Wilderness therapy programs sometimes referred to as Outdoor Education, have proven themselves to be exceptional catalysts for change in troubled children and teenagers. Because of our reputation for quality, safety and longevity, many of Aspen’s wilderness programs have been highlighted in TV documentaries and written about in the national media. This unique experience can be described as a “rite of passage,” a transformational process that is difficult to find in our fast-paced, modern society. Our therapists and counselors guide teens toward self-reliance and self-respect. The impact of these programs on troubled teens with such behavioral problems as low self-esteem, poor school performance, defiance of authority, depression, and drug or alcohol abuse has been well documented. Parents can feel confident that their children will get the treatment and care they need at Aspen’s Outdoor Therapy Wilderness Programs. For international inquiries, click here.



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SUWS of the Carolinas – Old Fort, North Carolina
SUWS of the Carolinas is a therapeutic wilderness program with a focus on clinical intervention and assessment. The program uses the outdoors as an alternative to conventional treatment environments, while engaging students using traditional therapeutic methods. The wilderness setting removes modern distractions, simplifies choices and teaches valuable lessons. As a result, students begin to accept responsibility for personal decisions, address individual and family issues, and become invested in their own personal growth. Since 1981, SUWS programs have provided essential guidance and support to thousands of misdirected and at-risk adolescents. SUWS of the Carolinas specializes in the assessment and treatment of students ages 13-17.



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Phoenix Outdoor – Asheville, North Carolina
Phoenix Outdoor is a licensed wilderness-based substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment programlocated near Asheville, North Carolina for teenagers ages 13-17 .  Wilderness therapy removes distractions, prevents the possibility of substance use during treatment, and offers a high impact intervention leading the adolescent to realize there is a need for change.  Phoenix conducts an in-depth assessment to determine the severity of substance use, identifies and works through issues that lead to the behavior, offers a specialized therapeutic curriculum, and introduces the 12-Step process.At Phoenix Outdoor, a supportive peer group and trained instructors help the adolescent reflect and consider how life may be different without substances.  Trained therapists help the client draw analogies between their wilderness experience and real life to give them insight and perspective.  A certified addictions counselor offers substance abuse classes, group sessions, and counseling.

Each week, families receive individual counseling, participate in teleconference support groups and are offered interactive psycho-educational seminars.  Phoenix Outdoor offers the adolescent and their family hope, support, knowledge and a process to create a substance-free life.



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SUWS Seasons – Old Fort, North Carolina
Seasons is the SUWS of the Carolinas program for younger teens ages 11 -13.SUWS Seasons is a licensed, clinically focused wilderness treatment program for younger children designed to identify the limiting beliefs and unhealthy behaviors that often can prevent the pursuit of constructive goals and personal achievement.Research and developmental psychology indicates that 11 to 13 year-olds have very specific needs: primarily safety, security, and predictability. Pre-adolescent children and younger teens think in concrete terms and require tangible experiences from which to build.



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Four Circles Recovery Center – Horse Shoe, North Carolina
North Carolina Four Circles Recovery Center for older teens and young adults ages 18-28 is an innovative addictions, substance abuse and co-occuring mental health disorders treatment program that combines a traditional counseling setting with extensive wilderness experiences. Four Circles employs the most effective, cutting-edge clinical modalities with an underlying traditional 12-step philosophy to create the foundation for sustained recovery.

We are located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, just 15 minutes from Asheville, NC. The pristine wilderness of the Carolinas serves as a dramatic and beautiful backdrop for your recovery.



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Outback Therapeutic Expeditions- Lehi, Utah
Outback’s Wilderness Program for youth ages 13-17 blends the best of the “ancient cultural systems” with the most effective and proven therapeutic processes. Many of our students have been experiencing family conflict, been involved in negative peer groups, were isolating themselves, or were focusing excessive time on computers. Some have been struggling academically, have low self-esteem, may be abusive toward their parents and siblings, or may be experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Others are bright but underachieving. Your child will experience the highest standards of safety and therapy in the context of one of the most powerful settings for real change – the wilderness. Students can earn academic credit while in the program.