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March 31, 2014

People aren’t born knowing everything, so as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Parents are there to guide their children using knowledge gained through their own experiences – with school or work, with people, perhaps with drugs. Adults recognize destructive behaviors or situations that can cause problems. And because parents love their children, they want to intervene before things get worse.

Unfortunately, troubled adolescents or young adults do not always ask for help. They may try to deal with things on their own. Some kids are in denial that they may even have a problem. In this case, how are parents supposed to get help for their children when they don’t want it?

Wilderness Therapy: Leading Teens along the Road to Change

Just as with grief, there are several stages of change. Initially, denial remains; if a person does not think she has a problem or recognize the destructive path she may be treading, then she will have no intention to change. With some time, understanding will come, and she will see how her current behavior could play out and how changing her behavior could be beneficial. With this new understanding, a young person will begin planning to change, and then take steps to make that change happen – all as a personal, conscious choice – and continue to modify her behavior. The last stage is a termination of the past behavior; change has been accomplished.

Many troubled adolescents and young adults who enter intervention programs such as wilderness therapy continue to believe or act as if they do not have a problem. Wilderness therapy has many benefits, one of which is that it gets adolescents and young adults out of their current environment and into one that acts as a catalyst for change. While students are forced to face change, wilderness therapy doesn’t employ scare tactics, and leaders are not authoritarian.

While realizing the need for change and making it happen are possible alone, it is a difficult journey. However, having a guiding hand, a support system, and the tools to create change can make all the difference as a troubled teen sets out on the road to change – and making that change last.

Pacific Quest Wilderness Therapy for Teens and Young Adults

Located on one of Hawaii’s beautiful islands, Pacific Quest strives to be a safe, welcoming place where teens can come to learn, heal, and grow. Basically, it is a place that fosters change. By being actively involved in nature, students get to see and experience its cycles of change and growth in action, and which acts as a mirror of life in general.

The Pacific Quest wilderness therapy program has developed a unique Sustainable Growth Model that incorporates whole-person wellness, individualized clinical care, Rites of Passage, horticulture therapy, and healthy community living. This combination teaches diverse and adaptable principles that translate into life skills and tools that can be used in any situation, and students develop an empowered sense of self as they begin to see their successes and gains in Pacific Quests gardens.

When given the proper tools, troubled young adults and adolescents can turn bad behaviors around and feel able to sustain that change because they have begun to realize their full potential.

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