Wilderness Therapy Creates Positive Change in Brain

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Photo Source: Flickr User – Matthias Ripp

In a study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers led by Gregory Bratman from Stanford University found a link between positive thinking and nature. The results? It only takes a 90-minute stroll through some greenery to elicit a change in the way people think.

In the study, those who walked through the wilderness tended to focus less on negatives and had less brain activity in areas associated with the development of mental illness. The study emphasizes the need for natural surroundings to keep mental health. This is why wilderness therapy is so effective.

Wilderness therapy defined

In today’s society, young people are more prone to developing issues because of various factors, such as an increase in single-parent families; the media promoting sex and violence; and less structured homes where parents are both working more often. Because of this, more comprehensive therapy programs have developed to help these adolescents, such as wilderness therapy.


Photo Source: Flickr User – Antoine Gady

Wilderness therapy is often used within programs that use it along with other therapies to conduct assessments, interventions and treatments of problem behaviors. This type of therapy is usually for adolescents struggling with issues, such as depression, anxiety, family conflict and more.

By removing the daily distractions of phones, electronics, etc., teens are able to focus in on their issues to change them. Wilderness therapy programs use activities, such as backpacking, rafting, mountain biking and camping to increase self-esteem, responsibility and personal growth.

Finding treatment

Searching for the right program that fits your struggling teen can be a lengthy process. If traditional outpatient therapies aren’t offering improvements, it might be time to look into a wilderness therapy program like Trails Carolina.

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for teens, ages 10 to 17, struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and many others. We strive to create meaningful change within our students through the use of individual, group, family, equine and wilderness therapy. We can help your family recover.

For more information about how our wilderness therapy program can help your family, contact us today at 800-975-7303.



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