The Power of Nature: Decreasing Anxiety Through Wilderness Therapy

hiker 846094 1280Not many people realize this and we often forget as humans that there is power in nature. Specifically, it has been shown to have the power to decrease stress and anxiety through many studies and observations. This is why wilderness therapy was created. Certain people recognized the benefits nature could contribute to a therapeutic program–hence the reason wilderness therapy programs exist today.

Wilderness therapy improves anxiety in youth

Think about the calm feeling that washes over you when you begin the first lengths of a hike after a long week in the office. This therapy began off of that feeling, because it’s not just a feeling–it’s really a stress and anxiety reliever.
In one study, researchers discovered that people who live in the city have a much higher risk of developing anxiety than those who live in rural areas, aka areas surrounded by nature. They also found that by visiting nature in urban areas (parks), people could greatly improve their mood and relieve stress.
Wilderness therapy is a type of therapy that doesn’t feel clinical or impersonal, which is what teens who go into wilderness therapy programs have largely experienced. Being in nature not only calms them down and relieves anxiety, but it gives them the opportunity to truly take a moment and assess how they’re feeling. Our lives are cluttered by notifications, texts, after school activities, television, and more–wilderness therapy removes all of this, allowing a teen to tap into themselves.
Wilderness therapy also involves a lot of skill building and mastery. The teens in these programs often have self-esteem issues and think they can’t accomplish much, but in wilderness therapy activities, they learn otherwise. They learn that if they work hard on something, they can overcome the challenge, which removes the anxiety around future obstacles.

Trails Carolina can help

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling youth, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other behavioral challenges. We use outdoor learning and wilderness therapy to improve the lives of young people and treat anxiety in teens.
For more information about how Trails Carolina can help your child, please call 800-975-7303 today!

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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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