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Unraveling the Truth about Wilderness Therapy Wilderness therapy is an emerging field of psychotherapy that makes use of the outdoor environment to stimulate personal growth, positive transformation, as well as building of self-worth as a form of therapy for cognitive behavior. 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. Conventional counseling is customized to be more relevant in an out-of-door setting, which can include activities such as gardening as well as taking a walk or horseback riding to explore the wilderness. 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. In effect, wilderness therapy is a practical course of treatment alongside more traditional treatment practices for anxiety, depression, addiction, and other compulsive behavior.
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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. Pressure from peers, problems in the family, the desire to do well in school, drugs, and countless of other demands are especially overwhelming for teenagers already bothered by the natural changes that adolescence itself brings.
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Wilderness treatment centers are nothing like boot camps used by families as intervention for susceptible teens or adolescents who manifest undisciplined behavior in trying to regain authority over him/or her. 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 maybe situated in a rough atmosphere, but they have a tendency to use some one-size-fits all strategy in the way they inspire self-discipline and self-worth. Wilderness therapy, on the other hand, typically uses a more personalized or individualistic approach, instructing people to change how they think of challenging situations in order to encourage them to make positive decisions.