Menu Close

Wilderness Therapy

Contact Insight Recovery Today

Learn more about Insight Recovery by visiting our contact page or giving us a call.

a shot of tall forest trees taken from the ground with sunlight streaming through as an example of wilderness therapyEvery person is different. No two are alike, from their personality, physicality, and psychology to the structure of the molecules that combine to create that person. One person’s favorite food may stimulate nausea and disgust in another. A song that sits sweetly in the ears of one individual may make another bleed. The same goes for mental health treatment. Some people find therapy life-changing, validating, and emotionally rejuvenating, while others simply can’t stand the thought of sitting in a room, emotionally vulnerable, talking about their problems. 

Luckily, countless different forms of therapy are available today, creating an opportunity for everyone to find a form of mental health treatment that works for them. One such alternative that has received quite a bit of buzz in recent years is wilderness therapy. Some might assume that location is the only difference between wilderness therapy and other forms of treatment, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. When searching for alternatives to addiction therapy in Ashville, North Carolina, consider the wilderness therapy program at Insight Recovery. 

What Is Wilderness Therapy?

Wilderness therapy is a form of mental health treatment designed to stand out from other therapy programs. Emerging in the western United States in the early 1970s, wilderness therapy developed its curriculum to combine evidence-based therapy methods with the challenges of the great outdoors. There are three models associated with wilderness therapy: 

  • The first is the expedition model. This model typically lasts around eight weeks and sees patients undergo a certain degree of wilderness training, where they are taught to hone their survival skills. During this time, patients will take hikes, go on various camping trips and participate in multiple exercises. 
  • The second model is the base camp model, where patients stay in a centralized location and take multiple wilderness excursions, which can last from an afternoon to a few days. The last model is the long-term model, which can last up to two years. 
  • Lastly, the long-term model is the most similar to a typical therapy treatment plan. Treatment can last up to two years and is located in a rural base camp with an indoor facility used for exercises and activities with a wilderness component or influence. 

What Are the Benefits of Outdoor Therapy?

Wilderness therapy provides an alternative for those who don’t enjoy or feel uncomfortable talking to a therapist in a one-on-one office setting. Some people find it easier to discuss their emotions when preoccupied with physical activity. This is the heart of wilderness therapies appeal. One of the wilderness therapies’ greatest appeals is its location. Wilderness therapy allows patients to grow and improve their mental health while separated from the outside world, its influences, and pressures.

Wilderness therapy has been seen to treat a range of issues, including:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Adolescent delinquency
  • Antisocial personality disorder

Wilderness therapy encourages personal and interpersonal growth by presenting activities and exercises that challenge patients to consider their strengths and weaknesses and how these characteristics fit in with the group at large. These methods increase self-reliance, self-esteem, and confidence and improve problem-solving and interpersonal communication abilities. Wilderness therapy is a form of group therapy, meaning socialization is a critical component of each program. Group members must learn to recognize their faults and advantages while building trust. 

Learn More About Wilderness Therapy Programs in Ashville, North Carolina, at Insight Recovery

Therapy often asks its patients to conform to the standards and methods traditional to the mental health industry. Unfortunately, not everyone can conform to these standards. Even those who are committed and passionate about improving their mental health will have trouble seeing improvements if the environment just isn’t right for them. In cases such as this, it may be worth considering wilderness therapy. 

At Insight Recovery, we offer a comprehensive wilderness therapy program directed by a staff of designated specialists. For more information on wilderness therapy, its benefits, and its costs, contact the Insight Recovery team today or reach out online to schedule an appointment or call us at 828.826.1376.