Wilderness therapy is a new field of psychotherapy and a type of cognitive behavior renewal program that uses the outdoors to inspire personal growth and positive change, and the building of a person’s self-esteem. The methods of wilderness therapy are as varied as the practitioners themselves, but they all have this common threat that nature has the power to effect change and balance in ways which can be descriptive to those who are struggling with the challenges of life.
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’s interconnectedness with the open environment as well as with other people gets to be reinforced under these settings while giving him the opportunity for self-reflection without any distraction of mobile forms or TV and other amenities of modern-day living. 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. Peer pressure, family issues, drugs, the need to outdo others in school, and many other issues can be too much for a young adult to adult who is already anxious of the changes that naturally comes with growing up itself.
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A wilderness therapy center is not similar to a boot camp that families used as intervention for vulnerable teenagers or young adults that are showing uncontrollable behavior in efforts to regain authority over the child.
The style of behavior modification, which is typically used in boot camps, are a lot more hostile and are patterned after the rigid discipline in training camps for military recruits. Some are administered by the government in an effort to rehabilitate criminals and keep them from returning to their past choices in life which is originally why they disobeyed the law. 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.
The similarities of wilderness therapy and boot camps are superficial, contrary to what some people believe. Boot camps, although it may be found in a similar rugged environment, tend to adopt some uniform approach in the way they encourage self-respect and self-discipline.
The basic approach of wilderness therapy meanwhile is more customized as well individualistic, teaching people how they can adjust the way they think about situations that are challenging that will lead them towards better decision making.