Group Homes for Troubled Teens

The Journey Wilderness is a top-tier wilderness therapy program that specializes in serving troubled teens from with addiction treatment, mental health issues, and behavioral problems. The Journey Wilderness provides outdoor therapy, life skills training, and substance abuse recovery.


Group Homes for Troubled Teens 

Originally, 'group home' was a term that referred to shelters that housed the mentally ill and special-needs individuals. Today, however, a group home typically relates to a home that houses troubled teenagers and young adults who require 24-hour therapeutic treatment in a home-like setting in order to overcome behavioral, mental, or addictive issues. 

While group homes for troubled teens may sound like a viable option to parents, the truth is that there are far more suitable and efficient treatment opportunities to choose from. That said, wilderness therapy is a treatment that has become increasingly popular as of late and has even become a favorite 'group home alternative' among parents of troubled teens.

Don't believe us? Read on and you will. 

Wilderness Therapy is Far a More Effective Treatment Option Than Group Homes for Troubled Teens

As to why wilderness therapy has become such a popular choice among parents of troubled teens, the answer is simple: wilderness therapy is overwhelmingly successful in changing the lives of troubled youth.

According to a survey from the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBH), researchers found that 81% of wilderness program graduate reported their behavioral treatment as being “successful.” It's also worth mentioning that all of those who participated in the OBH survey had completed their wilderness therapy at least one year before being interviewed. 

The proven success of wilderness therapy is the combined result of an ingenious implementation of clinical behavioral and emotional treatment, in addition to its choice of wilderness location - which, in and of itself, is naturally therapeutic.

Wilderness therapy uses the natural therapeutic environment of the beautiful outdoors in addition to providing certified therapeutic counseling from a behavioral expert staff.

Furthermore, wilderness therapy removes troubled teens far away from their prior distractions, negative relationships, as well as the tumultuous family dynamic they experienced at home. In other words, wilderness therapy programs succeed for the very same reasons that group homes fail.

Why Group Homes Are Not A Viable Option for Parents From to Consider 

Group homes, on the other hand, have a less than desirable reputation among behavioral health experts and mental health organizations. According to the American Psychological Association, group homes "often do more harm than good, causing depression, thoughts of suicide, acting-out behaviors and recidivism among these youth."

The failure of group homes boils down to their implementation of problematic ideology and all-around approach in treating troubled youth. Needless to say, one need look no further for proof of a problematic ideology than the effect that group homes have on troubled teens who are sent to them. 

Essentially, a group home is nothing more than a small facility that simulates the appearance and functionality of an everyday, normal household. Group homes, by design, act as a simulated experience for teens to 'practice,' or engage in situations similar to scenarios they previously struggled with while living at their actual home. 

However, unlike a normal residence, the teenage occupants are not allowed to leave the boundaries of the home-like facility and essentially live as a prisoner under house arrest.

Nevertheless, while group homes are intended to simulate conditions of their teenage occupants’ home-life, many behavioral experts argue that simulating a home setting that operates like a 24-hour, lock-down facility is counter-productive. In explaining why group homes are counterproductive, experts say it’s due to the fact that teens typically rebel when met with authoritarian, enclosed incarceration - as we humans tend to do naturally. 

Wilderness Therapy vs. Group Home Therapy

The bottom line, wilderness therapy programs, like that of The Journey Wilderness, are a much more compelling treatment option for parents of troubled teens to consider. 

Whereas teenagers feel trapped, claustrophobic, and display a subsequent, rebellious attitude towards the authoritative staff of a group home program, wilderness therapy offers clinical behavioral and therapeutically healing treatment in the wide-open and breathtaking environment of the natural wild.

In complete contrast to conditions of a group home, wilderness therapy provides teens with the experience of a lifetime as they embark on a journey with other campers.  And, Rather than feeling like a caged animal, teens immersed in wilderness therapy work and bond with one another as they navigate earth's beautiful, natural obstacles, exploring the wilderness like adventurous frontiersmen and women. 

Oh, and not to mention, this adventure comes with genuine behavioral, emotional and psychological transformation! Previously stigmatized 'troubled teens,' become 'bonded adventure seekers' as they build true, long-lasting relationships. 

This isn't to say struggling adolescents who participate in wilderness therapy don't receive certified therapeutic counseling in addition to their exploration and peer-bonding endeavors - after all, wilderness is, in fact, a treatment program (albeit an exciting, cutting-edge and uniquely impactful treatment at that). While The Journey Wilderness can't speak on behalf of other wilderness programs, we can assure you that all of our campers work face-to-face with certified counselors who are expert in assisting teens in overcoming behavioral, emotional, and psychological issues. 

Unlike Group Homes, Wilderness Therapy Creates Leaders

Lest we forget, the robust platform of exploration, personal growth, and healing that wilderness programs provide allows teen campers to discover their real potential. This is especially the case for teens who are natural-born leaders - which many strong-headed, stubborn and rebellious teens happen to be.

At wilderness therapy, teen campers encounter many obstacles that will force them to work as a team in order to overcome and complete objectives. It is during these moments of facing adversity that teen campers will look towards natural-born leaders to lead them in overcoming said obstacles. 

Additionally, at a wilderness therapy program, troubled teens, who have a proclivity for leading others, are able to gain perspective of their inherent gifts, as well as develop and fine-tune their natural, leadership attributes. It is this leadership-building quality (in addition to the many substantially important reasons previously mentioned) that makes wilderness therapy a much more impactful and dynamic therapeutic alternative to that of group home therapy. 

The Journey Wilderness: A Provenly Better Choice for Troubled Teens Than A Group Home 

Still interested sending your child to a provenly irrelevant group home? No? How about trusting in the one treatment that statistic analysis, former troubled teens, behavioral experts, and the basic understanding of human psyche all collectively vouch for?  

If so, trained advocates from The Journey Wilderness are available to guide parents, caretakers, and/or professionals in placing struggling adolescents into a wilderness therapy – centered Group Home. Those seeking to help a struggling teen are highly encouraged to call The Journey Wilderness at (801) 369-5694.