It has always been a popular idea for outdoor goers to explore and spend quiet time in nature to relax and destress after a long period of continuous work, as being surrounded with fresh air and a calming green environment can always help anyone to be more in touch with one’s senses and feel reenergized again. Even in the long history that surrounds mental healthcare, there have been visible evidences how patients improvement a lot just by being consistently outdoors where trees and grasses can be used to relax one’s mind and soul and even reduce violent behavior among patients.
Although these beneficial effects of nature to human health were not quickly recognized, a lot of people who advocates this natural method of health improvement has managed to make the practice popular over the years, which eventually resulted to more nature related activities that seeks to improve wellness. It was perhaps in the early 1970s that these activities evolved to be more formal and specific in addressing mental and psychological health concerns, creating organized activities similar to bootcamps consisting of groups led by licensed therapists that plan the activities for its participants, although individual programs are also available for those who want a more personal and in-depth experience.
Usually lasting for 30 days or more depending on the chosen program, a wilderness therapy incorporates a series of outdoor games and activities that encourages participants to develop better social skills, self-confidence, and to cooperate and trust their team members in order to complete a given task. Since engaging in nature adventures expectedly requires a lot of moving around, the activities conducted during these programs are also known to contribute in enhancing physical abilities, particularly one’s natural endurance to possibly strenuous activities, while slowly facilitating self discovery among participants, as they also learn to adapt better to typical conflicts at home or their social life, which are mimicked by the given activity itself.
Therapeutic wilderness programs often divide participants into teenagers, and adults usually under the age of 30, with fees that vary per type of program and number of days chosen, but for any participant, it is important to make sure that you are enrolling through a state licensed agency only. Also, make sure that the outdoor program will be supervised and strictly monitored by a licensed mental health professional and choose programs with activities and equipment materials that are safe, or better yet, you can consult with experts in wilderness therapy before you choose a program.
Being able to serve as an effective means of therapy, spending time in the wilderness but especially guided by licensed mental healthcare practitioners can provide participants with a much better alternative in improving their well-being while also enjoying the sights and wonders of mother nature.