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Wilderness Therapy

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on 15 November 2012

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Transcript of Wilderness Therapy

Aubrey, Tom, Janessa, Edwina, Tara, Sakae Wilderness Therapy History Types and Example Developed in 5 Phases
Summer Camps
Therapeutic Camps
Wilderness Therapy
Mountaineering Expedition and Primitive Survival
Return of Clinical Era

Future of Field
Hybrid Models
Programs Specializing in Specific Challenges
Experiential Learning Theory/Experiential Education Philosophy
Systems Theory
Existential Theory
Behavioral/Cognitive Behavioral Theory
Psychodynamic Theory
“Theory of Adventure Therapy?” Theory Key assumptions:
An external locus of control
Poor interpersonal skills
Low self-esteem

Cason & Gillis, 1994; Hattie, Marsh, Neill & Richards, 1997
Meta-analysis on non-behavioral outcomes
Broad scope
Difference between a single treatment group before and after Research Generally in response tragedies over time

In Utah DHS responsible for enforcement

Rules in CFR

Characteristically updated once a month Policy Adventure Therapy Outdoor Experiential Therapy Adventure Therapy Activities are not often common or/and normal for the individuals
Activities are made to push an individual’s body and soul to the limit.
Activities can last minutes, hours to days
Provides an alternative way for participants to address their issues
Creates outlets to express emotions and problems
Activities include:
Overcoming obstacle courses
Rock walls
Rock Climbing
River Rapids
Processing is important following activities.
Programs last weeks to months.
Program in Utah:
Kairos Adventure Wilderness Outdoor Experiential Therapy • Not the primary therapy tool, but an element of therapy
o Usually consists of an overnight camping or cabin experience
• Activities not adventurous, challenging or elements of survival
• Activities include:
Non-intense hikes
Wisdom and folklore
•Provides opportunities for intra and interpersonal development
•Program in Utah which uses Outdoor Experiential Therapy:
o Life Matters Wilderness Therapy Wilderness Therapy 1st Phase – Summer Camps
Camp Chocorua -1880
Ernest Balch
Goal: Develop sense of personal responsibility and work ethic
Boy Scouts – 1910
Ernest Seton
Woodcraft Indians
Lord Baden-Powell
Dan Beard

2nd Phase – Therapeutic Camps
Camp Ramapo – 1922
Club Wediko – 1934
Campbell Loughmiller
Camp Woodland Streams - 1948 Outdoor programs which attempt to change behavior and/or mental suffering
Can include both aspects of Adventure Therapy and Outdoor Experiential Therapy
Environment which is not normally dominated by humans can be healing
The separation from “normal” home life allows an individual to reflect
Gain a new perspective
Each program has their own objectives, philosophy and structure
Effective wilderness therapy programs need
Clients to have regular contact with a clinical therapist
Therapist working with the family
Field guides with specialty training
Clients having individual treatment plans
Evaluations of the treatments effectiveness
Services after the program to maintain progress
The therapy to take place in a group setting
The outdoor environment to allow the client to leave their “normal” life behind and allow a unique learning experience. 3rd Phase – Wilderness Therapy
Outward Bound - 1941
Kurt Hahn
"There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, we will be unwilling to settle for less."
Hahn’s concern for youth in 1930’s
Antidotes to address the concerns
Fitness Training
Rescue Service
Josh Miner
Outward Bound - 1961 4th Phase - Mountaineering Expedition and Primitive Survival
Larry Dean Olsen
BYU 480 - 1968
School of Urban and Wilderness Survival - 1981
Vision Quest - 1973
Larry Wells
Expedition Outreach - 1971
Doug Nelson
Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS) - 1980

5th Phase - Return of Clinical Era (1990’s)
Wilderness Therapy
Outward Bound and Clinical Approach Wingate
RedCliff Ascent
Second Nature
Open Sky Wilderness Therapy WinGate Future of Field
Hybrid Models
Summit Achievement - 1996
Combining outdoor survival skills, academic focus, therapeutic treatment and family involvement

Programs specializing in specific challenges
Substance Abuse, Behavioral, Emotional, Academic issues
"...We serve troubled boys and troubled girls and their families by providing an individualized treatment approach..."

Where it is
How many kids
Length of stay
Cost of program

5 Elements Information dissemination
Record keeping
Staff training
Grievance settlement procedures

Enrollment records at field office always
Accurate and factual
Educational component for attendees saying for a month
Education parameters to be agreed upon by Utah Board of Education
Written procedures for handling suspected child abuse’
Mandatory state licensure
Inventorying and return of personal items Theme Information Safety Staffing Mandatory provision of clothing and equipment suitable for the environment
Denial, removal or non availability of which is not an option
If anyone is unable to continue, the whole team shall cease hiking until issues are resolved
Program directors responsible for training and compliance monitoring
No action shall warrant the deprivation of equipment
Examples: Sunscreen, insect repellent, type and weight of back pack, personal hygiene items, sleeping bags.
Hiking schedule determined according to the capabilities of the weakest member in the class
Hiking prohibited at temperatures above 90 F
Availability of map routes and time schedules Governing board and Executive Director –authority + responsibility over activities, program and training
Age over 25
Specific Training for ED
Program / Field Director Common Theoretical Foundation of Wilderness Therapy
Wilderness experience
Nurturing and intense therapeutic process
Use of natural consequences as a therapeutic tool
References to ceremony and ritual, rights of passage
References to the use of metaphor
Teaching of communication skills
Psychoeducation lessons
Therapeutic relationship with primary care staff
Nurturing, caring, empathetic
No intent to “force change”
Client response influenced by the environment and natural consequences Wilson & Lipsey, 2000
Meta-analysis focusing on the behavioral outcomes
Ages 10-21 years old
Narrower scope
28 eligible studies including 3000 individuals
Comparison group in the evaluation Results On average, less antisocial and delinquent behavior
Recidivism rate for control group was 37% vs 29%
High intensity programs produces larger delinquency reductions than programs involving less rigorous activities
Challenge programs that incorporated a distinct therapy component resulted in lower delinquent and antisocial behavior
Long term programs (more than 6 weeks) showed a negative effect in reducing antisocial and delinquent behavior
Possible explanation for these counterintuitive findings Kurt Hahn Summit Achievement WinGate Therapeutic Modalities
Who Does WinGate Treat
Types of Therapy Used
Family Group
Therapeutic Group
Aftercare Implications and Limitations

Research show the value wilderness challenges programs for delinquent youth
Most effective programs will:
Intense physical activities
Shorter in duration
Involve a therapeutic enhancement
Results may not be generalizable
Further research is required to fully understand how longer programs show a negative effect in these delinquent behaviors
Duration programs and cost effectiveness Wilderness Therapy Fatalities in Utah Michelle Sutton,
15, of California, died May 9, 1990, from altitude sickness, dehydration and heat exhaustion while hiking south of St. George with Summit Quest. Sutton's death led the state to start regulating wilderness therapy groups.
Kristen Chase
16, of Florida, died June 27, 1990, of heatstroke on a hike in Kane County with the Challenger Foundation program of Escalante. Owner, Stephen Cartisano, was charged with negligent homicide but a jury acquitted him.
Aaron Bacon
16, of Arizona, died March 31, 1994, of peritonitis and a perforated ulcer, while on a wilderness trek in Garfield County with North Star Expeditions of Escalante. Supervising counselor Craig Fisher was sentenced to a year in jail.
Katie Lank
16, of Virginia, died Jan. 13, 2002, three weeks after she fell about 70 feet into a crevasse while hiking with Redrock Ranch Academy of St. George in Washington County. No charges were filed. Lank's parents sued and settled for an undisclosed amount.
Ian August,
14, of Texas, died July 13, 2002, of heat exhaustion while hiking with Skyline Journeys program in the Sawtooth Mountain area west of Delta. Owner, Mark Wardle, the parent company and a staffer were charged but the charges were later dismissed. Story of Aaron Bacon
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