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Wilderness Therapy Helpful for Anxiety and Depression


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Anxiety and depression can be debilitating, but a certain type of therapy is hoping to help patients suffering from not only anxiety and depression but also ADHD, substance abuse and survivors of trauma.


According to Refinery 29, wilderness therapy – also known as outdoor adventure therapy and outdoor behavioral health care – is gaining popularity in helping to treat people’s needs by getting them out in nature participating in various challenges.


A typical session can include anything from rock climbing to hiking, stand-up paddleboarding to meditating in the wilderness. According to Refinery 29, people may go solo with a therapist, bring along a partner, or participate in a group activity.

“It’s that use of nature, the group challenge and adventure, mindfulness, and a therapeutic relationship, that all kind of come together to really help the client feel improved,” Christine Lynn Norton, PhD, LCSW, associate professor in the school of social work at Texas State University, San Marcos shared with Refinery 29.


“In a nutshell, people are just really disconnected right now,” Dr. Norton revealed, adding that wilderness therapy helps patients foster a reconnection to themselves, others, and the natural world.

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