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      wilderness program for families from Tennessee

      Why Does Wilderness Adventure Therapy Work?

      The sun is beginning to set over the ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. Hues of rose, saffron and magenta streak across the winter sky as the sun begins to set. The temperature is dropping and you know you need to set up your tent or you’ll have to face the natural consequences of your actions.

      You can either sleep in the comfort of your tent, insulated from the elements or be exposed to what Mother Nature has in store – the choice is yours, and yours alone. Which do you pick?

      The benefits of wilderness adventure therapy

      In a snapshot, this is why wilderness adventure therapy is effective. In real time, teens will be put into situation where they need to make critical decisions. They aren’t forced to pitch their tent and hunker down, but if they don’t they will quickly see the natural consequences of their actions.

      At Trails Carolina, we have found this approach to be especially effective in helping teens fully grasp how important their actions are. We also fully believe that wilderness adventure therapy is a way for teens to discover who they are, and what they are capable of.

      Learning new hard skills such as bow drilling, loading your pack and building a shelter can go a long way for building confidence. Along with this, soft skills such as determination, planning and critical thinking are also developed.

      Success includes family involvement & beyond

      Your teen’s growth doesn’t stop in the wilderness, though. We believe that the ability to transfer these skills to the real world is just as important, which is why we offer a 5-day extended Family Camp program as a way for parents to better understand their child and to help ease the transition from wilderness adventure therapy to a residential treatment center or back home.

       

      If you are interested in wilderness adventure therapy, or how we can help your teen at Trails Carolina, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-975-7303. We’re here for you, and look forward to your call.

      AUTHOR

      Graham Shannonhouse

      A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Graham Shannonhouse has been actively involved in the wilderness therapy field for nearly three decades. After receiving her degree in 1991, Shannonhouse spent 10 years working with a premiere wilderness-based therapeutic program in south-central Idaho. During her tenure, she served three years as a hands-on Field Instructor, three years as Field Supervisor, and the remaining time as Wilderness Program Director. During this period she developed, managed, and served as counselor for the country’s first wilderness program specifically focused on pre- teens ages 10 to 13 Graham returned to the east in 2002 to serve as Executive Director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it to one of the most respected companies in the industry. In 2008, she resigned her position to open Trails Carolina. Having an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham has brought her experience and wisdom to her position as Partner and Executive Director with the goal of integrating the true family work that must be done to insure lasting success.

      All stories by: Graham Shannonhouse

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