Minors In Wilderness Therapy

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Minors in wilderness therapy are faced with many challenges before, during, and after completion of the program. Minors are youth that are under the age of 18. Most wilderness therapy programs work with minors between the ages of 12 and 18. There are therapeutic wilderness programs that may allow a minor to stay after turning 18. Similar therapy programs also exist for adults, who are willing and/or court ordered.

Minors in wilderness therapy deserve to be treated with Integrity, Compassion, and Respect. New Start Transports specializes in this to all of the minors we provide safe intervention and transportation for, to wilderness therapy camps and programs throughout the United States. With four of our founders being former minors and parents of minors, who personally participated in wilderness therapy, we have a unique ability to give an extra amount of sincere care and concern to the families we serve. Providing an environment of care and positive opportunity during the transition to a wilderness therapy program can greatly influence the state of mind, of the minor, upon arrival. We have found that minors are more likely to have an open minded perspective to the program when they receive the proper treatment and care in transport to the wilderness program. Please click here to view our home page.

Once a minor arrives at wilderness therapy, it is important that the same principles of integrity, compassion, and respect continue to be implemented. While military and boot camps were at one time a popular tool of intervention for parents and troubled minors, recent psychological and therapeutic research supports otherwise. Minors will not make the best long-term changes by force or mental and/or physical intimidation. By offering a positive and supportive environment with challenges to overcome and grow, many minors are changing their lives with the help of wilderness therapy.

It is important that a minor and his/her parent guardian(s) recognize that once the wilderness therapy program is completed, the greatest challenge is not complete. The greatest challenge for a minor in wilderness therapy will come when he/she completes the program and returns back to a non-structured and uncontrolled home living environment. It is important for the minor to begin setting up and planning a strong after-care support program for himself/herself before completing wilderness therapy. Often the program therapist and staff will help the minor develop something called a home contract or an agreement of commitment to abide by specific rules and standards when arriving home. This contract is meant to help the minor set boundaries for himself/herself for returning home. Integrity will often be a principle implemented in wilderness therapy, as the minor will mostly be left up to his/her own level of integrity when returning home.

It is not uncommon for a minor to leave wilderness therapy and go on to more therapeutic treatment in a specialized boarding school or to transition back home through a transitional living or after-care program. Wilderness therapy can be a great beginning for a troubled minor, in their fight for success in life. For more information and resources on minors in wilderness therapy, please contact us!

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