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What Is Wilderness Therapy?

silhouette of three people hiking on a ridge at sunset and discovering what is wilderness therapy for addiction treatment.

There are many proven therapy programs that support people in recovery. Some of the more traditional include individual and group psychotherapy as well as peer support groups. There are non-traditional treatments, ranging from mindfulness and yoga to experiential therapies. The majority of non-traditional therapies are still evidence-based. Wilderness therapy is an experiential treatment that takes people out of their comfort zones to engage together in problem-solving and/or interacting in challenging (but safe) outdoor activities. As an aspect of a rehab trauma therapy program, wilderness therapy is often highly effective in helping people begin recovery feeling confident and empowered.

At Insight Recovery Center in Asheville, NC, we offer a wide range of evidence-based treatments, including wilderness therapy. To learn what wilderness therapy is and how it can help you work through trauma, face your addictions, and begin a healthy recovery, reach out to speak to one of our highly trained and experienced staff members. It’s easy to connect—just dial 828.826.1376 today.

What Is a Wilderness Therapy Program?

Spending time in nature is healing in so many ways, and in a wilderness therapy program, you will face challenges outdoors in a myriad of natural settings. Addiction is a very isolating disease. Wilderness therapy challenges individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) to collaborate with others and also to face moderate risks that, when overcome, build confidence and self-esteem.

In the great outdoors, you might engage in wilderness excursions such as:

  • Hiking increasingly challenging trails and mountains
  • Camping overnight or for multiple days or even weeks
  • Rock climbing or ice climbing
  • Mountain biking adventures
  • Off-trail cross-country or downhill skiing or snowshoeing
  • White-water rafting

You will always be accompanied by and under the care of a trained wilderness therapist. In addition to the wilderness experiences, you’ll engage in group and individual therapy and be encouraged to share your journey through the wilderness therapy treatment program.

Why Wilderness Therapy Works

The definition of wilderness therapy is the first layer of understanding this trauma-informed, experiential treatment for SUDs. The effectiveness of this kind of therapy depends on so many factors, including your particular challenges and goals, as well as fears and aspirations.

Removed from your familiar environment, you are being asked to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. Even if you are an experienced outdoors person, a wilderness program can get you to the next level to create shifts in how you see yourself and the world.

As you develop collaborative and coping skills, you will also gain insight into your negative beliefs and habits so you can shift your outlook and behavior in ways that help you in recovery.

Insight Recovery Center’s wilderness program will help you:

  • Build confidence
  • Gain self-esteem
  • Overcome the lasting effects of trauma
  • Become a problem-solver
  • Develop healthy habits
  • Connect with nature
  • Increase your mental and physical fitness
  • View yourself as capable
  • Recognize your triggers
  • Develop alternate ways to cope with stress and mental health challenges
  • Achieve your short- and long-term recovery goals

While in the wilderness program, you cannot fall back into old habits. By the time you graduate, you will have new, healthy habits and strategies and the confidence to maintain them.

Learn About the Wilderness Therapy Treatment at Insight Recovery Center in Asheville, NC

Our experiential programs, including our wilderness therapy treatment, are all evidence-based and trauma-informed. Learning to quiet your mind in nature, trust your instincts in challenging situations, and cooperate with others to solve problems are three excellent ways to gain confidence and feel empowered in your recovery journey.

Let our staff walk you through our wilderness therapy program and answer your questions about how it can benefit you for life. Call us at 828.826.1376 or complete this online form to connect with us.