The Nova Hills approach

All aspects of Nova HIlls are centered around the Developmental Vacation™ as developed by Dr. Daniel Sanderson and his work with adolescents/young adults and their families. Developmental Vacation™ focuses on disrupting the pieces of our lives that have allowed us to become “stuck” in our emotional development, generally resulting in maladaptive and dysfunctional behaviors patterns and addictions. Using this model, we work to identify and address the underlying elements in individual’s lives that are driving the addictive problems in their life and their barriers to sobriety. 
By combining the Developmental Vacation™ model with the Recovery Zone addiction work developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, we are able to work on addressing the elements in our client’s lives that has led to them being in a position of feeling powerless to manage their addiction, behavioral struggles, and their own lives.  We recognize that our clients have goals and dreams that are being held hostage by their past trauma, choices, and addictions, and they need help and support to create the life they want to live.  We place a large focus on learning, developing, and maintaining healthy adult skills as a part of this process and it is crucial to connect individual therapy with daily living.  

Why Wilderness?

In utilizing an experiential and wilderness-based treatment, Nova Hills is able to approach addiction and mental health struggles with a different approach than traditional therapy.  Being able to disconnect from the distractions and temptations of their regular life allows clients to place their focus on their goals and therapy.  Clients will work with therapists and trained Field Guides to explore and process their emotional and behavioral struggles through various daily activities while living in an outdoor environment.  This allows clients to be in a position where they are able to confront, challenge, and process the pieces in their life contributing to their addictive and behavioral struggles in a safe and empowering environment. 

Wilderness therapy is known for being a more “intense” type of therapeutic treatment where clients are able to cut through past resistances and avoidances they may experience in a traditional therapy setting.  Eliminating distractions and dependencies allows clients to make different choices surrounding their emotional regulation and management. Many individuals struggling with continued addictive and behavioral problems report a sense of attempt to avoid discomfort in their life, which leads to the problematic behaviors and choices in their lives.  Wilderness therapy provides an environment where clients learn to stop running from uncomfortable emotions and situations and instead, how to feel empowered and capable in managing what they are experiencing.  This leads to a decrease in a need to “escape” their reality through unhealthy and maladaptive means. 

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