Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness Integrates Daily Mindfulness in Wilderness Therapy

CLAYTON, GA, July 02, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — In increasingly digital times, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness draws attention to mindfulness practices as a critical component of improving mental health in teens and young adults.

“Social media is seriously influencing our youth today in a way that impairs their individuality and original thinking. We routinely hear students speak about the stress and pressures they feel due to social media. Through mindfulness and other therapeutic approaches, we work with students to help them focus on their own core beliefs, values ​​and goals so that they can be intentional about their words and behaviors,” explains Danielle Hava, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness.

While attending Blue Ridge, adolescents (13-18 years old) and young adults (18-29 years old) receive structure, guidance and tools for coping with difficult experiences, emotions and mental health challenges. Mindfulness is a significant component of this curriculum—the wilderness setting allows students to focus on their therapeutic processes and to engage in the present moment without interruption by everyday distractions.

Blue Ridge’s Health and Wellness Coordinator, Nicole Borth, is a certified nutritionist, personal trainer and 200 E-RYT yoga instructor. Every week, Nicole visits the wilderness to guide Blue Ridge students in meditation, yoga and mindfulness. Free from technology, teens and young adults at Blue Ridge are guided in opportunities to observe their experiences and surroundings. With the implementation of consistent mindfulness and meditation practices, students learn how to engage with their minds and bodies before making decisions, identifying their impulses and compulsions and noticing physiological reactions to emotional triggers.

“The overall goal of mindfulness practices is to encourage purposeful, present and non-judgmental awareness of an individual’s cognition. There are several ways to practice mindfulness including meditation, yoga or tai chi, for example,” adds Nicole.

Research suggests that practicing mindfulness for at least 30 minutes a day for as little as eight weeks leads to changes in the prefrontal cortex significant enough to be seen on a functional MRI. “The impact is significant. In a short amount of time, we can help our students set out on a path of self-efficacy that will serve them well for the rest of their lives,” explains Nicole.

About Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness: Blue Ridge offers clinically-driven programs encompassing advanced therapeutic skills, a highly flexible nomadic wilderness therapy model, licensed wilderness therapy assessment, and multiple treatment options for adolescents 13-18 years old as well as young adults 18-29 . Our individualized approach, family support, and commitment to service translate to an unparalleled experience and better outcomes for adolescents and families.

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