Posted by Rick Heizer, MS, Owner, Executive Director of Evoke Therapy Programs on June 06, 2016

Rick Heizer 17“Wilderness? What’s Wilderness Therapy?” When telling people where I work I frequently get this question. After explaining they often follow up with, “Wow, that sounds amazing!”

It’s never easy to give a two-minute or less version explaining what Wilderness Therapy is. Some who are uninformed about Wilderness Therapy confuse it with boot camps. While Wilderness Therapy provides structure and behavioral modification, it is nothing like boot camps. Wilderness Therapy provides these things through a nurturing and supportive environment. Therapists and field instructors draw from the participant’s experiences of primitive living, combined with experiential and evidence-based therapies, to provide one-on-one and group therapy, personal insight and emotional growth. Wilderness Therapy is an immersion into a primitive living experience; it utilizes experiential, metaphor and a rite-of-passage model. Wilderness Therapy provides a powerful environment of focus, motivation, and direct results that are free from outside stimuli and full of the inherent lessons of nature. There is no other experience like it. Wilderness Therapy is unique, personally powerful, amazingly insightful, spiritual, and life-changing for the participants, instructors, therapists and anyone who’s ever experienced it! I only wish there was a way for those unaware to have just a glimpse of its profound power.

We educate many people through our Frequently Asked Questions, which are effective at explaining the many different aspects of Wilderness Therapy. We have videos, which provide valuable insight and understanding, we also regularly provide presentations, publish in papers, and books. All of these mediums are effective in further educating those who know little to nothing about Wilderness Therapy. And now there is one more medium to help educate individuals on Wilderness Therapy, and not just educate, but I believe it will be that glimpse, an experience anyone can have to understand the truly profound power of Wilderness Therapy. That experience is WILDERNESS, an original multi-media, documentary theater production about Wilderness Therapy.

WILDERNESS is a theatrical production that centers on six families as they participate in a Wilderness Therapy program in an effort to rebuild their lives. Anchored by the genuine experiences of the families, actors portray the experiences of six participants while at a Wilderness Therapy program. This is accompanied by recorded Skype interviews with actual parents recounting their real-life struggles leading up to their child attending Wilderness Therapy, and sharing their experience during the Wilderness Therapy experience. This theatrical production has movement, music, and stunning visual imagery. WILDERNESS brings the complexities of Wilderness Therapy and its participants to life and provides insight and emotional experience into what is wilderness.

On October 24th, 2016, WILDERNESS will premiere in New York City at the Abron’s Arts Center. WILDERNESS will then tour the nation throughout 2017. Follow us on Facebook for schedule updates. WILDERNESS is a production of En Garde Arts, a non-profit organization. Please consider supporting this valuable production by visiting their site or donation page.


I am so excited to learn more! I am currently an MFT trainee and am in love with the outdoors. My goal is to pursue wilderness therapy. Thank you for sharing all your stories!

Posted by Ailicec Figueroa


Posted by jack

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