Students meet with their therapist in individual therapy sessions twice per week. Our therapists are in the field with students on Mondays and Thursdays. All the therapy occurs in the wilderness seated around a fire or under the juniper and pine trees of the desert. This setting has a far deeper impact than office “couch” therapy for allowing students to students to “open up” and “get real” about their problems and issues. This is one of the many reasons why students can accomplish so much more in a wilderness setting than in an outpatient office or residential treatment setting. Nature is the perfect setting to allow youth the
time to unplug from technology, step away from the noise of our current society, and immerse
themselves in an authentic journey of self-discovery and reset. GROUP THERAPY-Students participate in daily group sessions where they process together with their instructors and fellow group members the issues that are imminent in the group setting and work on problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills. Students also share their autobiographies and parent narratives with their peers in the treatment group. Group therapy
sessions create opportunities for developing insight into interpersonal relationships, and communication patterns, and learning to trust others and to be vulnerable with emotions and experiences.


Parents meet in weekly sessions with the therapist and are encouraged to work closely with their therapist in determining the content and frequency of their communication with their student. As the student progresses and when the therapist deems it appropriate, family therapy sessions may occur via phone or Zoom using Starlink. Parent seminars occur in March, June, and September and involve parents coming to the office in St. George, Utah for parent training and then traveling to the field for family therapy sessions. Upon completion of the program, parents are invited to travel to Utah to participate in an overnight experience in the field with their student and to participate in a final face-to-face family therapy session.


To achieve A successful completion of the program, students are
required to complete each of the assignments in the six phases of the program. These assignments consist of a combination of therapeutic tasks and wilderness skills. Therapy tasks include writing and sharing of an autobiography, working through past traumas, developing resiliency skills, compiling a sexual history, participating in, and leading group therapy sessions, establishing written correspondence, and family work with parents and accountability groups. Wilderness skills include learning to build a bow drill fire, constellation identification, plant identification, rolling survival packs, building shelters, learning knots, building traps, cooking on a fire, hiking, building traps, etc.

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