A Wilderness Stay: A Lifetime in the Blink of an Eye

Posted by Brennan on November 16, 2022

DD01DE88 F992 4691 906E C52A8E383C2AThe average length of stay for a student in our program is between nine to 12 weeks. Why is this the magic timespan?

Let’s explore! Often, the foundations of a child's challenges are formed over months or even years. Our Masters and PhD Level therapists are highly qualified, but even Dr. Sigmund Freud could not hope to resolve a lifetime’s worth of struggles in one session (or twelve!).

In fact, it can take months or even years to fully address complex clinical issues. A student's journey at Evoke can often spur significant, life-changing growth and resiliency but it is often the beginning of a longer journey.

It is also important to recognize that each therapy session that a student attends might bring awareness to new patterns, help process old trauma, or unpack deep psychological wounds. These things require time and space after each session for the student to fully be able to dig in and process, and there may be no better place than the wilderness to fully engage in that type of work.

In the front country, an iPhone or similar device or coping mechanism can distract and temporarily anesthetize the sting of a hard session but it can also invite the woes of social media or the influence of a potentially wayward and unhealthy acquaintance and ultimately, it can potentially stunt any form of progress or healing, even if the student is engaged in therapy. On the other hand, the juniper trees, Field Guides, and tumble weeds of the high desert, will simply listen, reflect, and provide the space necessary for growth.

A common saying in the wilderness is that the hours go by slow but the days and weeks go by fast. I believe that this is partially because the slower and more intentional living style is balanced with a tremendous amount of personal, internal exploration of thought.

In addition to providing the student with space to work on their own issues, Wilderness Therapy offers a comprehensive, whole health intervention that can provide the supervision and support necessary for a family struggling in a time of conflict and crisis at home. While the child is cared for and exploring the beauty of nature and their own process, the family can start to explore what makes sense for them and their child after wilderness.

Two to three months can sometimes offer just enough time for a family to make a truly informed decision about the ongoing care of their child and think about what makes the most sense for the family as a whole. Whether this means space to craft a home contract with the student’s therapist based on their performance at Evoke or the time to research a more supportive and therapeutic schooling option, Wilderness Therapy provides the buffer necessary to nurture the initial seed of intervention into fully blossoming and healthy outcome for all involved.

For more information, please reference our Frequently Asked Questions page.



Thank you! Loved reading this.

Posted by Caryn and Brian

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