Wilderness therapy is an adventurous treatment therapy for self-improvement of young people. It is an outdoor educational program away from home. There are many types of wilderness programs offered by different organisations following different methodologies. Wilderness therapy is actually exposing the participants to wild environment developing survival abilities and improving social skills. This is a troubled teen program which is actually designed for young and adolescents of age 12-17 and 18-25 who have behavioural and psychological disorders.
Wilderness therapy follows different stages during the course within allotted period of time. The first stage starts with cleansing stage followed by self-dependent stage and finally after therapy. Cleansing stage is the first step in which the individuals are brought into outside world from their previous materialistic lives. For those who have addictions like drugs are given with medicines, physical health training by the staff who are assigned to the individual. They teach them survival skills. They work with them, stay with them and move friendly with the young individuals. The next is self-reliance, where the participants are made to take responsibility for their own living and develop techniques to face situations in wild environment thus improving social behaviour through camping and hiking. After therapy is the transition stage where the patients learn the importance of family and social life. They show improved behaviour. After examining their skills, social behaviour the patients are sent their families from the woods to their homes. At this stage parents are given opportunity to stay with their children for the last two days were they conduct family camping and counselling.
Staff assigned to individuals and other staff are required to analyse and report observation if the individuals are showing these development in their behaviour. The first step which is mainly aimed to accomplish the participants is development of social concept. It is achieved by letting the individuals talk about feelings and emotions. This improves their self-esteem and know achieving their goals. This is attained by making them believe in way of the therapy that they are undergoing. Wilderness therapy mainly focuses on teaching life skills like communication skills, coping skills, and awareness about drugs and alcohol that brings out the personal skills of the clients. These skills help them make better choices in life and help them understand the consequences of their behaviour mainly for those who are under drug abuse. This understanding helps them realize their own behaviour, and changes that they want to make for themselves. These changes are reported to their parents during the therapy or after therapy sessions. These realizations make the individuals know the care and love that they receive from their parents and they often desire to strengthen their family relationships this fulfils the main goal of wilderness programs which is to bring parents and children together.At the end the young minds learn life skills knowing their own abilities their past behaviour and their future goals. They experience great self-confidence and keep themselves at high self-esteem.