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wilderness therapy Tagged Posts

Putting On Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care for Parents and Givers

healyourself

As the Family Support Therapist at Blue Ridge, I work with the parents of our students in the field. My role is to offer space for families to experience their own process, which often parallels the student process but is distinctly different for obvious reasons. Teens are in the woods, with both the discomfort that it brings and the luxury of not having to attend to their “normal” lives. 

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Putting On Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care for Parents and Givers

healyourself

As the Family Support Therapist at Blue Ridge, I work with the parents of our students in the field. My role is to offer space for families to experience their own process, which often parallels the student process but is distinctly different for obvious reasons. Teens are in the woods, with both the discomfort that it brings and the luxury of not having to attend to their “normal” lives. 

They get to be completely present with their feelings, wrapped up in 24/7 support. On the flip side, parents are trying to manage day to day life, kids, finances, responsibilities, etc. AND participate in this incredibly intense emotional experience. Parents have often been in crisis mode with their kids for months or years leading up to the wilderness experience and are quite simply exhausted. This sets the stage for discussion of self-care…before we can do meaningful work on family dynamics, parents must restore some semblance of their own emotional balance and stability. This is the essence of

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The Benefits of Mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness

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So why practice mindfulness?  As we take time to be present to our experiences, and practice focusing on the present, we actually rewire our brains by creating new neural networks.  What are neural networks, you ask? When we learn behavior (how to swim, how to write the alphabet, how to drive a car) we create a neural network in the brain--neural networks, essentially, are neurons collecting signals from others and this creates an electric activity that creates connective branches in the brain. 

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Blue Ridge’s Footsteps Program Continues to Evolve by Enriching Family Involvement

3-7-16 G4 (1)

Blue Ridge first opened our Footsteps group for pre-teens in 2006, as one of the first wilderness therapy programs to work with this younger adolescent age group. It has always been developmentally focused to fit the needs of 10-14 year-olds, with an emphasis on nurturing these kids through every interaction. Our field staff balance supporting students through tasks while not rescuing them from what needs to be done. In this way, our students develop new skills while having the “safety net” of caring adults. We are a co-ed group led by co-ed field staff. This mirrors the traditional school setting where students develop their communication skills and build healthy relationships with peers and staff of different genders. These young students spend most days backpacking, but every ten days, they get to regroup and spend time at our hybrid base camp, called The Fort.

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Mindfulness: Getting Grounded in Wilderness Therapy

Mindfullness

Although you’ve probably heard that mindfulness is currently a therapeutic “buzz word”, it is truly a practice that has been around for thousands of years. It has its roots in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but also in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In addition to it being rooted in these religious traditions, it also has been embraced and popularized by secular institutions.

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Teens with Substance Abuse Develop Self Efficacy in Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness therapy programs- Token

How many times have we seen someone we love to refuse to do something without ever trying? In our hearts, we know that if they would just give it a try, there is a good chance that they would succeed. We may think, “They lack self-esteem or self-worth”' this is partially correct, but it is missing the most important part of the equation: Self Efficacy. 

Source : http://info.blueridgewilderness.com/blog/wilderness-therapy-developing-self-efficacy-in-substance-abusing-teens

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Parents Workshop at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness

Parent-Workshop-blue ridge wilderness

Our next parent workshop is September 7 and 8, in Clayton, GA. These workshops are designed to be small (6-10) to individualize the focus on your specific families.

  • Learn more about your child’s experience.
  • Understand and practice the tools they are using.
  • Learn how to identify the needs beneath the behavior and make a plan for your family.
  • Get support from and connect to other families.

Visit website for more details.

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Cultivating a “Growth Mindset” in Wilderness Therapy

Hot Chocolate

When my best friend first tossed the idea my way, I had two competing thoughts, of equal size and strength, immediately pop into my brain. Thought #1: “She believes in you, and wants what’s best for you. She wants to have a fun experience together.” Thought #2: “She is a lunatic, and even after being friends for 35 years, she is clearly trying to kill me.” Read more

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Cultivating a “Growth Mindset” in Wilderness Therapy

Hot Chocolate

When my best friend first tossed the idea my way, I had two competing thoughts, of equal size and strength, immediately pop into my brain. Thought #1: “She believes in you, and wants what’s best for you. She wants to have a fun experience together.” Thought #2: “She is a lunatic, and even after being friends for 35 years, she is clearly trying to kill me.” Read more

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Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness Celebrates One Year!

team

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This week we are celebrating one year as Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness! So much has changed in the last year and we are thrilled to share our evolution and growth. We are proud to continually serve and support families with a primary goal of setting up students and families on their path to healing and helping teens to reconnect with the best version of themselves. Read more

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