Therapeutic Program

We Help Families Grow And Thrive

A Therapeutic Program combining individual and family therapy for lasting change.

While the wilderness provides a background and impetus for our therapeutic program, our clinical theory and evidence-based, trauma-informed practices address the unique developmental and psychological needs of each student.

Two Trails students sit cross-legged on a wooden platform with a member of the Trails staff and a dog.

Therapeutic Program based on Research and Experience

Trails Carolina offers a therapeutic approach for troubled youth and teens ages 10 – 17 based on our decades of experience and scientific research.  While our students are making changes we’re working with the families (and their siblings) back at home.  The therapeutic program includes:

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  • Initial assessments for a better understanding of where your child “is” upon arrival
  • Weekly individual therapy with Primary Therapist to provide a personalized treatment plan
  • Weekly group therapy to help instill healthier behaviors with help of peers
  • Development and review of an individualized therapeutic plan with help from the entire Trails Team
  • Weekly family phone sessions with Primary Therapist to help transfer skills from Trails back home.
  • Weekly seminars with a Family Therapist and other Trails families as wilderness training continues with students.  Provides additional support and help so families feel less “alone”.
  • Specialized equine relational programming to help students understand how others perceive their emotions and actions.
  • Transition planning to prepare for continued success at the next program or at home.
  • Optional psychological, psycho-educational, and personality assessments

Enhancing the benefits of therapy through wilderness adventure

Trails has created a therapeutic program that balances the benefits of wilderness therapy adventure with the practical experience of a residential base.  Every student spends time in the wilderness and back at base camp to practice skills in various settings and with different staff.

This is beneficial because your child may demonstrate success within certain realms or with specific individuals, but struggle to transfer those skills to other settings.

For instance, while your child may excel in the wilderness, they may struggle back at base camp as the structure and staff change. These struggles can lead your child to feel insecure, grow frustrated, and return to previous behaviors.

Our therapeutic programs allow us to test and challenge the skills your child has gained to help create stronger behavioral patterns.  Through adventure and experience, Trails’ provides a therapeutic program environment for your child to learn to effectively express their emotions and behave in healthier ways.

Our experienced, passionate therapeutic programs team is there to help every step of the way.

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Comprehensive Assessments for Individual Treatment Plans


Upon arrival, each student is assigned a Primary Therapist who immediately conducts a thorough clinical assessment.  Assessments and progress reports continue throughout your child’s stay.  Every member of the Trails Teams—Therapeutic, Wilderness, and Residential—is involved in this process to improve understanding of your child and results.

This is why it is so important to alternate between wilderness and residential settings and mix interactions with different members of the team—to improve and test coping skills and practice new behaviors in a variety of situations. Your child and the entire family will continue weekly treatment with your individual Primary Therapist and Family Therapist while the entire Trails Team continues to assess progress.

This amount of attention to your child’s specific behaviors and circumstances allows us to individualize treatment in order to maximize gains and long-term success in our therapeutic program.

Trails Carolina Wilderness Programs Help Students:

Gain Interpersonal Awareness

Instead of being distracted by their phone or worrying about what their peers think of them, children and teens out in the wilderness get to know their peers on a very deep level. It’s a bonding experience that really can’t be replicated elsewhere.

Learn crucial survival skills

In our program, not only do teens learn valuable communication and self-advocacy skills, but they also learn survival skills such as bow drilling, navigational skills, and how to pitch a tent. These skills help with personal growth and help teens become more independent.

Develop leadership and teamwork skills

Wilderness therapy promotes leadership and teamwork skills. In order to work with others, teens must reflect on how their behavior affects others. This reflective behavior can transform problem behaviors into valuable leadership skills and the ability to develop healthy relationships.

Build self confidence

Through the valuable skills they learn during wilderness therapy, our students begin to gain confidence in their abilities and themselves as individuals. With this new confidence, teens are able to transition back to their “everyday” life more successfully.

Trails Carolina Reviews

Comprehensive wilderness therapy program combined with a residential treatment base camp and accredited academics

“I feel” Statements for Improving Accountability and Insight

therapeutic crisis intervention - Trails staff sits with student

Many troubled youths have a difficult time taking ownership of their actions in a healthy way. Both accountability and insight are vital to help your child acknowledge their past actions and develop healthy tools and habits moving forward.

One of the first things we work on with students (and their families) is to use “I feel” statements. It sounds simple, but it is incredibly powerful as a way to change the nature of communication.  We are able to compassionately and firmly help your child understand the part they play in their actions by creating supportive relationships with our staff.

Through the use of individual, group, and family therapy sessions we can help your child move from defensive and defeated to self-confident and self-assured.

We Help You Make A Plan For Moving Forward

After our thorough assessments and effective interventions have been completed, we also help support your family and your child in making a practical and detailed plan moving forward. It is not enough for your child to say they are going to do things better—we want to make sure there is an actual plan and that you and your child have the tools to be successful with such a plan.

Our treatment team of therapists will support you with resources, templates and tools that will allow you as a family to continue to build on the changes that have been made while at Trails’ therapeutic program.


Additional Assessments Upon Request

At times, students benefit from additional assessments. We have decades of experience helping teens make lifestyle changes and have an extensive network of relationships with other experts.

We can also provide psychological, academic, and family testing upon request or need.  As a therapeutic program, we offer many solutions for different challenges.

Trails Carolina’s wilderness camps are dedicated to helping adolescents and teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.
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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