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USA Activities

We work in partnership with long established and professionally run Therapeutic Wilderness Programmes based in the USA. These are not “boot camps” nor are they adventure camps, they are structured and challenging programmes aimed at helping troubled teenagers address their issues and in some cases their addictions. (NOTE: Young Adult Programmes are also available for those over 18 years of age)

Based in the rugged outdoors, most of the models used are based on respect & trust and they build on the philosophy that your child is more than just a diagnosis. Highly trained therapists don't just hold therapy sessions in the outdoors, they have the skill and experience to use the environment as a clinical tool. Experienced Field Guides and Masters & PhD level
Therapists, are committed to using caring and non-punitive approaches that encourage every student to discover their internal motivation for success.

In the wilderness, struggling kids are taught to accomplish things they never thought they could do. This type of experience resonates strongly, enhancing their self-worth and self-confidence; which is not something that can be accomplished in a traditional therapeutic residential setting. When kids in the wilderness conquer a hike, climb a mountain or cook their own meal by starting their own “bow drill” that is a real accomplishment leading to long lasting internal change.

These programmes are about achievement, which takes the form of “task” based activities and experiential learning modules, worked in tandem with therapeutic engagement, which is aimed at achieving personal goals. Whilst each young person is different, the average stay on these programmes is about 8 to 10 weeks.

usa activitiesPlease talk to us for more details or read HERE to answer the question “Does Wilderness Therapy Work?”




"My wife and I feel we have been very fortunate to have crossed paths with Graham when we did, without Graham’s guidance and support we dread to think where Cameron’s path to self-destruction would have led not only him but our entire family. All I can say is thank you.”
Dad - Essex.



Before my time at a wilderness therapy programme in the United States I was out of education, suicidal and with no future plan set. My parents had tried numerous routes in helping such as counselling, moving schools and even hypnotherapy. With none of these avenues proving affective and my problems only worsening I was sent to a wilderness therapy programme in the U.S with little to no knowledge of what the programme entailed. 

Upon arrival, I was scared, lonely and my first thought being how I could get myself out of the situation. It dawned on me that my only way out was to conform and complete the programme. I think this is the first moment that reality had hit me properly, I had time to reflect over my life whilst being removed from the situation. The programme was tough at first, everything from the food, terminology for things, to living and sleeping wholly outdoors. Admittedly, it took me a while to settle in. Within my first two weeks Graham happened to be visiting RCA and came to talk to me. I remember him mentioning he had spoken to my dad on the phone and that he helped kids like myself from the UK come to programmes like the one I was in.
radcliffeAt RCA I was given 8 phases to complete which ranged from leading a hike, to bowing a fire (no matches or lighters), to tying knots. Sometimes the tasks seemed tedious but upon reflection I realised that was the point, it taught me how to deal with tasks I didn't like or found difficult in order to learn positive coping mechanisms. The therapy I received was not only from my highly experienced therapist but from the surroundings of the wilderness. There is something extremely healing about stripping yourself from modern day technology and being able to fully indulge in a task given to you without distraction.By communicating weekly with my parents by written letter I was able to talk freely without fear of being judged. I opened up to them about my troubles and they consequently were able to tell me their problems and issues. We built a long overdue trust which had been burnt down prior to RCA.
 I returned to Southern Utah in the spring of 2016 for the RCA reunion which was both emotional and beneficial, it was a great reminder of what I had overcome and I met more former students and parents with similar stories to mine. My time in wilderness therapy was from November 2012- February 2013. I missed a lot of traditional holidays and celebrations. However, my memories at RCA are some of the best and definitely most life changing moments of my life.

I am still very much in contact with the people I spent time with in Utah and I'm now a student at a university in London, thriving socially and with a great future ahead of me. None of this would have been possible without my wilderness therapy experience at RCA.

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