Wilderness Therapy for Teens

Wilderness therapy is an experienced based approach utilizing nature, small group living, and therapeutic rituals to facilitate change. In regards to wilderness living Aldo Leopold said,

 "The wilderness gave them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woodsman faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers."

The wilderness provides an environment of experience while Evoke provides your child with skills for self-expression, reflection and process to interpret their experiences and apply them to his or her life.

Mounting clinical outcome research and testimonies of thousands of participants and their parents have solidified the effectiveness of wilderness therapy for struggling teens. This field continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, but making the decision to send your child to a wilderness therapy program is a difficult one. To this end we encourage families to counsel with an Independent Educational Consultant.

Not all wilderness programs are equal. At Evoke’s Wilderness Therapy Programs we have taken great measures to create an exceptional, clinically effective program while maintaining a high level of respect, support and risk management. We have set our sites beyond simply meeting the industry standard to provide a unique and unparalleled treatment experience. Industry standards for wilderness therapy programs include the following:

Licensed by the States they operate in:

  • Your child receives weekly individual therapy by a licensed mental health professional
  • Your child experiences extended backcountry travel and wilderness living with trained field instructors
  • The program is based on a supportive, respectful and non-punitive model
  • Your child has an active participatory role and responsibility in their therapeutic process
  • The program provides continuous group-living in the wilderness with regular formal group therapy sessions
  • The program uses nature in reality as well as a metaphor within the therapeutic process
  • The program has a strong ethic of care and support throughout the therapeutic experience

Evoke Wilderness Therapy Programs at Cascades and Entrada goes above these standards to provide:

  • Your child with an experienced clinically sophisticated wilderness therapist who is required to be at a Master or Ph.D. level
  • A formal evaluation of assessment and discharge plan from your child’s therapist
  • A psychiatric assessment at intake and/or throughout their stay when appropriate
  • Your child with a whole-health focus as their therapeutic experience, with a personalized treatment plan with tailored goals, objectives, and assignments that promote accountability, insight and growth in the areas of mind, body and spirit.
  • Field Instructors who have a comprehensive training in wilderness living, group facilitation and counseling skills
  • The family program which provides inclusive support with extensive resources and services including weekly phone calls with the therapist, twice weekly webinars, Family Support Groups throughout the United States, Family Workshops, as well as other additional parent and family services and other program resources.


Throughout the day and during personal time students will focus on their academic work, a key component of their assessment. Evoke has created a customized curriculum, one of the only wilderness therapy programs to be accredited. Accredited by AdvanceEd, our curriculum teaches your child about the environment they are living in, as well as how to communicate their feelings in healthy ways, and how to better take care of their health through appropriate diet, nutrition and exercise. Our curriculum also provides your child the opportunity to earn .5 high school credits in each of the following: English, Psychology, Biology and Physical Education.