Treating Teen Anxiety with Wilderness Therapy

Your teens’ constant worries, nervousness and fear are preventing them from enjoying the best of their teenage years. You suspect they are suffering from an anxiety disorder. You want to help, but which type of treatment is best? Medication, therapy, relaxation techniques?

Mother and Daughters

One of the most effective forms of teen anxiety treatment may be one you haven’t even thought of: wilderness therapy.

Aspen Achievement Academy, one of the oldest and most reputable wilderness therapy programs in the country, frequently treats teens with anxiety by using a blend of therapeutic techniques, hands-on learning and the transformative power of nature. In the wilderness, the focus is on both preventing anxiety attacks and intervening when a student’s anxiety becomes overwhelming.

Learning New Coping Skills

In an effort to prevent anxiety from taking hold, the field staff and therapists at Aspen Achievement Academy teach teens the following:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Coping skills that keep them grounded, calm, and connected to their bodies and minds
  • Mindfulness skills (connecting to their own thoughts and emotions)
  • Emotional regulation and expression
  • Cognitive restructuring (changing thinking patterns in order to change behaviors)

For teens with anxiety disorders, prevention is helpful but insufficient on its own. Intervention is also critical so that teens can develop healthy coping skills to help them manage their symptoms.

The focus of treatment for teen anxiety at Aspen Achievement Academy is on identifying unhealthy coping mechanisms and learning new coping skills. Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other approaches, the adolescent specialists at the academy help teens recognize negative thought patterns and more effectively manage their stress.

Learn more about treating teen anxiety with wilderness therapy >>


What Not to Say When Talking to a Child about Weight

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of young people are overweight or obese, and studies have found that 70 percent of overweight teenagers become overweight adults.

According to the Mayo Clinic, overweight and obesity are associated with myriad health issues, including diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and sleep disorders.

Because the health and emotional risks of being overweight and obese are so serious, helping your children control their weight is important. If weight is an issue with your children, you’ll need to talk to them.

But how you talk to your children about weight is just as important as what you tell them. Here are some of the things you should never do when talking to your children about their weight:

Don’t Make Accusations

While finger pointing or assigning blame for your child’s weight may be motivated by your desire to correct unhealthy behavior, it rarely works. You may be tempted to blame your child for spending too much time in front of the TV, or your spouse for letting the kids eat too much junk food. Even if you’re right, such a negative approach will only put your child on the defensive.

What else should you avoid saying to your child about their weight? Continue reading to find out >>