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CLAYTON, GA, September 26, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness is the leading full-immersion wilderness therapy program to integrate a family systems approach, whole body health and wellness, and holistic, assessment driven, clinical treatment for teens and young adults facing mental health challenges. During their 8-10 week stay in the Blue ridge Mountains of North Georgia and North Carolina, students backpack through the wilderness with their field staff and peers, participating in group and individual therapy, practicing healthy structure and routine, and learning self-regulation and communication techniques while reconnecting with themselves, their family and their personal values.
Families often make significant therapeutic progress while in the program, however, maintaining this growth and stability during times of transition can be challenging. Family Intensive Therapist, Cade Yanowski, MA, MFT explains the nuances for students transitioning from wilderness therapy to their next steps:
"For the past few months, the program and the wilderness have provided an emotionally safe environment for the students to truly and freely be their best selves. As you can imagine, if you have ever left a life changing experience, navigating the transition process out of wilderness therapy can bring up many emotions.
It is important for students and their families to be aware of the challenges that lie ahead as well as have the tools and strategies to help create a supportive environment into which the student can land. Transitions can simply be viewed as getting from point A to point B, but if families are able to slow down and welcome the transition chapter with compassion, realistic expectations and patience, then there is a lot of room for trust and relationships to deepen."
In recent years, Blue Ridge has expanded family programming to reinforce and extend the progress that individuals and families make while in the program. The program now offers a variety of services for graduating families and alumni:
In Blue Ridge's Transition Camp and Family Intensives, students have the opportunity to camp out with their families in the wilderness setting at the end of their stay. These services allow families to show each other what they have learned and to reconnect with each other under the guidance of Blue Ridge therapists and staff before leaving the program together. Ms. Yanowski describes the Family Intensive:
"Over the course of 3 days, there is ample time to celebrate everyone's growth, practice new therapeutic and communication skills and discuss the next steps. In this day and age, it is a rare occasion to be able to sit together as a family, without the distraction of technology and work, and share intimate moments. With the support from a licensed family therapist, you will be able to articulate both your excitement and fears about the future. If your child is returning home, a Family Intensive provides a great opportunity to express emotions around the Home Agreement before enacting it. Family Intensives are a rewarding experience to repair family dynamics and practice new ways of being together again, all while receiving support and guidance from Blue Ridge staff."
In addition to the in-person offerings punctuating each family's stay in wilderness therapy, Blue Ridge alumni parents and students may join the Alumni Network, where they can connect with other families who have also been through the wilderness therapy process. Alumni Students are invited to return to the program as Alumni Student Mentors who support first-time participants as they work through the program.
One Young Adult Alum shares: "I had been struggling with low self-esteem, addiction, and every aspect of my life was seemingly unmanageable. I knew that if I didn't venture out of my comfort zone, nothing was going to change, so I went for it. My time at [Blue Ridge] consisted of laughter, tears, introspection, realizations, and growth. [Blue Ridge] allowed me to rebuild myself and rebuild the relationships around me in the process."
To learn more about Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and how wilderness therapy can support adolescents, young adults and their families, visit www.blueridgewilderness.com, reach out to [email protected], or call the Blue Ridge admissions team at (888)914-1050.
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