Typically speaking, rehabs tend to have clinical or semi-clinical settings with a detox and an inpatient portion; that’s not the case with Salem, Oregon-based company Family Help and Wellness. What it specializes in is wilderness programs for young adults.
Founded in 2008 by Tim Dupell, an ex-accountant and financier who now serves as CEO and Founder, Family Help and Wellness is a parent company partnered with a number of distinct recovery outfits that run themselves (which is different from traditional rehabs where management and clinical staff all work on and in one facility). Since 2008, the company has snowballed into a wilderness recovery giant encompassing 12 different programs, each with its own offerings.
A few of the programs have indoor lodging, but most are nomadic programs based around long hikes and outdoor camping. Aside from the academies which have more developed educational programs and longer stays, most of these programs have a sleep-away camp feel to them.
Treatment and Staff
The partnered programs here are Wingate Wilderness Therapy, The Academy at Trails Carolina, Solstice RTC, Asheville Academy for Girls, Solstice Journey, Solstice East, Talisman Camp, Blue Fire Wilderness, Sedona Sky, View Point Center and Elevations RTC. Most of these offer wilderness therapy as their primary treatment modality but none of them have medical detox or medical personnel on staff.
These programs are designed to treat at-risk teens of all varieties: that means anger issues, acting out, defiance, self-harm, negative body image and so on. Drug experimentation is another listed focus, but none of these programs are strictly geared towards treating full-blown addiction.
Though there’s far too much to cover, each program offers something different. Solstice RTC is a 36-bed center for girls with gender specific treatment for depression, anxiety and eating disorders which does offer psych assistance. Their guiding philosophy to treatment is the “hero’s journey.”
Wingate Wilderness Therapy offers two days a week of gentle therapy (if the kids consent to it—theirs is a philosophy of “non-resistance”); otherwise, they’re a moving caravan of hikers that get a ration of food every morning that teens must divide into three meals on their own throughout the day in order to teach self-control and self-sufficiency. Overall, their treatment philosophy is guided by “the transformational power of the outdoors,” even for mental disorders like Aspergers.
Family Help and Wellness offers plenty of programs at a variety of price ranges, but it’s not a centralized treatment facility and the type of treatment it proffers is largely unproven. If families are convinced wilderness therapy is the way to go, however, Family Help and Wellness is certainly an option.
Family Help and Wellness
530 Center St, Ste 700
Salem, OR 97301
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