The benefits of outdoor activities and programs aren’t just limited to people who are predisposed to having a stronger connection with the environment. Wilderness-based therapy programs for young adults who are struggling with mental health issues can significantly improve their mood and self-esteem, strengthen their values, and build a sense of adventure and interconnectedness. Young adults are particularly vulnerable to feeling detached from their natural and social environments as they struggle with the transition from high school to future careers. While outpatient therapy may be beneficial for young adults who have been more successful in balancing their mental health with school or work, immersing yourself in young adult therapy programs such as wilderness therapy creates long-lasting change.
Finding an Appropriate Environment
The key factor in deciding between therapy programs for young adults is choosing an appropriate environment that gives them independence while providing structure. Wilderness therapy programs are less restrictive than many residential programs and offer less intensive structured groups, as their main objective is to focus on adventure activities and survival skills. Therapeutic goals are collaborative, or even self-guided and are more open-ended than in a traditional talk therapy model. At BlueFire Pulsar, students split their time between expeditions and a base camp complete with yurts, cots, and a cooking center to create a “home away from home.”
Finding a positive therapeutic environment is essential, as many of the problems young adults face are intensified by challenges in their environment, such as availability of substances, toxic relationships, and academic or work pressure. Being sheltered from some of these triggers in a wilderness environment helps students to gain a sense of safety and focus on the present.
While many young adults may feel suffocated in their childhood home, they may feel completely aimless living on their own. Young adults struggle with navigating this transition and admitting that they don’t have complete authority over their lives. Relationships between staff and students are based on mutual respect as adults that are able to provide guidance and emotional support.
Therapeutic Immersion at Young Adult Therapy Programs:
Sometimes weekly therapy just isn’t enough and it is difficult to build trust with professionals or even peers in an outpatient group. Residential programs allow for closer social bonds and an exploration of attachment styles and group dynamics. Therapists have gain more insight into students’ progress when they are able to work together more closely.
A Wilderness-based program offers more frequent therapy as therapists are “in the field” with clients four days per week, including group and individual therapy.
BlueFire PulsaR uses a family-centered approach involving parents in a comprehensive program to reconnect the entire family through a family systems process
Improving Skillful Interactions:
Daily mindfulness programming, including yoga and meditation, helps students build greater social awareness and self-awareness and learn how to be intentional in their interactions.
Weekly equine therapy is offered to help students develop healthy relationships and improve their communication skills. Horses are sensitive to other people’s emotions and respond like an emotional mirror. Through strengthening bonds with the animals, students are better able to understand their personal attachment styles and identify what they want in relationships.
Integrating Experiential Activities:
Young adults are caught between memories of carefree childhoods and the looming responsibilities of adulthood. For people struggling with mental health issues, they often feel worn out and out of touch with the spark they may have once had for life as a child. Young adult therapy programs help young adults rediscover their inner spark and launch their dreams.
Adventure Therapy helps students explore personal growth through a variety of new experiences: rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, white water rafting, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, horsemanship, caving, historical outings. While many of these activities are recreational, we use them as opportunities for self-reflection, strengthening teamwork skills, and building confidence.
Service work opportunities in the community help clients expand their worldview and think of the needs of others, as well as spend time outside of the BlueFire bubble.
Why Choose BlueFire PulsaR
BlueFire PulsaR is a coeducational wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-28. This program addresses emotional, social, and behavioral problems in struggling young adults. Adventure therapy, wilderness ventures, equine therapy, academic opportunities and “family spark” are used to help students open up and look at their life. From there they are able to experience growth and adopt healthy self-management skills. This program is dedicated to helping students regain a better sense of the world around them while addressing their emotions and needs head on. We can help your family today.
For more information on why to choose a wilderness-based therapy program for young adults, call us at 208-269-7407 today!