Wilderness therapy, as the name suggests, is a type of experiential, adventure-based therapy that encourages clients to address issues through wilderness expeditions. Wilderness therapy can take many forms but generally seeks to build participants self-sufficiency and self-esteem through challenging outdoor activities. Wilderness therapy often occurs in a group setting, which can help to address social and behaviour issues. Examples include challenge courses and survival skills camps (like Outward Bound).
This form of therapy works by providing a supportive fun and non-critical supportive environment within which individuals have space for self-discovery. The therapist often guides individuals through identification and examination of maladapted and unhealthy behaviour and how these could be that contributing to negative life-experiences. During wilderness therapy individuals learn to use primitive skills such as primitive fire starting as well as team building exercises and identification and challenging of unproductive or disruptive beliefs with the aim of achieving behaviour transformation.
This form of therapy aims to simulate challenges and pressures experienced within social and family structures while delivering them in fun and safe atmosphere. This therapy is mainly aimed at youths with the goal of assisting them in learning skills for developing healthy relationships, understanding the importance of boundaries, for accepting and processing feedback and for building and trusting their sense of inner strength and wisdom. Individuals taking part may be required to form alliances or collaborate with others in order to survive and complete a task. This assists participants with development of communication skills, cooperative skills, self-confidence and trust.