We strive to meet our clients where they are at without judgement, but with care, confidence, and wisdom to help them make positive changes and take steps forward. We utilize an eclectic and holistic approach and strive to work personally with every client according to their specific needs. We specialize in a variety of helpful treatment modalities, including but not limited to Christian Counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Experiential Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Play Therapy, Recreational Therapy, and Intensive Outpatient Therapy. We are pleased to be different from most therapeutic centers and from many therapists because we believe clients come to us seeking help and advice and that they are looking for direction to help them navigate their discomfort or circumstances. Our clients are wanting sound therapeutic interventions, strategies, and skills. Therefore, they want us, the professionals and specialists, to give them advice and expertise whenever warranted or needed. We do this with the utmost care and concern and never impose our values or methods upon anyone. However, whenever it is applicable we are not afraid to speak the truth in love and offer the guidance and direction our clients truly need. We believe we can and do integrate our Christian faith and clinical backgrounds well and without having to sacrifice either in the help we offer our clients. If you’re ready to experience not just a listening ear but also therapeutically sound advice, then we are glad you found us!
5 Phase Intensive Process
While we customize our program for every person or family that attends in order to meet their specific needs, we regularly guide our intensive clients through the following process:
- Information Gathering – Obtaining all necessary information before pressing forward is critical to building towards success. This is the step where we get it all out on the table.
- Analysis – Understanding dynamics, traumas, emotions, and belief systems is a vital part of our program and making sense of it all makes all the difference in the world. Knowing what, when, where, why and how is essential.
- Personal/Relational Detox – It is very normal for our intensive clients to come to us with negative things in their lives and relationships that must be removed if change and recovery are to happen. This is simply our demolition phase to get rid of things holding our clients back from where they really want to be and to help make room in their lives for future growth.
- Re-Building – Speaking of growth, this is the phase in which we begin to put back in positivity, trust, connection, and new tools and skills into our clients lives to prepare them to reach their goals.
- Maintenance Planning – While we make great strides with our clients and regularly witness incredible changes occur, accomplishing everything necessary in a single intensive program is unrealistic because as human beings we don’t ultimately arrive at the finish line this side of heaven. Therefore, an ongoing maintenance plan, along with a plan to tackle any lingering items is a must.
WHY UTILIZE EXPERIENTIAL THERAPY?
1. It Engages All Your Senses for Optimum and Lasting Impact
I have long been trying to tell people that the more senses you engage in any setting the more impact any experience will have. As it turns out, research backs this up.
A study of outdoor experiential therapy (OET) showed that family functioning was positively impacted after two months from the point of treatment, and furthermore, a twelve month assessment revealed that the positive outcomes were still being maintained. Another similar study marked outdoor healthcare as improving family communication. Another states that it is beneficial to help one attain self-confidence and self-esteem. How could this not be true? After all, it is experiences that leave a lasting impact on the brain and heart!
2. It Creates an Environment that Naturally Puts People at Ease and Brings Out the Truth
An important advantage that outdoor experiential therapy has is that it provides an environment that naturally puts people at ease. The Journal of Mental Health Counseling published an article relating to this very point. It stated, “Wilderness therapy, a specialized approach within adventure-based counseling (experiential therapy), provides an alternative treatment modality that maximizes the client’s tendency to spontaneously self-disclose in environments outside the counseling office.” (29(4), 338-349) Therefore, any issues you have to work out will be more easily brought out in an outdoor setting than in a counseling office.
3. It Gets More Accomplished with Less Time
The Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 60(4), 275-281, claims that with wilderness therapy (OET) or experiential therapy more patients can be treated in a shorter timeframe with almost the same outcome. Thus, it is very cost-effective!
4. What the Experts Are Saying…
“Adventure counseling initiatives promote therapeutic gains due to the real-world nature of exposing clients to potential conflicts and problem solving tasks.” (Gillen) Therefore, we see that great benefits are attained just by getting out and taking part in the experience!
“In particular, the group process utilized in many outdoor experiential therapy programs facilitates socially favorable circumstances for group cooperation, team building, group contributions, and leadership. Two additional benefits associated with outdoor experiential therapy in a social context are group decision-making and effective communication. During outdoor experiential or group challenge activities, participants are compelled to learn the art of listening to others (emphasis added). They come to understand that they can offer their own opinion toward resolution of the group’s problems, but they must also accept that others in the group have convictions to which they must listen and evaluate, as well (Schoel, Prouty, & Radcliff, 1988).”
“In sum, it can be seen that given the structure and components usually present in outdoor experiential therapy programs, the benefits gleaned by involvement in these activities transcend a broad spectrum of physical, social, and psychological-based outcomes. Learning to express opinions and propose compromises are parts of a developmental process that plays a pivotal role in effective communication and decision-making within any group situation (emphasis added). Other studies have indicated increased levels of self-actualization and increased perceptions of personal change as a result of participation in an outdoor adventure program (Vogel, 1988/89).” (emphasis added)
This the just the beginning of the benefits to experiential therapy. So why don’t you see for yourself. Come and experience the difference!
– Alan W Ewert, Bryan P McCormick, & Alison E Voight. (2001). Outdoor experiential therapies: Implications for TR practice. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 35(2), 107. Retrieved November 22, 2010, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 79774488).
-Cammack, Eva. (1996, May). In-home recreation therapy care: A case study of Dillon. Parks & Recreation, 31(5), 66. Retrieved November 21, 2010, from Research Library. (Document ID: 9643719).
-Eikenæs, I., Gude, T., & Hoffart, A. (2006). Integrated wilderness therapy for avoidant personality disorder. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 60(4), 275-281. doi:10.1080/08039480600790093.
-Gillen, M., & Balkin, R. (2006). Adventure Counseling as an Adjunct to Group Counseling in Hospital and Clinical Settings. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 31(2), 153-164. doi:10.1080/01933920500493746.
-Harper, N., Russell, K., Cooley, R., & Cupples, J. (2007). Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Expeditions: An exploratory case study of adolescent wilderness therapy, family functioning, and the maintenance of change. Child & Youth Care Forum, 36(2-3), 111-129. doi:10.1007/s10566-007-9035-1.
-Hill, N. (2007). Wilderness therapy as a treatment modality for at-risk youth: A primer for mental health counselors. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 29(4), 338-349. Retrieved from PsycINFO database.
-Russell, K. (2005). Two Years Later: A Qualitative Assessment of Youth Well-Being and the Role of Aftercare in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Treatment. Child & Youth Care Forum, 34(3), 209-239. doi:10.1007/s10566-005-3470-7.