True North Wilderness Review
Located 40 miles southeast of Burlington, Vermont in the scenic town of Waitsfield, True North Wilderness is a residential treatment facility. It specializes in the care of adolescents, young adults and adults struggling with mental health conditions and substance use disorders, as well as personal and family issues. Founded in 2005, True North provides a comprehensive wilderness experience that integrates evidence-based therapies, survival training, psychoeducation and holistic approaches.
Accommodations and Food
Situated on a 25 acre property in the Green Mountains of Vermont, True North offers beautiful surroundings and the solitude necessary to focus on recovery. While staying on campus, clients sleep in winterized cabins or platform tents equipped with bunk beds, heaters and stoves. There are bathrooms nearby where residents can shower. The campus also offers a large indoor sports gym with tennis and basketball courts. Every two weeks, clients embark on a four-day adventure spent hiking, backpacking, canoeing, snowboarding, rock climbing and skiing. While on these adventures, clients sleep in tents.
True North offers delicious and healthy cuisine. With a seasonal menu created by a nutritionist, residents work together to prepare their own meals. Healthy snacks like protein bars and trail mix are available. Dietary restrictions are taken into consideration and plenty of options are available. There is also a weekly cooking class.
Treatment and Staff
Before beginning at True North, clients go through an extensive evaluation that includes medical and psychological exams as well as a complete account of substance use. Based off the results, the team determines the most effective individualized treatment strategy customized to address the specific needs, goals and circumstances of the person. While the length of treatment varies from person to person, most individuals typically stay between 10 and 12 weeks.
The facility’s experiential wilderness-based curriculum serves to not only treat clients but also to empower them to make positive life changes. In addition, True North integrates an array of complementary methods like psychoeducation, holistic practices, skills training and community services. Clients engage in individual therapy twice a week, and daily small group sessions rooted in CBT and strengths-based practices. The facility also provides yoga classes as well as wellness training. Residents learn a range of outdoor skills like starting fires, knot tying, cooking and building shelter.
The 12-step recovery model is not a component of the programming. Medication management is available for individuals with mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and trauma.
True North employs a team of student and parent therapists, social workers, mental health counselors, addiction specialists, an EMT, a physician and a consulting psychiatrist.
True North believes in the powerful impact that family involvement plays in the health and recovery of the client. To this end, clients write letters to their family. In addition, parents receive status updates via weekly phone calls and participate in a two-day program. The facility also offers an academic curriculum.
True North offers an active alumni program that includes community service projects and adventurous outings.
True North Wilderness is a wilderness residential treatment facility that provides comprehensive care for adolescents, young adults and adults with a range of mental health conditions, life stressors and substance use disorders. The program provides a unique and powerful therapeutic curriculum that aims to truly heal the “whole person.” True North Wilderness is an excellent option for anyone seeking robust experiential programming, a dynamic team and an unforgettable experience.
True North Wilderness Location
5354 Main St
Waitsfield, VT 05673
True North Wilderness Cost
Call for details; scholarships and loans are available. Will provide superbill for insurance billing. Reach True North Wilderness by phone at (802) 583-1144 or by email. Find True North Wilderness on Facebook and Instagram
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