The Wilderness Therapy Programs are a collaborative effort between the Counseling Center and UREC.

The 2024 general program is a five-day, four night therapeutic adventure program in the George Washington National Forest during the week of spring break (3/11/24 - 3/15/24). Participants will include two to three counseling center clinicians, two certified guide(s) from UREC, and up to 8 students. Over the course of this trip, students will backpack through the wilderness and experience outdoor education sessions and therapy process groups. Activities include but are not limited to learning proper shelter and camp building techniques, Leave No Trace Education, and proper water filtration techniques as well as process groups, intra- and inter-personal skill building, natural interventions, and self-reflection. The purpose of this program is to use adventure as a platform to improve relational skills, build self-confidence and self-efficacy, and increase healthy coping skills. Contact Leslie Gerrard at gerrarll@jmu.edu or Melinda Fox at fox3mm@jmu.edu for information on how to register for the trip.

A second, one day trip will be offered during the Fall semester (2024 date TBD). This one day retreat is specifically for those who identify as survivors of sexual violence. This trip will be a collaboration between the Counseling Center, UREC, and Victim Advocacy. Participants will include two to three Counseling Center clinicians, a Victim Advocate, one to two certified guide(s) from UREC, and six to ten students. Over the course of this trip, in addition to hiking, outdoor education, and therapeutic activities, students will have the opportunity to engage in rock climbing.

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