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Though hard to believe, children have a lot to be angry about. They’re old enough to know what they want, but too young to always get what they want. Their curiosity and inexperience make them want to try everything, but they might not always succeed. Many emotions and circumstances are completely new, so they do not yet know how to handle it all. On top of it all, most kids have not yet mastered the controlling of impulses.

So much is about perspective. At Trails, teens’ lives change. Whether it’s from a personal discovery on a multi-day trek, a moment when it clicks while working with a therapist, or taking care of a horse, our staff facilitates a both nurturing and challenging environment where teens learn tools that shape their lives and relationship with family-forever. firestarter

A Wilderness Therapy Program's Affect On Teen Perspective and Well-being

When students arrive in wilderness therapy they begin a process of discovery about who they are and what they are capable of. Their bodies begin to align with the cycle of the sun leading to improved amounts and quality of sleep. They begin to eat better, adapting to foods that are nutrient dense and largely plant based. And they move...a lot. Whether it’s tossing a Frisbee in the field outside our main office at Trails or backpacking several miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains over the course of an expedition, it is impossible for students to ignore the positive effects of exercise. burn2learn_infographic

If your teen has lost desire to hang out with friends, has difficulty concentrating or remembering, loses appetite, or can’t seem to go to sleep at night, you may write it off as normal teenage behavior. However, if these or other anti-social behaviors continue for any length of time, it may indicate a more serious issue. Teenagers with depression are often times categorized as “just going through changes” or being “overly hormonal,” but when the sadness and retraction do not go away within a few weeks, it is more likely your teenager is suffering from depression and may not know how to cope. trails