Why Wilderness Therapy: For Parents and Family

Why Wilderness Therapy: For Parents and Family 

By Derek Daley 

Wilderness Therapy, also known as Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare or Adventure Therapy, is a form of treatment that involves immersing individuals in the natural environment to promote personal growth and healing. At Legacy Treatment Center, we offer a range of activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and backpacking, all of which provide physical challenges and opportunities for personal accomplishment. In addition to the physical benefits, the natural environment has a profound impact on the psychological and emotional well-being of individuals. The beauty and serenity of nature can provide a sense of calm and perspective, while the challenges of surviving and thriving in the wilderness can promote resilience and self-reliance.

At Legacy, we aim to provide a safe and supportive environment in which individuals can explore their issues and problems while growing healthier and more independent. Key elements of Wilderness Therapy include teamwork, adventure, personal challenges, and nature-based activities. We believe it is beneficial to engage in adventure activities outside the traditional therapy setting to help foster healthy social and emotional connections between the individual and their environment. Wilderness Therapy also encourages mindfulness, self-reflection, open communication, and connection with nature.

Most importantly, at Legacy, all of our clients work with licensed mental health professionals. The Adventure Therapy and Wilderness Therapy elements of our program are all overseen by master’s level clinicians. 

Graduates of our Wilderness Therapy program for adults take the lessons and experiences they have gained back home with them, where they can create kind and supportive environments and share the safe, fun, and meaningful adventures they discovered at Legacy. Wilderness Therapy can help individuals heal, grow, and lead healthier and more fulfilling lives, making it an invaluable treatment option for those struggling with mental, behavioral, or addiction issues. Read one alumni’s story here.

Author: Derek Daley is a co-founder of Legacy Treatment Center and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women, with decades of experience in the outdoor behavioral healthcare industry. He is currently serving on the board of The National Association Of Therapeutic Programs and the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council. Derek received the 2017 Utah Community Service award for his nonprofit work, and is a passionate advocate for wilderness therapy, presenting nationally at universities and conferences to raise awareness about how nature experiences can change lives. On the weekends, Derek enjoys adventuring with his family in Utah and around the globe.