The Best Wilderness Therapy Programs Focus on Family Communication

Communication is absolutely vital when you are part of a team and even more critical within your family. We are constantly told that communication leads to a healthy marriage, but that emphasis applies between children and the entire family too.

The Best Wilderness Therapy Programs Bring Family Together

Communication often shuts down with troubled teenagers, as they desire to not let you in to their lives and their thinking. Conversations become one-sided, as you tell your child what will or will not be tolerated and let them know exactly how it is going to be. Parents feel they are not getting through to their child and teenagers feel they aren’t being heard. Or, they do not even give care to be heard. The best wilderness therapy programs for troubled teenagers focus on family communication, so teens and parents learn how to interact with each other more sustainably, and learn how to fall back on proper coping strategies.

Family Involvement Is Key To A Troubled Teen’s Growth

According to the American Psychological Association, family is key to treating substance abuse, depression and anxiety disorders, common underlying issues of troubled teenagers. Though it can be difficult to deal with an oppositional teenager, wilderness therapy programs make the learning process gradual and comprehensive for both parties. The best wilderness therapy programs allow the teen to know they are not alone in what they are going through, they develop coping tools and learn to let their family in every step of the way.

A Troubled Teenager’s Perspective Changes With Family Communication

Troubled teenagers no longer appreciate the guidance of parents and have problems respecting authority. Improving communication between parents and their teenagers, not only allows the ability to set clear boundaries, but allows the teen to express their thoughts and concerns as well. The troubled teen will feel as though they have a voice and an impact on their own lives, without giving them complete control of the family.

Dealing With Emotional Issues in Behavioral Therapy

Major experiences like trauma, jail time, school expulsion/suspension, divorce and death will cause lasting emotions for everyone, especially when it happens to a young child or teenager. Not yet knowing how to express their emotions clearly and often times completely shutting out what they are feeling, troubled teenagers have many emotions they have not fully dealt with leading to inappropriate (even dangerous) outbursts in behavior. Having open communication within the family allows your teen somewhere to go when they need to talk through something. They can express their anger or frustration or just have a shoulder to cry on when they need it most.

Repairing relationships

“Since most problems involve fractured family relationships, recovery requires repairing those bonds.” (

It’s easy to see when a troubled teenager needs behavioral therapy, but what is often overlooked is therapy for the entire family. Troubled teenagers who don’t focus on family communication and return to the same home life as they came from often resort back to their same behaviors, leading to little progression. That is why behavioral therapy programs, like Trails, address the issues with the entire family.

The Best wilderness therapy programs

The best wilderness therapy programs involve the family in order to increase communication, repair relationships, and give a support system.
Director of the Center for Family Intervention Science at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Guy Diamond states,

“The misunderstanding of family therapy is that it’s about blaming parents. Really, the approach is that families are the medicine. They are curative-if we can help them develop the right skills and postures.”

That is why Trails, one of the best wilderness therapy programs, firmly believes that families benefit from being involved in their child’s process. It is one of the three core beliefs upon which the program is founded.

Call Us Today

For your family to be successful in learning how to cope with the problems and issues you’re facing and to be able to create meaningful, lasting change call Trails Carolina Wilderness program at 1-800-975-7303 to speak to someone about your specific situation and needs.

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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