Nestled in Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia and North Carolina, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and Emerald Arrow for young adults offer a transformative journey towards personal growth and hope for individuals and families seeking holistic outdoor mental health treatment. With a deep commitment to addressing the unique needs of every student, Blue Ridge Wilderness has embraced an individualized approach that fosters lasting outcomes and is rooted in a daily routine promoting physical and mental well-being.
At Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, mindfulness is woven into the fabric of every individual and family's experience. Recognizing the profound impact of mindfulness on emotional resilience, students are introduced to various mindfulness practices during their program, encouraged to engage in these practices on a daily basis.
Complementing mindfulness practices, the 'here-and-now' approach takes center stage at Blue Ridge, serving as a powerful tool to help clients develop awareness of their emotions, reactions, and relationships. The American Psychological Association defines 'here-and-now' as focusing on "the immediate situation," emphasizing "understanding present feelings and interpersonal reactions as they occur in an ongoing treatment session, with little or no exploration of past experiences." This approach is designed to heighten client awareness.
Opportunities for mindfulness and 'here-and-now' therapeutic interventions are seamlessly integrated into the daily structure at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. Some structured practices include gratitude journaling, mindful eating, breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and individual or group therapy. Additionally, therapeutic opportunities unfold organically during daily activities like hiking, playing, cooking, and collaborative work within the group.
Blue Ridge Executive Director, Danielle Hava, LCSW, explains, “The therapeutic advantage of utilizing mindfulness and the 'here-and-now' approach in our program is that every single moment presents an opportunity for our students to deepen self-awareness and rewire the pathways that have led to maladaptive behaviors and patterns in their lives at home."
The highly trained wilderness staff at Blue Ridge leverage mindfulness and in-the-moment awareness to guide clients towards achieving therapeutic goals and learning as they progress through the program. Hava further elaborates, “Our field instructors dedicate days and weeks to practicing and perfecting the art of supporting students in the moment, ensuring that therapy happens continuously, not just during sessions with the primary therapist." She adds, “This is made possible by our exceptional field staff, who serve as the students' companions, ensuring they are aware of their therapeutic goals and assignments, acting as pillars of accountability throughout every moment of the day."
About Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness
For over two decades, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness has seamlessly blended a holistic approach that encompasses thorough assessment, holistic well-being, and therapeutic interventions grounded in the wilderness. Their mission is to equip adolescents, young adults, and their families with the essential skills required to effectively confront the complexities linked to anxiety, depression, family discord, and a spectrum of related challenges.