Wilderness programs utilize the outdoors and nature to help foster healing. The goal of attending a “wilderness program” is to offer a distraction-free environment for self-discovery and a way to give that person a chance to view the future with different “lens.” These programs can help pre-adolescents, adolescents, and young adults discover a way to stop the negative journey on which they have found themselves. Often, out in the wilderness, the child’s brain and body get to have a reset because many distractions from home are eliminated such as technology, school failures, social discomfort, and/or the chaos of the relationship with family members. Living the challenges presented by nature promotes many critical skills such as resilience, patience, self-esteem, self-awareness and courage. At the end of the program, the adolescent has the confidence to face the conflicts that initially brought them to the program.
Wilderness therapy programs average 7-9 weeks and are located in various settings around the United States. Each program has a unique focus and may or may not be suitable for every person. Therefore, we visit them regularly to keep current on their strategies, therapies, and goals in order to help us provide our clients with the best possible recommended programs.
Residential treatment programs vary depending on the diagnosis and history of the incoming client. These programs are available for children as young as 8 years old to adults into their 40’s(+). They provide full-time, supervised structure and are usually very clinical, offering a variety of specialists trained in different techniques of treatment. There are also students working on their gender identity issues and so need to have a nurturing well trained therapist to help them through the process.
School is a part of the experience, if needed, and is introduced to the client when they are ready. Academics and treatment are woven together in order to provide a well balanced but carefully edited day and week. There is also emphasis on the importance of the entire family working toward healing and reuniting. The length of stay is entirely dependent on the health and goals set by the team, the family and the client. At The Aspire Group, we understand the differences and nuances of these programs so we can help educate our clients on the various options that would benefit their child’s future.
Therapeutic boarding programs offer an academic environment for students with mental health or behavioral challenges. They integrate both group and individual therapy into the week of classes. With this academic ability, students can continue with their education while getting the help that they need. In addition, the home family spends time with the student in order to continue to heal the entire family and see the future in a more positive light.
The average length of stay is 12-18 months. The treatment process includes home visits and the length of these visits usually grow as the client progresses. It is possible to have off-campus privileges and maybe even an internship. Some therapeutic boarding schools will have an academic advisor who can help with the college process.
These programs vary greatly in areas of specialty. The Aspire Group is knowledgeable of the various programs and can share their expertise in order to help our clients make an informed decision for their child’s future.
Young Adult Programs
Young adult programs start at age 18, but can treat clients into their 30’s. There are a variety of reasons young adults may need a more structured program before they can develop “wings to fly.” The programs vary widely depending on the young adult’s need: some programs are designed for physically able but immaturely “stuck” young adults, some programs are for those that have tried college but for a number of reasons have not succeeded, other programs are for low functioning clients, some programs focus on higher functioning and some programs are for those challenged with mental illness or a severe neurological issue. Additionally for those young adults still struggling with their gender Identity issues, there are programs designed to nurture them through their process.
Being knowledgeable in this industry, The Aspire Group understands that it is critically important to find the program best suited for a client’s unique needs. This is another area in which The Aspire Group excels.