Wilderness Therapy

"You have made me find the real me and my worth in the world. I’ve been holding a lot in for years and I’ve finally been able to talk about it." - young person

In 2020 Venture Mòr will be using our Wilderness Therapy expertise to strengthen our work with disadvantaged young people in Scotland through our parent charity - Venture Trust.

This will mean young people struggling with issues such as long term unemployment, recovery from addiction, risk of homelessness, isolation, involvement in the criminal justice system in Scotland, and a history of trauma or harm will benefit from Venture Mòr's proven programmes. 

We are still able to offer bespoke wilderness therapy programmes to groups and organisations who would not otherwise qualify for Venture Trust programmes. If you are a school, local authority, social work or CAMHS team, or someone working with people who would benefit from our approach and would like to commission us, feel free to CONTACT us to find out more.

wilderness therapy course

The Programme

There are various forms of therapy in which people can engage. Our wilderness therapy is offered in the outdoors, and takes the form of an extended, intensive, immersive residential experience over a period of two or three weeks. During that time your child will embark on reflective, therapeutic tasks alongside several expedition phases through the inspiring Scottish landscape.

Our team of therapists and outdoor instructors are with your loved one from the minute they arrive until the minute they leave. There are no staff changeovers and no awkward shifts patterns for participants to have to deal with. The relationships that the teenagers build with our team are therefore as consistent, strong and authentic as they can be.

outdoor adventure
wilderness canoe scotland

Working through themes of attachment, resilience, dealing with challenge, preparing for transitions and independence, your child will have the space and time to tend to their painful psychological wounds, grow in self-awareness, and develop effective strategies to transfer home. Our programme and approach is unique within the UK, but this model of treatment has decades of success in the USA.

The process is focussed on the therapeutic task. We don't do activities for reward, but we do engage in them for a reason; the activities we undertake are essential, experiential opportunities for reflection and challenge. We might hike to camp up on mountain ridges and high peaks; we might canoe down river rapids and across expansive lochs flowing out to a coastal beach; we might slow the pace in a woodland and sleep in hammocks around a campfire to focus differently during our time outside. Whatever form it takes, the trail will be led by our team of outdoor guides and facilitators who have unrivalled experience delivering developmental and therapeutic programmes in the most remote and wildest parts of Scotland. A qualified and professionally registered therapist will be dedicated to each journey to deliver group and one-to-one therapy sessions during the programme.

wilderness camp scotland
nature therapy

What We Do...

  • Therapy (by proper, qualified, registered professionals)
  • Experiential learning (through outdoor and adventure activity)
  • Community living (shared tasks, meals and space)
  • Time outdoors (base-camp living and multi-day expeditions)
  • Intensive, immersive, challenging

Who Might Benefit From Attending?

The programme is two weeks long, and will be open to young people aged 14-18 years who are experiencing struggles and challenges. These might be expressed in ‘destructive’ or ‘anti-social’ ways and may have begun to affect education or future employment prospects. It is likely to be significantly affecting their relationships with the people around them. Family and friends will be concerned for their wellbeing and in their current state there may be a risk of harm to themselves or to others. It may be particularly effective for people who have tried traditional therapeutic support (counselling, psychotherapy, CBT, CAMHS, medication options etc.) but have not been able to make the changes they were hoping for.

outdoor therapy in UK
adventure therapy program

It is absolutely essential that any potential participant is told the truth and given as much information as is helpful about why you think it would be beneficial for them to attend the programme. We can help to mediate this process if required. We require to have at least one discussion either by phone or Skype with the proposed participant prior to their arriving.

What You Can Expect And What We Provide

You can expect the utmost in professionalism and care from the outset. Our enrolment and assessment process aims to guide you every step of the way. We know that making a decision like this is ultimately with the best interests of the child and the wider family at heart. So we always bear in mind the emotional challenges that the parents and families of the child being enrolled have endured. It's not an easy decision and you need to feel that this is the right course of action to move beyond the current situation. We will support you in that.

therapeutic wilderness program
youth wilderness program

We provide a programme of engagement for your child that will challenge them, but keep them safe. We know how to look after people's emotional and physical safety in these remote, tough environments, so you can rest assured they are receiving the best possible care. The living is basic. It's not Five Star luxury, but they will learn how to look after themselves. Here is a link to the kit-list of everything they need to bring to keep them comfortable and anything you don't have access to, we can organise for hire.

Wilderness Therapy Programme Costs


For more information on bespoke programme costs get in touch at our CONTACT page.

wilderness view