Help for Troubled Teens: What to Look for In a Wilderness Therapy Program

Outback group sessionNot all wilderness therapy programs are created equal. If you are considering this treatment approach for your troubled teen, then you understand the powerful benefits this type of program can offer. To help your child thrive, succeed, and grow, make sure when evaluating a wilderness therapy program that they can deliver.

A Credible Wilderness Therapy Program Should Be Able to Offer Your Child Academic Credits

Sending your child away for treatment is difficult, as it will interrupt your life and theirs. The type of intervention provided by wilderness therapy may be best executed over several months and that means that your child will likely miss school. The most reputable wilderness therapy programs partner with accredited educational certification programs to ensure that academic credits are provided and that they will transfer successfully when your teen goes back to school.

A Wilderness Therapy Program Should Ensure That Your Teen Has Access to Medical Care and Regular Examinations

Since treatment taking place in a wilderness setting is usually a completely foreign environment for teens, a well-organized wilderness therapy program should provide your teen access to a doctor or EMT. They should ensure that your child receives medical exams at regular intervals throughout the program (eg. once per week) to ensure that he or she maintains good physical health.

A Wilderness Therapy Program Should Foster Family Involvement

The most effective wilderness therapy programs involve you and your family. After all, the purpose of enrolling teens in this type of program is to provide help for troubled teens to come home and be a healthy member of your family. Look for a wilderness therapy program that facilitates family involvement, offers family support, and looks to deepen the relationship between you and your child.

A Wilderness Therapy Program Should Offer Your Teen an Individual Treatment Plan Overseen by a Professional

A reputable wilderness therapy program should involve direct treatment for your child from a licensed professional therapist. Part of this treatment will include a comprehensive evaluation and subsequent treatment plan developed by a therapist. Your child, like his or her problems, is unique. Make sure that they are enrolled in the type of program that will truly see them for who they are and will then know how to help.


The most effective way to provide help for troubled teens is to give them the customized, sophisticated support they need. The power of wilderness therapy in offering help for troubled teens is profound in the way it changes their lives and reunites families. Whatever path you choose, we wish you health and peace along your journey.

Download our How to Help Your Troubled Teen White Paper to learn more about how to help your troubled teen. 


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Outback Therapeutic Expeditions is continuing to support families through this unprecedented time. We are closely monitoring information related to COVID-19, adhering to recommendations set forth by CDC, and have implemented additional safety precautions to mitigate risks. To learn more, contact us at 800-817-1899.