What Is A Therapeutic Wilderness Program?
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what a therapeutic wilderness program is, and if it can be effective in helping your child. Wilderness therapy is an evidence-based therapy that has been developing over the past 30 years, thanks to proper studies and research conducted by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative, and held accountable thanks to the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).
Even the American Psychology Association has boasted the importance of wilderness based therapies. Therapeutic wilderness therapies benefit anyone struggling to overcome ADHD, social media addiction, drug/alcohol abuse, and more. Furthermore, at Pacific Quest, we focus on self-care, finding deeper meaning in one’s life, and building stronger, healthier bonds with their family so they have an easier transition upon completing the program. Most importantly, as a parent, remember you are NOT alone in this struggle, and the skilled team of therapists, clinicians, and mentors at Pacific Quest are here to help.
Therapeutic Wilderness Programs: Not All Are Created Equally
Wilderness therapy can be one of the best tools to help your child learn to cope with their issues, create healthier habits, and find deeper meaning in their own lives; however, not all programs are created equally. It’s important to thoroughly research the place you are sending your child because there are people in this world who are corrupt and abusive.
For example, according to an article by NBC news there was a “wilderness therapy” program in New Mexico that was raided by police for abuse. The owner was behind brutal beatings, forced 15 hour-long rigorous work programs, and even withheld food for punishment. Since Wilderness Therapy started, there have been controversial methods used by certain camps—especially programs that are affiliated with court systems—that encourage more rigorous work, arduous mountain hikes, and even bootcamp-like policies.
At Pacific Quest, we couldn’t disagree more with these policies because healing can’t come through punishment and abuse; it must come from compassion.
Now, don’t let a few bad companies that encourage scare tactics and exhaustive manual labor turn you against wilderness therapy altogether. In fact, proper wilderness therapy uses evidence-based approaches, tailored experiences, emotionally safe counseling, and outdoor group therapy which are crucial for developmental growth.
At Pacific Quest, we understand how emotionally draining and overwhelming it can feel to try and find your child the help they need. Our therapeutic wilderness programs are built one simple idea: Love of the land. Many of our therapy sessions take place on a kayak, under a tree, or while working our sustainable garden. The cornerstone of our therapeutic wilderness program is centered around horticultural therapy.
We have a sustainable garden onsite that we use to both feed our community and use as a tool for motivation and education. It is there that your child can feel free to work through their problems, create a sense of community, and build a plan for success all within our safe homestead on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Learn more about the benefits of our Horticultural therapy, and see how it can benefit your child as well.
Benefits of Choosing Pacific Quest
- Responsibility: Your child will take on more responsibility through working the garden, cooking and feeding our community.
- Healthy Balance: All our therapy sessions promote emotional, psychological and physical health as well as self-care.
- Foundation: You child will come away with essential life skills, such as proper time management, personal hygiene and more.
- Individual Treatment Plans: Our team of clinical, wellness, and horticultural professionals will create unique plans based on your child’s specific needs.
- A Sense of Purpose: We all struggle to find deeper meaning in our lives. Through our horticultural therapy, your child will gain a greater sense of purpose and community.
What Do Families Have to Say About Our Therapeutic Wilderness Programs?
“Our daughter learned through PQ’s teachings about the powerful metaphorical relationship between nature and personal growth. She learned through the mind-body-spirit paradigm. She learned – and even more importantly – thrived under the supervision of a staff for whom we grew to have so much admiration and respect.”