Wilderness Interventions: The “Cool” Manual

wilderness therapy session with two boys

In one particular boys group there were two troubled teens that couldn’t have been more opposite.  One boy, whom I will call Brad, was extremely popular, tall, handsome, intelligent and had an amazing amount of influence with the rest of the group.  He came to wilderness therapy because of fairly serious drug abuse, narcissistic traits, […]

Wilderness Intervention: Tug of War

Silhouettes of boys celebrating in desert

I was working in a boys’ group one summer. We had a number of defiant teens creating cliques within the group. Some of the kids who were considered “cool” began to subtly divide the group. This division was the same pattern that played out in their home environments, so it wasn’t surprising. I was concerned, […]

Wilderness Interventions: The Archer’s Bow

Because living in the wilderness provides so many opportunities to live as primitive cultures once lived, Outback students expand their creative powers by making different primitive skills and tools.  One particular teen was a fantastic artisan and poured a lot of effort into crafting moccasins, leather bags, slings, spoons, etc…  One day I brought my […]

Wilderness Interventions: Sweat Lodge

Girl blowing fire into flame from nest

A sweat lodge is the Native American version of a sauna.  Every so often at Outback we will make a sweat lodge and tie this powerful experience into a student’s therapy.  One such therapeutic intervention happened with a young male student that had been in the program for three weeks and was holding firmly to […]