Frequently Asked Questions About Wilderness Therapy And How It Can Help Me

Expressing yourself in various mediums releases your repressed thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Your creativity mirrors your identity. It shows your cognition, personality, and perception of yourself and the world around you.

Art makes this possible for everyone, and it doesn’t need to be extravagant. Through art, you can be vulnerable and open. 

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Art can also be beneficial for your mental health. It helps in destressing and alleviating complex depressive symptoms. For instance, when the traditional method of managing these emotions, such as psychotherapy, is not possible, engaging the patient in the art can help them process their current situation.

Furthermore, it also lets the client explore the issues they are facing, which may reduce anxiety.

In case that art therapy sessions do not work, wilderness therapy can provide you with an alternative treatment strategy. It can help manage depressive symptoms.

Wilderness therapy involves outdoor experiences and environmental activities to engage a holistic approach to mental health. Wilderness therapy can address problems in behaviors by fostering the emotional growth of patients.

Historically, wilderness therapy started in the 1960s when a German educator, Kurt Hanh, founded Outward Bound. The facility focuses on the self-discovery and the personal growth of students.

It works towards its goal through conducting expeditions into the wilderness. In the 1970s, it became a substitute treatment strategy to address maladaptive behaviors of adolescents. 

Wilderness therapy offers improvement in mental, emotional, and behavioral health. Its main focus is to develop healthy coping strategies. The treatment aims to facilitate positive changes in relationships, academic performance, attitude, and behavior.

Moreover, it helps in developing self-identity and self-perception through educating about self-love and self-care.

If you are interested to know more about how wilderness therapy can help you through environmental exposure and holistic healing, we’ve listed a series of frequently asked questions below. 

How effective is wilderness therapy? 

Wilderness therapy programs are designed to build success-oriented identities useful for individuals. It aims to increase self-concept, self-confidence, the focus of control, hope, social skills, and improved interpersonal relationships.

It is an effective method for treating unsettled issues such as sexual behavior, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, and emotional conflict. But it is vital to understand that wilderness programs have limitations.

Thus, not because it can effectively show positive results to certain people; it does not mean it can process everybody’s same results.

What does a wilderness therapist do? 

Wilderness therapy is a treatment strategy for mental health designed to help adolescents with maladaptive or dysfunctional behaviors. Wilderness programs work alongside therapy treatments, administered by a licensed professional therapist.

It aims to allow individuals to understand the challenging experiences in an outdoor wilderness environment to enhance adaptive and survival skills.

It progresses through kinetically engaging individuals that target best results on affective, cognitive, and behavioral levels.

How do you become a wilderness therapist? 

A wilderness Therapist is also an adventure Field Guide that leads and teaches groups of students in safe activities. These include rappelling or rock climbing, backpacking, biking, downhill skiing, and canyoneering.

But to become a wilderness therapist, it is best to earn a master’s degree in psychology. There should be a focus on recreational therapy to allow real-life learning skills to help students succeed.

Aspiring wilderness therapists should develop leadership skills to lead a group in a backcountry environment.

How effective are wilderness programs for juveniles? 

The wilderness Project program Adventures’ effectiveness for juveniles reveals amazing Results for teenage participants in the treatment group. These kids experienced significantly lower re-arrest rates compared to those who are not part of the program.

That is because wilderness programs target outdoor behavioral issues, which involve therapeutic wilderness experiences. It is less expensive and practical than other treatment forms to help teens with emotional, physical, and mental health issues.

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 How much does a wilderness therapist make? 

A wilderness therapist uses an outdoor program treatment strategy to help adolescents with maladaptive or dysfunctional behaviors.

A licensed wilderness therapist usually makes $36,000 to $50,000 per year. This salary can include subsidized costs and benefits while in the backcountry.

Some wilderness therapists with enough wilderness leadership skills somehow make approximately $125 to $200 per day.

How much does the True North wilderness program cost? 

True North wilderness program strives to maintain competitive and fair tuition.

The wilderness therapy programs can be beneficial to teens as they roam on 500 acres of private land and another 12,500 acres of state forest. And a typical stay in their place runs about six to eight weeks, for $20,000 to $25,000.

At the same time, True North offers occasional financial assistance. However, it doesn’t have official offers for different types of scholarships yet.

What are wilderness programs for youth? 

The wilderness therapy program is a mental health treatment strategy that helps teens address their maladaptive behaviors.

It caters to combined therapy challenges and outdoor wilderness environment experiences that allow teenage participants to engage in all levels of activities targeting affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects.

Wilderness therapy programs help improve emotional, mental, & behavioral health through intensive clinical intervention and assessment. It also helps teenagers develop healthy coping strategies and required skills to facilitate academic performance, interpersonal relationships, behavior, attitude, and self-identity.

What are the therapeutic programs? 

A therapeutic program is a rehabilitative treatment managed by a professional health care provider or licensed therapist that focuses on deliberate ideas, items, performances, and series of future events relating to the healing of people’s diseases or disorders.

It is a live-in health care facility that provides therapy for individuals experiencing substance abuse, social relationships, behavioral problems, or other mental illnesses.

A therapeutic program is structured throughout the day, so it works with different activities deliberately designed to boost individuals’ health and well-being.

What can you do for troubled youth? 

Before making any move, it is important to set limitations for yourself and your teen. Always put in mind that what works for others does not guarantee a beneficial result on your part.

To assist a troubled teen, you should be aware of your stress levels first. That way, your emotional and mental health will not affect you once boundaries, rules, and consequences are handed out. You must acknowledge your teen’s anger and understand what’s behind that particular emotion.

Expect rejection and be aware of the warning signs of an outburst. It is important that establish common ground so that you can show your teen that you will always be there for him or her no matter what.

What is an eco therapist? 

Ecotherapy or green therapy is a term for nature-based treatment that focuses on healing through outdoor activities. It depicts a regular and structured outdoor activity led by professionals and often therapists who embrace ecopsychology principles.

These professionals’ roles are to support you, help you improve physical and mental health, reconnect you to nature, and uncover new solutions to long-standing life problems.

What is a wilderness therapy guide? 

Wilderness therapy field guides are those professionals that are trained and well-knowledgeable about outdoor activities.

They are the ones that lead and safely teach groups of students and teenagers in activities that include biking, backpacking, hiking, canyoneering, mountain climbing, rappelling, and downhill skiing.

These professionals encourage teenagers to engage in different activities that support cognitive, affective, and behavioral development.

When did wilderness therapy start?

Wilderness therapy starts when Psychologist Scott Bandoroff, Ph.D., launched the field in 1990.

It was known then as “wilderness family therapy” because young teenagers began to encourage self-discovery and personal growth during their experience of challenging expeditions into the wilderness.

The wilderness therapy program allows the kids to return to their families with an addressed behavior, attitude, and personality that improves family dynamics.

Conclusion

Performing art or even engaging in traditional visual art can help you express yourself in various ways. Art is a place free from the judgment and opinion of other people. It is a medium where you can expose yourself to the different beauty of the world.

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Even with depression, art can be a way of soothing your soul. It can mirror our identities and reveal our true passion.

Art may also show worries, fears, and even our repressed and traumatic thoughts. With that, art therapy can give a multi-dimensional medium to be vulnerable. It can help in alleviating your stress and reducing depressive symptoms. 

If you are not the type of person to express your creativity, you should consider wilderness therapy instead. Through engaging in outdoor activities and exposing yourself to nature, you can find a more holistic approach to healing and managing your mental health condition.

Wilderness therapy had been proven to help in addressing aggressive behaviors among adolescents. It can also help channel energy in physical programs.

This therapy is effective in cultivating cognition, affection, and behavior kinetically. It can also help develop a deeper and more meaningful sense of identity.

Understanding how your self-concept influences the control of your confidence, social skills, and interpersonal relationships are the main goals of wilderness therapy. You may also encounter dealing with adaptive and survival skills aside from improving your psychosocial abilities.

However, it is worth note-taking how wilderness therapy cannot produce the right results for everyone. Some may be unresponsive to this treatment. 

If you have second thoughts about wilderness therapy, consult a mental health professional. Seeking the best treatment option suitable for your mental health needs should always be your priority. The first step is to always ask for help.

Frequently Asked Questions About Treating Depression Through Art And Expression

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I had been keeping my depression a secret to my family for years. I became the breadwinner in the family when my father passed away five years ago, you see. As any breadwinner would know, being one meant that you had to be physically and emotionally resilient, especially if you still had siblings to send to school and an ailing mother who depended on you.

On the outside, my loved ones saw me as this bubbly big sister and daughter. Even if I had two full-time jobs, I always came home with a smile on my face. Whenever I could, I would even help out at home and teach my younger siblings their homework. They called me a Supergirl in the house because of that, and I would always laugh it off, insisting that I was merely doing my part.

It was not a lie, of course. It was my duty as the new head of the family to look after everyone. However, what they did not was that I did not feel deserving of such a title because I was crumbling deep inside. Due to my hectic schedule, I hadn’t had a decent meal in months. I would always buy a $1 burger at McDonald’s for lunch or dinner so that I won’t need to spend more of my salary on myself. Sleep had also evaded me for a while; I would not be able to get a shut-eye unless I had been sleep-deprived for two to three days. No one noticed that because they somehow never saw me without my makeup on.

When The Change Happened

When the sixth year rolled in, I pretty much accepted that my life would be like that forever. It must sound crazy for people without depression, but you would not really see a way out when you got this mental condition. But then, one day, my youngest sister asked if I would help her paint.

When Dad was still alive, and my life was breezy, I was an avid painter. Even if I could not play outside or do anything else, I would be happy as long as I had my canvas and watercolors. Since Dad’s passing, that would be the first time that I would paint again. 

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At first, I thought I would not know how to do it anymore. Holding the brush felt awkward; letting it glide over the canvas felt wrong. However, the longer I did it, the more old memories of my painting days returned. Little did I know, it was already noon, and I painted my father’s smiling face.

It was perhaps the first time that I cried that hard. My sister was initially confused because my emotions went from zero to 100, but she understood when she saw my canvas. After that day, I picked up my painting hobby, and my depression slowly ebbed away.

Why is art good for mental health? 

 Art is excellent for mental health because it allows people to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions without words. They can choose a medium and let their hands, hearts, and brains do the work. When the project ends, they get a sense of fulfillment.

Is painting good for depression? 

 Painting is good for depression because this activity can relieve an individual’s stress and increase their confidence level. As you probably know by now, stress is one of the most significant trigger factors of depression. The less stressed you get, the fewer depressive episodes you may have.

Is there a link between creativity and depression? 

 Many people link creativity and depression to each other, given the number of well-known artists with this specific mental disorder. Despite that, the reality is that there is no link between them.

How does art heal trauma? 

  • The therapist may ask the person to draw or paint their experiences. Whatever output they have will then be interpreted and discussed in the end.
  • Clients may also draw or paint what goals they hope to achieve through therapy. This is especially ideal if they cannot talk about it.
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Is art therapy good for mental illness? 

 Yes, art therapy is suitable for various mental illnesses. However, it is mostly used as a complementary treatment for other forms of treatment.

How does art affect the mind? 

 Research has shown that seeing or doing art can alter a person’s brain wave pattern and boost serotonin production. In other words, art makes people happier than ever or changes their outlook on life.

Is painting good for anxiety? 

 Yes, painting is good for anxiety, considering it gives an individual a creative outlet for their troubling thoughts.

Does art help anxiety? 

 Yes, art helps anxiety sufferers. According to studies, a simple act of coloring mandala drawings has significantly reduced an individual’s anxiety level. The same results – or more – may be expected when they focus on painting, drawing, and other activities.

How art therapy helps people heal? 

 Art therapy has been introduced to mentally troubled people as a way for them to channel their emotions into creativity. Thus, therapists allow their clients to choose whatever form of art they want to express themselves through it. The more artwork they create, the more healing they may experience.

Does creativity cause mental illness? 

 There is not enough research for us to conclude that creativity causes mental illnesses. 

Why are so many artists mentally ill? 

 There are a few possible reasons why so many artists become mentally ill.

  • Their career may not be improving.
  • Their family is pressuring them financial-wise.
  • They cannot find inspiration to create new art.
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How does creativity affect mental health? 

 Creativity allows you to let go of your intrusive thoughts and come out more collected than ever.

How does trauma affect creativity? 

 Considering trauma can make people go into isolation, it somehow helps improve their creativity.

How does art therapy help PTSD? 

 Art therapy is an excellent way for people living with PTSD to draw or paint their nightmares and experiences. Many people benefit from it, especially if words are not enough to express how they feel or think.

How does art help relieve stress?

Art is the perfect distraction for stressed individuals. It can keep your mind off stressful thoughts for hours. In the end, when you see your artwork, you may feel light and forget your worries.

Final Thoughts

A year later, I got the biggest surprise of my life when my sister came home with two strangers. When I asked who they were, my sister said they wanted to see my wild animals’ paintings in person and put them up on display at a modern art gallery. I later found out that my siblings were taking pictures of the 40+ images I created and looked for art galleries that would want to feature me. 

To cut the story short, the exhibit was a success, and I sold all my paintings. More galleries wanted to commission me, so I could finally do what I loved for a living. That completed my healing process.

Help Mother Earth – It Will Improve Your Mental Health

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Earth is the only known planet that is fit to become our habitat as we know, but with how we are treating our planet, we might just end up becoming extinct like the many who have come before us. Our environment is going through a tremendous amount of pollution, climate change, carbon emissions, and so much more. With how fast we are going through and consuming our natural resources, our environment does not have enough time to recover from the mining, logging – illegal or otherwise, deforestation, and more. If our environment cannot cope with the abuse that it goes through from the human race, we will be expecting extinction sooner than we think.

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Help The Medical World By Doing These 3 Things

I have always heard that every country needs more nurses and doctors, but it has never sunk in my brain. I don’t go to hospitals frequently, so I have not given it much thought. However, reality got handed to me when I attended the 2019 Medical Event.

Some hospital administrators talked about how their staff needed to take double shifts often. That’s how they managed to look after the patients 24/7 over the years. Even if they could hire more medical professionals, no one was applying.

The more I tried to envision the hardships of nurses and doctors, the more I thought of how we could ease their job. Here are three practical things that you may do:

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Avoid Activities That Will Undoubtedly Hurt You

The first tip is a no-brainer: don’t do anything that will put your life in danger. I am talking about activities like climbing walls without a harness, driving past the speed limit, etc. When you get hurt due to your recklessness, the doctors’ attention will become divided between you and others with more serious, non-accident-related illnesses. 

Learn First Aid

Taking a crash course regarding first aid is not merely for people who want to work in the medical field. It is for anyone who wishes to be of service if someone requires immediate care. E.g., a diner chokes on their food, or a driver ends up unconscious after a car collision. If you know first aid, you can help them even before the EMTs come. 

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Boost Your Immune System

You will be doing medical practitioners a massive favor when you boost your immunity. After all, patients need hospitalization because they are too weak to protect themselves from bacteria and viruses. When your immune system functions well, though, you can survive any illness on your own.

Learn how to take care of yourself so that you can avoid needing medical attention often. 

Volunteering As A Frontliner – Deadliest Job In The World

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The word “volunteer” was not in my vocabulary. I am cautious of it because by extending unpaid efforts, people will take advantage of you. It is true. I had experienced it firsthand when I was younger, and so, I do not just give my time to any cause unless I am sure that it is for the good of many people. And if it is the real deal.

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Why Volunteering Is Good For Your Soul

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I grew up in a family of volunteers. My first memory with my parents involved me handing out plates to the homeless people at the local kitchen. When I was old enough to use a hand trowel, my mom and dad took me to tree-planting activities. At the young age of 8, I was already helping build houses for the less fortunate folks. Despite it all, I only started asking myself why I was volunteering after attending the 2019 Volunteer Conference.

It was a genuine question that bothered me throughout the trip back home. Yes, I had no idea why I was volunteering. Perhaps it was because that was what my parents were doing, so I thought I should do it, too. Maybe it was because I was not given a choice to do other things. My family, after all, had this motto: “If one does it, then everyone else should do it.”

After some contemplation, though, I realize that my reason for volunteering was that it felt incredible. Doing so is good for the soul because:

It Humbles You
I know a lot of 20-something individuals born into old money who think poorly about the poor. Though I also come from a well-to-do family, my mom and dad have immersed me in volunteer work early. Instead of feeling disgust towards the homeless, therefore, I become grateful for what I have and find ways to help them.

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It Changes How You Think Of Problems
Dealing with issues by overdosing on drugs or attempting suicide will never be the solution I’ll ever consider. Either seems familiar for affluent individuals, but I have come across less fortunate people who don’t even complain about the financial challenges they face. They keep on working hard to make ends meet; they know that self-harming is not the quick fix to everything.

It Gives You A Purpose
While my peers are busy doing odd jobs or wasting their parents’ money, I know what I want to do: continue helping others. I believe that that’s why I have come to this world in the first place. It warms my heart every time I think of the smiles I earn from the individuals who are on the receiving end of my volunteer work.

 

Give volunteering a try to under how amazing it can make you feel. Good luck!

Scary Things That Might Happen If We Lose The Amazon Rain Forest (Part II)

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Talking about the Amazon rainforest today is so relevant that the people who see the news and other social media platform updates feel genuinely interested in the issue. That is because millions of people seem concern about what might happen to the planet after the devastating incident. Yes, some may appear not bothered, though. “Many people are simply unaware of these problems of the modern world or of the real (and often simple) solutions to them that are available,” says Kenneth Worthy, Ph.D. “Many people answer “don’t know” to polls about climate change, and ignorance of the problem is widespread around the globe.” But a lot is entirely trying their best to raise awareness. It is not only for the welfare of the planet but as well as for the understanding of humankind response to the global issue. People are deeply saddened by the incident that they can no longer stop thinking about the scary things that might happen when the Earth loses Amazon.

More Unfortunate People And More Refugees – There are millions of people who live in the rainforest of Amazon. They rely on the rainforest for the shelter, food, income, as well as medicines. So imagine if the area entirely gets wiped out, these individuals will no longer have a place to live. They will lose everything they have. The tendency of them having nothing is their vast unintentional and forced occupancy to different places. These indigenous people will have to migrate to cities which will populate it even more. “Although this immigrant community had minimal connections with surrounding communities, apart from those of work and business, matters changed greatly over time as subsequent generations became increasingly assimilated following a pattern found in all other immigrant communities,” explains evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber, Ph.D. With that particular incident, the world will suffer from a major humanitarian crisis.

Loss Of Tribes – One of the great treasures of the world is its uncontacted tribes. Most of these people lived in the Amazon rainforest. We all know that these tribes are now under threat. According to Lissa Rankin, M.D., “With these changes, the multi-generational homes disbanded and the community lifestyle shifted gears from nightly celebrations to more of the typical “every man for himself” philosophy that fueled the neighboring communities.” That is both due to deforestation and burning of the Amazon. If ever the planet will lose its largest rainforest, these people will soon die. By that, future generations might no longer know that these tribes once exist in the world.

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Loss Of Medical Possibilities – If losing people and their lives don’t concern others because it doesn’t directly involve them, how about the loss of medical possibilities? Since Amazon is one of the largest rainforests that consists of millions of undiscovered living things, it also has the potential of having ingredients that cure diseases. Only nature provides components such as different types of molds, snake venoms, periwinkle, and more. So imagine if the Amazon is gone, the possibility of getting right through the cure of cancer can never have a chance for discovery.

Smoke – Fires release a vast amount of smoke visible from space that we humans inhale. Since smoke travels through the wind, surrounding regions also suffer from too much of it. Soon, it will reach major urban areas. When the Amazon loses its ability to produce oxygen, the Earth will suffer from carbon emission that will quickly put all people on the planet at a higher health risk.

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More Fires – It is pretty much evident. When there are not enough trees, there is less rainwater. If there is less rainwater, there are more droughts. So with more droughts, we can expect an increased intensity and events of fires. The fires will spread to more dense places; specifically, the ones lived by humans. So yes, we can picture out losing houses and buildings, and people as well.

Now, think about this. Are these not enough reasons for you to raise awareness?

Scary Things That Might Happen If We Lose The Amazon Rain Forest

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The Amazon experienced a wildfire in an increased record rate. According to research, the particular incident of the forest’s latest fire is the highest among all the occurrences in the area. With all the 72,843 fires in Brazil in the year 2019 alone, half of the incidents took place in the rainforest of the Amazon. Since it referred to as the lungs of the planet, the fear of losing a significant amount of oxygen is at stake. However, a loss of oxygen is not all there is to worry about if we lose the Amazon rainforest.

“People have been concerned and distressed about climate change for several decades, but there’s been little monitoring of those psychological impacts,” says Joseph Reser, PhD. “Climate change is an ongoing threat, and the psychological implications are occurring here and now.”

Some of them are the following:

Flooding – How exactly does less rain result in more flooding? Well, that is because trees prevent erosion when it rains through the help of their roots. So when there are not enough trees in the area, there will be a lot of flooding into the surrounding. These will affect towns, cities, as well as metropolises, where a lot of people live. Not to mention the living conditions in some parts of Brazil that suffer significantly due to the unpredictable weather. The terms of climate change can get worse twice as much the usual.

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Less Rain – A scientific journal research and study show that Amazon is responsible for providing rain to the areas surrounding it. So if it stops producing rainwater, the countries in and out of its rainforest parameter will suffer vastly. With that, people can expect that even the richest and healthiest agricultural parts of Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay; will soon experience an industrial downfall as well. The less rainfall will affect the production of rice, soybean, cotton, sugar cane, wheat, tobacco, beans, and a wide variety of fruits. Sherry L. Pagoto, PhD, states “A poor diet may also contribute to poor mental health.”

Drought – Along with the less possible rainfall, the planet might suffer from drought. With that, it will become hard to find the source of clean water. The drought condition will get much worse than it will inevitably affect food and water supplies. There will be no enough resources that will sustain crops and poultry production for that matter too. Therefore, the process of livestock in Brazil will suffer from a massive loss that will make every meat and poultry way too much expensive.

Loss Of Biodiversity – People might think that the focus of the burning condition of Amazon was strictly onto the trees. However, in reality, insects and animals get to burn with them, including those threatened and endangered ones too. Well, yes, some of them are not wiped out. However, the possible loss of the Amazon rainforest will become a massive burden to these creatures. That is because of the difficulty in finding other animals to breed with. Therefore, we can expect a more increased rate of extinction.

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The Amazon rainforest might be in Brazil, but it doesn’t mean it is out of boundary. It is still part of the world that we are living in so we should show our concern about the issue. Jessy Warner-Cohen, PhD, says “A person can choose to make one environmentally friendly change in their life to help offset the impact of this destruction.”

Let us all raise awareness so that we won’t be able to suffer these scary things once the Amazon is gone.