It has always been a popular idea for outdoor goers to explore and spend quiet time in nature to relax and destress after a long period of continuous work, as being surrounded with fresh air and a calming green environment can always help anyone to be more in touch with one’s senses and feel reenergized again. History from mental facilities from decades ago even show these effects were patients improve noticeably when they spend most of their time outdoors where they are close to nature.
Although these beneficial effects of nature to human health were not quickly recognized, a lot of people who advocates this natural method of health improvement has managed to make the practice popular over the years, which eventually resulted to more nature related activities that seeks to improve wellness. Sometime in the 1970s, formal activities that involves this main idea began to be called as a wilderness therapy, which are more organized and planned, being facilitated by qualified therapists usually in the form of an outdoor camping or bootcamp with a large group, although it can also be done individually.
Participants of these nature based therapy programs are required to spend weeks or even months in the wilderness where given activities teach them to be more confident and participative while also developing their skills in problem solving and interpersonal relationships as they learn to trust and cooperate with their team mates to fulfill their given group tasks. As outdoor activities may also be more difficult, the challenges can help to improve one’s physical health, and help to increase their endurance and adaptive skills while indirectly guiding its participants to develop their interpersonal skills and self awareness as the challenges are made to mimic those that are usually encountered in families and social settings but in an unfamiliar environment.
Therapeutic wilderness programs often divide participants into teenagers, and adults usually under the age of 30, with fees that vary per type of program and number of days chosen, but for any participant, it is important to make sure that you are enrolling through a state licensed agency only. To be guaranteed of safety, especially if you are enrolling your child in a young adult wilderness therapy, consult first with experienced professionals that are known in this type of therapeutic program before choosing an activity program, which must be monitored on site by professionals as well.
Wilderness programs for behavioral healthcare is not only a means to health improvement for people with behavioral issues but also for those who have problems with their social skills and self esteem, as these activities facilitated by therapists in outdoor settings with engaging activities also acquaints individuals with nature and its many benefits.