TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
Wilderness Programs - Wilderness Therapy
Wilderness programs are intense, short-term, therapeutic experiences for struggling teens. Wilderness programs are useful as:
1. An alternatve to boot camps, as wilderness therapy is much more effective when teens have emotional or psychological issues.
2. A short-term, more affordable choice than longer term boarding schools or residential treatment programs.
3. A first step before sending a particularly defiant teen to a boarding school - many therapeutic boarding schools will recommend certain teens attend a 30-day wilderness program first to try to "break through" the hostility, resistance, and defiance.
4. A great alternative to summer camps if your teen would not fit in the traditional summer camp setting. This gives parents time to regroup and develop new strategies at home while the child is learning new skills and behaviors at the wilderness program.
Therapeutic wilderness programs are an excellent alternative to juvenile boot camps. These outdoor therapy programs emphasize behavioral and emotional change. Youth boot camps tend to focus on military discipline and rarely deal with the therapeutic interventions that result in real changes in the behavior of troubled teens and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems.
Wilderness camps teach teenagers cooperation, self-reliance, and responsibility for personal behavior. Teens learn how to work within a group and respond to positive peer pressure from other students in the group who have already experienced the first few levels or phases of the program. Parents report higher levels of self-esteem, a stronger sense of personal responsibility, a renewed sense of accomplishment and the ability to achieve, as well as improved behavior within the family setting upon return home.
The emphasis on behavioral change through well-established therapeutic techniques makes the wilderness experience a much more effective program for troubled teens over military style bootcamps. Wilderness programs can be a good short-term program during which therapists and parents can evaluate a child's continuing needs, possibly recommending continuation in a residential boarding school. Wilderness programs range in time from 28-35 days or more. The typical cost for the 28-35 day stay ranges from $8000 to $14,000.