FAQ

  • Why does Trails work so well?

    Families often ask, “Why does Trails work?” This is what we tell them.

    • Therapeutic Environment – a safe, supportive, research based therapeutic approach focused on success at Trails and continued success after our wilderness therapy ends.
    • Focus on the Family – from our Family Therapist, weekly phone calls, sibling involvement, to Common Ground and Reunification weekends, everything we do at Trails is designed to help students—and their families—see lasting change.
    • Blend of Wilderness and Base Camps– students practice transitions to new situations, settings, and staff to improve student confidence in better handling all that life throws at us whether in the wilderness or in the classroom.
    • Decades of Experience – our talented team is passionate and experienced in building relationships and trust.
    • Trails Values – we have an underlying set of core values to help create the highest quality standards for a safe and supportive experience.
    • Team Approach – we bring together the experiences of seeing your child in a variety of different environments and situations to develop a more individualized and comprehensive plan
  • Who Does Trails Carolina Help?

    Trails Carolina wilderness program works with young men and women ranging from 10-13 years (youth) and 13-17 (adolescent). Our clinically proven methods work exceptionally well with:

    • School refusal
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Family conflict
    • Low self-esteem
    • Social isolation
    • Self-harm
    • Adoption
    • Defiant behavior/Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    • Gaming and technology obsession
    • Substance abuse
    • Attachment issues
    • Manipulative behavior
    • Poor academic achievement
    • Learning differences
    • ADHD
    • Trauma
  • Are your student groups separated by gender or age?

    We recognize that males and females have different needs and that pre-teens have different needs than teens. This is why we split groups into four distinct groups led by therapists and field staff with specific expertise and interest working with these groups.

  • How are families engaged while their child is at Trails?

    While the student is getting help at Trails, the family back home is, too. Families play a critical role in the long-term success of our students. Therefore, while your child is seeing the benefits from our program, we are working with your family as well:

    • Working through the Parent Handbook
    • Getting support on weekly calls with other families – you are not alone!
    • Weekly calls with our Family Therapist on changing the family dynamic
    • Weekly progress calls talking to a Primary Therapist on how your child is doing
    • Sibling support calls as needed
    • And participating in a Parent Workshop, Common Ground and Graduation Camp.
  • Can a student maintain their schoolwork while enrolled at Trails?

    One of the unique features of the Trails Carolina is the we are the only wilderness program that is academically accredited in the continental United States. Trails Carolina is proudly accredited by AdvancEd (SACS) and employs a full time certified teacher working with every student. The aim of the academic program at Trails is to create opportunities for students to make active contributions to their future academic successes. This may include: learning how to be more successful in the classroom, earning credits for environmental studies and writing, continuing work brought from a previous school, and proctoring exams.

  • Why is Trails wilderness program therapy effective?

    There are many great answers to this question and certainly not all programs are the same. Here’s what we know at Trails:

    Wilderness is an incredible tool for assessment.

    Wilderness “stops the clock” and dramatically changes the setting a struggling child is living in.

    Trails students have a very simplified circumstance in which they must learn to care for themselves differently, and plenty of time to learn how.

    We have been doing this a long time and changes we see in our students and their families are why we keep doing this. See some of our parent and student reviews.

  • How experienced is your wilderness program staff?

    Our Executive Director & Founder, Graham Shannonhouse, has more than 20 years of experience in Wilderness Therapy. Collectively, our leadership team of executive, clinical, program and field personnel has an average of 15+ years experience working with students and their families with similar programs to Trails wilderness.

    We love what we do and are honored by the trust families have placed in us time and time again.

  • What is a student’s first day like?

    Every student is different. Just as a student’s transition is carefully planned for graduation, it is also planned when they enter. In general, when students arrive to the Trails wilderness program they transition quickly from their parents or transport to a process of being outfitted with top-of-the-line gear and then moved to their group to meet the peers they will be working with for the next several weeks.

For additional answers to your specific questions or concerns please contact our Admissions Team directly at (800) 975-7303. We look forward to telling you more about our wilderness program and therapy approach.

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