Health and Fitness

Wilderness Programs: How Do They Work

Although there are significant differences between desert therapy training programs, they are influenced, for example, by the provider's philosophy and policies, as well as the specific needs of the client that the program is designed for. You can also look for wilderness adventure therapy for at-risk youth via

As described in the research report, many programs follow a three-phase model:

Step 1: Cleaning

At this point, the client is removed from the environment, which is conducive to healthy behavior, and ready for his desert experience. The cleansing phase usually includes a healthy diet, exercise, and instruction on basic survival and self-care skills.

Participants in the first phase of the desert therapy program learn about personal responsibility through the natural consequences of their actions – a concept that is reinforced as the process progresses.

Level 2: Personal And Social Responsibility

Based on the first lesson in the previous phase, the second phase of the desert therapy program emphasizes the results of individual actions. For example, students who do not learn to make a fire will eat cold food, while students who are not prepared will eat when the weather is wet.

Stage 3: Transitional Care And Follow-Up

After participants gain insight and experience effective desert therapy, they must learn how to see new, healthy behaviors after they return home.

To achieve this goal, many programs incorporate education and training for families in their efforts. The transition and follow-up components of an effective desert therapy program.

Flora Wilson