot camps, although it may be found in a similar rugged environment, tend to adopt some uniform approach in the way they encourage self-respect and self-discipline.
The basic approach of wilderness therapy meanwhile is more customized as well individualistic, teaching people how they can adjust the way they think about situations that are challenging that will lead them towards better decision making.