ATCPCC 2013 – Brad Reedy on Wilderness Therapy

ATCPCC 2013 – Brad Reedy on Wilderness Therapy

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    Today we would like to share with you a video from our annual ATCPCC 2013, Addiction Treatment Centers and Professional Consortium. Here in our guest lecture video series is Brad M. Reedy on the Wilderness Therapy experience. We have a transcript of the lecture for you to follow:

    When I think about a parent making the decision to send their child to Second Nature to a Wilderness Therapy Program something that’s so foreign to them, I think about it this way. It’s a place where we simply have children come out to the field, experience a wilderness adventure in a small group setting and learn how to feel. That’s what I think. I think about walking around with a backpack, hiking, learning how to make crafts, build fires and I think about learning how to feel.

    We have circles all day long that the children participate in where they talk about how they feel and through that process being removed from, and I think it’s probably more important today than it was years ago, to be pulled away from technology to be out physically exercising. I think that makes a difference. It’s a place where you can get in touch with yourself, where you can be real.

    Our clients are students, oftentimes are defiant, oppositional. These are drug addicts. These are students in crime. They would not be honest with you about what they’re struggling with and about what their behaviors are any day, but there’s something about this experience that peels back those layers. It’s a raw experience. There are no creature comforts. Everything has to be intentional. Something like taking a bath or a shower or cooking takes a lot of work and so it’s in that experience that you can pass on the values that you want, the lessons that you want to as a Wilderness staff and as a parent, and we involve the parents in the process, too.

    I think a lot of parents feel alienated or blamed when they decide to send their child to therapy, and our process is a really nurturing invitation to reunite. Part of that happens as parents experience that longing for their again, something they haven’t felt in a long time. But part of it happens as the therapist at Second Nature really integrates the family, helps the family in a non-blaming, non-guilty way to understand how they can do a difference dance with their child. We do that through phone calls. We do that through family visits. We do that through a graduation experience but all of it is intended to create a new dance and a new experience, and to find your child again. We call it real change.

    So if you know somebody that might benefit from this kind of experience or you, yourself, somebody in your family needs help, please visit us on our website by going to, and we look forward to talking to you.

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