Wilderness Therapy is Effective: Research Support for a Wilderness-Based Model of Intervention for Youth
Due to the increase in outdoor behavioral healthcare programs, several investigations into the effectiveness of wilderness therapy were conducted by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative (OBHRC). The results of these studies indicated that adolescents who attended these programs showed a significant improvement upon completion of outdoor behavioral healthcare programs.
More recent research, conducted by the Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy (CReATE) and the Arkansas Interdisciplinary Sciences Laboratory included an arduous study, designed to further investigate the therapeutic outcomes for participants in wilderness therapy programs. Data from this most recent study replicated previous findings, indicating that adolescents who participate in these types of programs experienced a substantial reduction in psychopathology during treatment and maintained these therapeutic improvements for a full year after treatment.
Examining Changes in Substance Use and Conduct Problems Among Treatment-Seeking Adolescents
The Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative (OBRH) conducted a therapeutic outcome study from a sample of 855 parents and their adolescents who were enrolled in eight different wilderness therapy programs. Findings from this current study suggest that youth who attended outdoor behavioral healthcare programs showed a large symptomatic reduction and continued to maintain these improvements over a yearlong follow up period.
For more information on this study please click here.