A Thorough Behavior Assessment Gives Greatest Chance for Successful Therapy

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Is your child’s high-risk behaviors causing problems at home and school? Have you tried seeking therapy from home with no significant change? A change in environment, behavior assessment, and a diverse therapy team might be just what your teen needs. Trails Carolina’s wilderness therapy goes beyond the typical wilderness therapy approach to ensure the greatest chance for successful treatment.

behavior assessment

Image source- Flickr user: h-k-d

Multi-perspective behavior assessment

With more varied input and perspectives for assessing a situation, you can develop a more thorough understanding and plan of action. Unlike the narrowed view of traditional therapy of weekly meetings with a single therapist, a wilderness therapy program provides a team of experts working with your child. At Trails, our team consists of:

A therapeutic team – our team of therapists includes both individual and family professionals. The therapy teams works together with the insight from all staff for a comprehensive behavior assessment.

Rather than looking just at troubled behaviors and giving a quick fix, a thorough behavior assessment takes into account:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Background
  • Family dynamics
  • Home and school environments
  • Risk behaviors

With weekly family therapy and primary therapy three times per week, teens are continually working on new ways to communicate, cope with emotions and take control of their behavior.

A wilderness team – while the students are on expeditions of up to three weeks at a time, there is constant supervision and leadership that provides in the moment feedback and teaching. Expert field instructors take care to ensure the students are continually safe while exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A residential team – having a separate care team while not on expedition allows students the opportunity to interact with a variety of leaders. The base camp team helps teens take what they’ve learned from wilderness therapy and apply it to a residential setting.

Academic teachers – at basecamp, students are assisted by our certified teacher to ensure they are prepared for their return to school. The teacher works with a student’s current school to provide the specific help they need.

An equine specialist – learn how troubled teens benefit from equine assisted therapy by reading here. While at basecamp, students participate in daily equine therapy to better understand their emotions and connect with others.

Not just in the wilderness

Trails uses multiple settings and professional perspectives to ensure a comprehensive behavior assessment and treatment program for every teen. Unlike most wilderness therapy programs, Trails has a base camp where the teens spend about 25 percent of their time.

Though a wilderness environment is helpful in getting teens out of their comfort zone and into a new environment, the base camp offers a home-like structure for teens to practice what they’ve been learning. The change in settings offers teens a variety of settings in which to reinforce skills and confidence. With academic support, equine therapy and group therapy at base camp, teens are more prepared for their transition home.

A unique experience

Trails provides a complete behavior assessment by looking at multiple perspectives in a variety of settings. Unlike traditional therapy and many wilderness therapy programs, we take a unique approach to ensure long-term success. It is always a difficult decision to send a child to a therapy program but we are confident our program and behavior assessment will create success for your child.


If you have questions or concerns, call our admissions team at 800-975-7303 to discuss if Trails Carolina would be the best fit for your struggling teen.


Graham Shannonhouse

All stories by: Graham Shannonhouse

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