BlueFire Wilderness Therapy Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Blue Fire Wilderness Therapy

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The Basics

Located 100 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho in the small city of Gooding, BlueFire Wilderness Therapy helps teenagers and young adults between the ages of 11 and 28  struggling with mental health challenges like depression, anxiety and trauma as well as clients coping with ADHD and autism. BlueFire employs a holistic treatment model that integrates a range of therapies including wilderness therapy, evidence-based practices and cutting edge methods like neurofeedback. Twelve-step is not a component of the programming.

Accommodations and Food

BlueFire is located in the high plains region of southern Idaho. Residents stay at a base camp equipped with a cooking area, shower facilities and a yurt with sleeping cots. It is crucial that residents stay completely immersed in the program. As such, BlueFire does not permit TV, computers or smartphones. Aside from video conferencing with family, the internet is not available. The area offers plenty of recreational activities including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking and cross-country skiing.

Treatment and Staff

BlueFire offers individualized treatment programming for teenagers and young adults struggling with a range of mental health challenges, learning disorders and personal issues like self-esteem. Individual care plans are customized to meet each client’s needs, goals and circumstances. While the length of stay varies depending on the needs and progress of the client, the typical stay is around nine weeks with many individuals staying anywhere between six and 12.

While wilderness therapy serves as the cornerstone of the programming, BlueFire utilizes an array of therapeutic methods to ensure a personalized experience for each client. The facility employs evidence-based modalities, holistic approaches, academics and adventure therapy. Clients engage in individual therapy twice weekly and group sessions four times a week. Therapists are skilled in Motivational Interviewing (MI), CBT and DBT as well as EMDR to treat past trauma as a cause of current conditions. BlueFire also provides equine therapy each week and neurofeedback to teach clients how to regulate normally involuntary body functions like heart rate. In addition, residents maintain a video journal and video conference regularly with their family.

BlueFire employs a multi-disciplinary team of counselors, social workers, therapists and PhD-level psychologists. Without a physician or psychiatrist on the team, medication management is not available.

Extras

BlueFire believes in the importance of family support in the success of recovery. To this end, the facility offers the four-day Family Spark Workshop, an immersive family therapy experience that teaches parents how to best help their child.

In Summary

BlueFire Wilderness Therapy integrates wilderness experiential activities with evidence-based therapies to provide teenagers and young adults with a unique and empowering therapeutic experience. For parents looking for a strong curriculum that enables their child to flourish, BlueFire is a great option.

BlueFire Wilderness Therapy
1832 E 1750 S
Gooding, ID 83330

BlueFire Wilderness Therapy Cost: Call for details; BlueFire employs a healthcare advocate to assist with insurance. Reach BlueFire Wilderness Therapy by phone at (208) 494-9932 or by email. Find BlueFire Wilderness Therapy on Facebook and Twitter

Do you have a complaint or review of BlueFire Wilderness Therapy to add? Use the comments area below to add your BlueFire Wilderness Therapy review.

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3 Comments

  1. former bluefire kid on

    The field instructors are amazing and they truly care about the kids but the therapists were iffy and some of the staff broke the law on multiple occasions. There was a point where they did not let me shower for 6 weeks at a time and they forced people to eat things. All of the girls in my group at one point or another degraded me and treated me as if I was lesser. A girl threatened me multiple times and no action was taken against her. We were not allowed to speak to anyone who is not a part of the program because they didn’t want us to escape. Their site is pure false advertisement, I was kept there for the double the duration of the time they told my parents I would be there. They don’t keep any rules of psychiatric confidentiality and nothing I said was private. I was forced to carry more weight on my back than I could handle, and when I advocated for myself (which was something they told us to do) I was often called manipulative or weak and that I wasn’t trying. I now to see a chiropractor. I have been home for 4 months now and I still sometimes cry myself to sleep when I feel like I’m still there and get panic attacks when I think about the way I was treated there by some of the other girls. The staff were underpaid, and the program costs way to much. Being there made me more suicidal than I had ever been before and I even considered stabbing myself in the heart or trying to get bitten by a rattlesnake to get out. There was a girl who I never met but people who had been there when she was there told me about her. She smashed her hand with the biggest rock she could find to try to leave and was put in a cast and sent back out to back pack in below freezing temperatures. Do not put your child through this I’m way more screwed up now than before I left.

  2. I contacted Bluefire via their website and was immediately contacted by Charlie–their sales person essentially–by call, text and email. We spoke the following day and he promised me the world for my child. They would be our family. They would turn my son’s life around. He said put in an application and I will contact you back.
    I was filled with hope from his extensive promises and spent close to 2 hours filling out the lengthy application form. I submitted the form and then I waited for a response. 2 days go by and I follow up via phone and email, but no reply. I follow up again and manage to speak to Charlie who said that I had been left a message by their medical director. This was not true. 2 more days go by and the medical director calls me and leaves voicemail for me to call back. I did but have received no response. $35,000 for 8 weeks and they don’t have the common courtesy to be responsive to a clearly vulnerable family. UGH. I am disgusted with them.

  3. Do not wish to state on

    Sent our daughter here in 2015. Staff and directors lied to my wife and I, misleading us to think it was a well prepared, experienced program. Our daughter was literally one of the first 3 students in the program; we were not made aware of this until many weeks in.
    Our daughter has since then been diagnosed by many therapists and medical professions as suffering from extreme mental and physical trauma from this program. She has PTSD from staff yelling at her, not receiving enough food or shelter (due to lack of food, and extensive physical activity on a daily basis, our 5’10” child went from a healthy 130lbs to only 86lbs, leading doctors at home to worry for her growth and safety), and being mocked by staff and on site therapists.
    Her two therapists “tested” the methods of multiple weekly therapists on our child, and the one other child in her group, and later admitted to this, and trying a “good cop/ bad cop” approach. One therapist would berate her and tell her she deserved every unfortunate circumstance she suffered at home, whilst the other would coddle her into thinking nothing was at all her fault. She was also told, by program staff, thought her 12 week stay, that she and other children showed regular signs of hypothermia (she went from October through January, in negative 10 degree weather) and has since then had extensive treatment for nerve damage from cold.
    Furthermore, Bluefire used images of our daughter without written or verbal consent from her or us (who were her legal guardians at the time). This has now been an ongoing issue for years, and we are being forced to take legal action to stop them. It is frankly embarrassing to see our child, allowed to shower only once a week at the program (at most), in images, freezing cold, to be used as an AD to trick other parents into thinking its a caring environment.
    Now, 4 years later, our daughter has gone through multiple types of therapudic and medical treatment to try to undo what Bluefire did her her. We pray this does not happen to more kids or families.

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