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Wilderness Therapy Programs

Major Mom Guilt and the Start of the Suicide Watch

BRTW 8

A few years ago, it was early morning, and I was walking down the stairs to make a cup of coffee. I have this odd sense about me, and I know something is wrong. I can’t pinpoint it, and I am too exhausted to try. I feel tingly and weird and in full adrenaline mode. I turn the coffee maker on and notice we need paper towels; I go to the garage to get the towels. I see my husband’s sailing ropes laying on the ground. They are tied. My groggy brain brushes this observation off, and I go back to the kitchen to the coffee maker and look out the window. That’s weird, Scotty (age 12) is sleeping out in the grass with our Labrador, Fudge. Why? Part of me knows something isn’t right and part of me can’t comprehend why. I go outside, and he wakes up. He said Fudge was barking so he went out there to be with him. I am a smart person, I am a very intuitive person, yet I bought it, hook, line, and sinker. If only I had drunk my coffee before going in the garage, maybe I would’ve been aware and aw

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Struggling Story of 9 year's old Scotty and His Mother

A few years ago, it was early morning, and I was walking down the stairs to make a cup of coffee. I have this odd sense about me, and I know something is wrong. I can’t pinpoint it, and I am too exhausted to try. I feel tingly and weird and in full adrenaline mode. I turn the coffee maker on and notice we need paper towels; I go to the garage to get the towels. I see my husband’s sailing ropes laying on the ground.

scotty

They are tied. My groggy brain brushes this observation off, and I go back to the kitchen to the coffee maker and look out the window. That’s weird, Scotty (age 12) is sleeping out in the grass with our Labrador, Fudge. Why? Part of me knows something isn’t right and part of me can’t comprehend why. I go outside, and he wakes up. He said Fudge was barking so he went out there to be with him. I am a smart person, I am a very intuitive person, yet I bought it, hook, line, and sinker. If only I had drunk my coffee before going in the garage, maybe I would’ve been aware and a

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Nomadic Wilderness as a Relational Model of Healing Substance Use

I have worked in a multitude of treatment settings from sober living communities, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, a university, and most recently found myself in a new container: the wilderness. I assumed that this treatment modality would be similar to the other environments I have worked in, only, it was doing therapy out in the woods. It had been a long time since I thought about how being outside unquestionably impacted my childhood. However, it didn't take long for me to remember just how profound a connection to the wilderness can be....read more

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Group Psychotherapy and Working with Group Dynamics in the Wilderness

Mindfullness

A group of people sitting in a circle in the wilderness is an image we can all imagine, have seen, and/or been a part of. It's a powerful image. Why is this such a powerful image? It is something that has been going on for centuries. There is inherent wisdom, not only in the act of sitting in a circle and being a part of a group but also in what the magical element of the wilderness provides to this already rich experience.

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Parent Workshop – February 8 & 9 in Clayton, GA

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At Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, we believe that respectfully addressing the family dynamics and improving communication between parents and children throughout the entire process is paramount. The family is essential to the progress a student makes.

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The Importance of Multicultural Awareness in Wilderness Treatment Settings

g2-26-min

Many cultural and ethnic minorities have extensive experiences of being oppressed, which they may eventually internalize. However, psychology has yet to actively incorporate various forms of internalized oppression (e.g. colonial mentality [CM]) into the etiological conceptualizations of psychopathology. Using a sample of 248 Filipino Americans, the author tested more complete and socio-politically informed cultural model of depression symptoms. Results with structural equation modeling showed that conceptual model that includes CM better explained depression symptoms among Filipino Americans than the model without CM and revealed that CM had a significant direct effect on Filipino Americans’ experiences of depression symptoms. It is argued, through this illustrative case of depression symptoms among Filipino Americans, that incorporating the psychological effects of oppressive historical and contemporary conditions into our conceptualizations of ethnic minority mental health may lea

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BRTW considers your child’s safety to be our primary concern.

Therefore all staff members participate in a minimum of 80 hours of initial staff training until the Executive and Field Directors believe they are proficient in the following skills:

  • Instruction in safety procedures and proper equipment usage (fuel, fire, life protection)
  • Instruction in emergency procedures like medical, evacuation, weather, or fire
  • Basic first-aid
  • Navigation skills (map and compass use for navigation)
  • Local environmental precautions (terrain, weather, insects, poisonous plants)
  • Planned response to adverse situations or emergency evacuations

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The family is essential to the progress a student makes.

To ensure the success of our students, Ashley Green as our Family Support Therapist offers additional support to families because we believe that the more work the whole family does, the more sustainable and meaningful the child’s work will be. Ashley’s role is to offer time and space for parents to process and share their feelings, reflect on and explore family dynamics and areas of growth, and get general information about the program and their child’s experience. The frequency and focus of this support is individualized to a family’s unique needs, from providing a safe space to process feelings, to helping parents strategize how to support other siblings at home. Blue Ridge offers a menu of family supports and resources so families have choices in what will work best for them at various stages of their process. Ashley works closely with your child’s therapist to truly offer integrated, whole family care.

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Asking Questions and Living the Answers: Finding Identity in the Wilderness

Tim

I discovered this incredible work by chance while searching through a listing of outdoor jobs on an online database in the summer of 2011. As a recent college graduate, I was neck deep in the angst of entering the job force. I had never heard of Wilderness Therapy before, and honestly, I remember feeling unsure if I wanted to do it or not. I pictured a boot camp where students just cried all day and yelled at each other as field instructors ran around saying things like, “take accountability for your actions!” or, “let the tears flow!” Nonetheless, something about it captivated my imagination. So I applied for a job as a Field Instructor and read every book about it I could get my hands on. As I read Shouting At The Sky, a book describing a writer’s personal wilderness therapy experience, I started to understand that this wasn’t like anything else I had ever heard of; it sounded compassionate, powerful, raw, even sacred.

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Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness Celebrates One Year!

This week we are celebrating one year as Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness! So much has changed in the last year and we are thrilled to share our evolution and growth. We are proud to continually serve and support families with a primary goal of setting up students and families on their path to healing and helping teens to reconnect with the best version of themselves.

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