For those of you who have followed my career as an international psychologist, you know my passion in treating ‘at-risk’ youth is directed often in separating behaviorally reactive youth from their ‘known’ setting, ‘unplugging’ to an outdoor setting in determining how much is due to external versus internally driven. Make sense? As a past school psychologist, I learned early on to ask the question, “do you see the same behavior at home as you do in school?”, and visa versa (“do you see it at school as you see it at home”).
Wilderness treatment or therapy is now often called outdoor behavioral therapy. Why? I suspect that the term ‘wilderness’ simply can cause parents to panic: “Well, what happens if he falls in the lake, or off a cliff, or eaten by an animal”, or “What if he wanders off and gets lost, or runs away” etc. Rightfully so — in the past.
Today, OBH (Outdoor Behavioral Health) communicates the scientic and regulatory behavior expected by state licensing entities through scientific peer reviewed journals. In my case, OBH published a peer reviewed article written by Steven DeMille and myself on an international case we co-worked, if you will in providing a psychological evaluation, consultation, and wilderness program placement at RedCliff in Utah. Our full article entitled, “A Theoretically Anchored and Multi-Modal Treatment Approach in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Program. It is available free for download https://goo.gl/Jj2WGR.
In the article, you can see how outdoor behavioral health is successful from that provided by other forms of treatment. True, the great outdoors is ‘good for anyone’, but it’s not ‘therapeutic’ in and of itself and it would be silly to consider it as a form of psychological therapy for significant behavioral and emotional problems. Addiction, psychiatric conditions (high functioning autism, aspergers), mental health (depression, anxiety, PTSD / trauma) are often successfully treated in outdoor settings.
Getting to this month’s exciting news, I am speaking on LA’s Talk radio July 30th to this very subject of Wilderness TX (treatment). I welcome you to listen ‘live’ and ask on topic questions. Here is the link to the program: https://goo.gl/FtWRv8. I am offering my FREE ebook on the subject published on iTunes, if you listen. Here is the link! https://itun.es/us/0D7Agb.l
Thank you for your listening, and to all I say Happy Camping!