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    bow drilling

    The Purpose of Bow Drilling in Wilderness Therapy

    There is evidence that humans have been using fire as a survival tool for as long as a million years, but it took several hundred thousand years for us to perfect the skill of building and controlling fires. Over time, we have learned to skip steps along the way and focus more on the size…

    school refusal

    Long-Term Effects of School Refusal Beyond Educational Outcomes

    We need to rethink how we conceptualize school refusal, particularly in younger children. We tend to think that it does not make a difference for an elementary school child to be pulled from class for an extra day of vacation or a doctor’s appointment followed by an afternoon of personal errands. However, by the time…

    aggression in teens

    PTSD Can Lead to Aggression in Teens

    People tend to talk more about the “freeze response” in teens who have experienced trauma than to accept the reality of what “fight or flight” can look like. According to research recently published in JNeurosci., traumatic stress can cause aggression by strengthening two brain pathways involved in emotion. Understanding how traumatic experiences may lead to…

    teens with behavior problems

    Outdoor Therapy Serves as Healthy Outlet for Teens with Behavior Problems

    Outdoor therapy programs take a different approach than boot camps for teens with behavior problems by using nature as a guide to making healthier choices and empowering teens to gain insight into how their actions affect others. As many teens with behavior problems struggle with taking advice from authority figures and lack self-awareness necessary for…

    teens cope with anxiety

    Attachment Style Predicts How Teens Cope with Anxiety

    Anxiety looks different for everyone that experiences it. While it may be one of the most common and most talked about mental health struggles among teenagers, not everyone responds to anxiety treatment in the same way.  Recognizing how attachment styles are influenced by anxiety and vice versa helps loved ones and professionals identify more effective…

    Equine Programming Serves as Alternative Experiential Therapy for Anxious Teens

    Many young people don’t respond well to traditional forms of therapy. Group therapy can feel overwhelming for teens with social anxiety and talking to a therapist can feel intimidating if they don’t know them very well. Wilderness therapy programs utilize a variety of alternative experiential therapies, like equine programming, to help anxious teens identify and…

    self esteem for teens on the autism spectrum

    Improving Self Esteem for Teens on the Autism Spectrum

    Low self-esteem is often an ongoing challenge for teens on the autism spectrum. While they are often self-aware of their own interests and struggles, they struggle to communicate these to others due to fear of judgment or not fitting in. Many teens on the spectrum have a tendency to be overly self-critical and have internalized…

    wilderness therapy programs for middle school

    Wilderness Therapy Programs For Middle School Students

    Adolescence is a significant period of emotional development, where the therapeutic needs of middle schoolers are different from the needs of high schoolers. Teachers understand this and apply different techniques in the classrooms, so why shouldn’t wilderness programs? Currently, Trails is the only wilderness therapy programs for middle school students with single-gender middle school programming…

    bipolar disorder in teens

    How Wilderness Can Help Teens with Bipolar Disorder Find Balance in Their Lives

    Teenagers are known for mood swings, but sometimes their high highs and low lows may be more than just hormonal changes. It is hard to recognize bipolar disorder in teens when transient periods of moodiness are normalized.  Knowing the difference between bipolar disorder, depression, and teen mood swings is important in determining what treatment options…

    mindfulness based stress reduction

    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens with Anxiety

    A common phrase used to signal anxiety is “I have butterflies in my stomach.” This suggests that people are subconsciously aware of how physical sensations can alert us to anxious thoughts without necessarily making the connection. Teens are often better at noticing signs of physical anxiety than being able to express specific fears they may…