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Elements Wilderness Program

  • www.elementswilderness.com
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About Elements Wilderness Program

Elements is an intermediate outdoor behavioral health program. Since 2008, Elements Wilderness Program has provided a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17 and young adults at our sister program, Elements Traverse. Elements prides itself in its ability to strike the best possible balance between evidence-based therapy and hands-on and fun experiential activity. We believe that the wilderness provides the best environment for our students and their families to drop their defenses and truly discover a path forward.

Why Work here

We’re a small company that focuses on supporting and developing the people that work here. Many of our field mentors come to their training week having no significant outdoor experience. Every individual has a unique perspective to offer and can learn how to live outside in the wilderness. Our team is, first and foremost, filled with people who care and people who want to grow and aid in the growth of others. You don’t need to come with years of outdoor experience or years of experience working in a therapeutic setting. As a team, we pride ourselves in being able to teach the skills necessary to do the job. As a Field Mentor, your coworkers and management team are focused on building you up and providing you with the space to succeed in the work that we do.

Some of the things that differentiate us:

  • Welcoming Community & Treatment Team - Elements is an intimate and owner-operated program. This allows us to maintain our primary focus on the clients. As a Mentor, you will work alongside founders and owners out in the field. Mentors work closely with therapists to help implement the treatment plan designed for each client, while maintaining the big picture for the whole group. 
  • Social Emotional Skill Building - Our approach is focused on social-emotional skill-building and decision-making. We utilize Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and The 7 Challenges model. Of note, we are not a 12-Step nor abstinence-based program. Instead, we challenge clients to identify what role certain choices/substances were playing in their lives and to explore new ways of operating instead.
  • Wilderness Centered - We seek to use the wilderness as an active piece of the therapeutic process, not just the setting in which we live. Living outside, hiking, making fire, and carving spoons, all present struggles. In those struggles, we look for and find opportunities for growth.
  • Adventure Programming Model (AP): AP is a unique way for clients to engage with the program and practice new skills in a concrete way. We have separate, certified staff who facilitate the technical aspects of adventure activities. That said, Mentors are supervising and participating the whole time as well. Our goal is that AP is built seamlessly into the flow of the week, both logistically and therapeutically.

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