In today’s adolescent mental health treatment landscape there are many options to choose from. Among the most efficient are programs that prioritize clinical integration, meaning that all facets of the treatment process are interwoven and working in tandem to fit the needs of clients. These programs set the standard for efficient mental healthcare processes while helping to innovate services to fit the evolving needs of clientele.
Second Nature is a wilderness therapy program that prides itself on seamlessly integrating therapeutic programs with daily milieu directed by program staff. Through high-level resources that Second Nature of Utah Reviews, the program hopes to demystify mental health to assist teens and their families as they explore options for treatment.
About Second Nature of Utah
In 1998, Second Nature of Utah was founded by a group of clinicians on the idea that wilderness based therapeutic services would have life changing results for families. To this point, Second Nature was the first program of its type to utilize a therapist-driven model, where proven therapeutic methods were used in tandem to harness the growth and calming impact of therapeutic wilderness programs. Second Nature’s wilderness therapy program has since become an industry leader setting the standard for effective adolescent mental health care, assisting adolescents suffering through a variety of diagnosis such as: depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, bipolar disorder, grief, PTSD, and substance abuse.
As a full service intensive therapeutic program, Second Nature reviews its services such as individualized treatment, niche groups, and comprehensive family support frequently to ensure effective care practices for teens and families. Second Nature wilderness family therapy empowers students to draw from new coping strategies and skills learned through the program to improve communication skills, goal setting, the ability to process feelings constructively, as well as become active participants within their homes and communities. These skills are honed through various wilderness activities and therapy sessions overseen by Second Nature’s dedicated and experienced staff, contributing to the program’s reputation for positive outcomes.
Second Nature of Utah Explores the Mental Health Benefits of Nature
Through Second Nature’s wilderness family therapy and adolescent therapy programs, individuals learn about the value of nature and the immense impact it can have on helping us maintain our mental well-being. When the soothing influence of nature is combined with comprehensive behavioral therapy techniques, the result is a positive outcome that teaches several crucial skills essential to success in the outside world.
Second Nature of Utah acknowledges that many families know that there are mental health benefits associated with spending time outdoors, but many are not educated on some of the specific ways that it can put us on a path towards a fruitful future. Here, Second Nature explores a few of the inherent mental health benefits of nature as well as how they impact the lives of teens and families.
Lowered Symptoms of Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
Many studies have explored the relationship between spending time in nature and decreased anxiety, stress, and depression. Spending time in green spaces and the outdoors tends improve our moods and can simultaneously help us feel more energized and motivated to recover. This may be for several reasons such as improving our access to vitamin D as well as providing space from potentially harsh environmental factors. Some experts believe that the reason nature makes people feel less stressed is because it lowers the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, within our bodies.
Impaired focus can be damaging to our mental wellness. Reason being our difficulties adapting to obstacles and making improvements within our lives are naturally hindered if we lack the focus to identify what we need to change. Nature has been found to have a positive impact on improving attention and focus, resulting in heightened concentration, better performance, and reduced issues associated with ADD. While the reasons why spending time outdoors improves focus is an ongoing conversation among experts, several assert that it is due to less distractions combined with the soothing effect of natural settings.
Heightened Sense of Self-Esteem
Green environments have been proven to increase our sense of self-esteem by increasing hormones associated with an elevated mood. The Second Nature wilderness family therapy program speaks to how outdoor activities help us maintain our bodies while helping us feel more connected to ourselves in the process. Finding peace in nature can also empower us to feel more fulfilled as we develop a healthier view of ourselves. Not only does this help us feel more secure, but it also puts many of our issues into perspective as we realize that we are not defined purely by our struggles.
Increased Creativity and Problem Solving Skills
According to Second Nature, the wilderness has been found to increase our creativity and problem solving skills in several ways. Spending time outdoors expands our scope to show us that the world is much larger than our comprehension, inspiring us to consider different perspectives and more innovative ideas. Many of the activities that we spend time performing in nature such as setting up camp, cooking, etc. also inspire problem solving and creativity. One of the benefits of honing these skills in nature is that the same ideas can be applied to our day to day obstacles. When we can identify issues and discover innovative solutions to solve them, we are much more likely to develop constructive coping strategies and conflict resolution skills.
More from Second Nature Utah Reviews
Second Nature of Utah recognizes that many families are in the process of exploring options for therapeutic treatment. Programs contributing to ongoing conversations within the mental health space is essential for these individuals because it serves to explain tried and true processes that define innovation within the field. To this point, Second Nature hopes to help those interested in learning more about wilderness therapy and mental health through high-level resources addressing pertinent topics.
Future posts will cover topics such as the ongoing mental health pandemics, the impact of exercise on mental wellness, communication skills learned through wilderness experiences, and mental health trends that are shaping the future of the industry.
What Parents Are Saying…
Group 3 Parent
“The Broad range of resources available to the whole family, not just our child, was unexpected and a very positive part of the experience.”
“The correspondence approach with weekly letters was intense, therapeutic, challenging, and very valuable. In fact, increasingly so as time went on.”
Group 8 Parent
“Second Nature was helpful in navigating the overwhelming feelings of uncertainty etc. The audio casts were very, very insightful…”
“[Our parent coach] Mary was super insightful and instructive in all of our parent sessions. Jenny [admissions representative] made our initial experience with 2N exceptionally reassuring and helpful. Coady was great during our “on-trail” 3-day visit. [ Our therapist] David Pagels was exceptional, empathetic, highly attuned to our child and will be a lifelong friend.”
Group 9 parent
“Our experience with Second Nature has been really nice. We felt very confident that our son was in good hands the whole time. Our experience with the therapists were so helpful.
Everyone was very good about communicating and everything was handled clearly and efficiently.”
Group 2 Parent
“Overall, Life Changing. We enjoyed the parent education piece. Guidance from [our therapist] Krista and [our parent coach] Mary, was key to helping us understand our part of the work during our daughters’ time at Second Nature. We felt supported and informed every step of the way.”
Alumni parent from Group 5
“Excellent. This is our second child to attend 2N and we have been very impressed with all aspects of the program. Our child has learned a lot here and is ready for the next step of his recovery and growth.”
“While Second Nature is an incredibly complex, serious operation, the whole staff (office, Academic, Field, Therapeutic, transition/family) have a wonderful levity. That attitude made it much easier! We could not be more please and thankful.”
Group 2 Parent
“Of course, the whole experience was extremely emotional and they did a great job of explaining everything to me and what to expect. There was so much access to support It was really a great program and I would definitely recommend it.”
Group 7 Parent
“We can’t say enough positive things about 2N. It far exceeded our expectations. Thanks to everyone.”
Group 7 Parent
“We are filled with gratitude for Second Nature’s experience in helping our son. He is coming home with many new skills and a deeper insight into his own behavior, thoughts, and feelings.”
“We appreciate how Second Nature not only was trans friendly, but that universally across all staff, competence with trans and gender diversity issues were demonstrated.”
What Students Are Saying…
“I connected with almost every person l I met, student and staff. Also, since being here I see a future for myself and want to live.”
Highlights from Second Nature include “Making great, deep friendships, slowly reconnecting with my parents after time to myself, seeing beautiful vistas, getting to know diverse adults are living their best life, and learning to cook”
Highlights from Second Nature include “Skills to learn how to communicate, laughing in a group setting, telling and receiving the hard truth.”
“Everyone was so welcoming and made me know that everything was going to be ok.”
“I made connections with students and staff here that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I feel better off in life having come here.”
Highlights from Second Nature include “Meeting people that will have an impact on my whole life and changing the trajectory of my life.”
Highlights from Second Nature include “Holding vulnerable groups, learning how to communicate better, doing hard things, making times, focusing on myself.”
“I loved all the staff and was supported through my 11 weeks.”
“Second Nature group therapy and individual therapy were the best experiences I’ve gotten in my life, and the emotionally safe environment taught me how to adapt outside of Second Nature.”
Highlights at Second Nature include “Checking in about positive things, harvesting, burning sage, talking about my culture, singing and playing the ukulele and guitar by myself and with others.”
Group 8 Parent
“ David Pagels was the perfect therapist [for our child. Couldn’t be more pleased.”
“Second Nature was exceptional. Caring, professional, super- appropriate therapy for our son. Staff are top notch”
Group 5 Parent
“ Amazing. I am anxious to transition to a new program. Nat and Bryan knew [our son] so well, and were on to his shenanigans. I would highly recommend 2N.”
Group 2 Parent
“Great life-changing experience. Would recommend:) A journey for our child and us (parents) as well”
Group 9 Parent
“ Second Nature was transformative for our son. He discovered how to talk about his feelings, be vulnerable and address his paralyzing anxiety. It was really hard work but the staff, therapists, and the program overall were amazing for him.”
Group 5 Parent
“ We had an overall amazing experience. It was an opportunity for our son to grow and find himself. We are grateful to the entire staff for all you guys do.”
Group 2 Parent
“ Our experience was 100% positive. The program provided significant value to our daughter as well as to us her parents. We feel like we are all on the road to a better relationship and the parent workshops/ suggested reading was very helpful. At no time did we feel out of the loop and 2nd Nature communication was amazing. Krista did a great job keeping us informed on our daughter’s progress. She had a great handle on how to get our daughter and us to communicate. Thanks for the help!”
Group 7 Parent
“ [our child] bonded with Fred, the first therapist she has totally trusted. Fred showed extreme understanding and patience with our child. He also explained to us very clearly and thoroughly his experiences with her. Fred’s kindness and caring were always apparent!”
“We have never regretted our choice of Second Nature. We knew our child was always safe. The entire staff was super patient with her, even as it took six weeks for her to show consistent improvement. Our daughter has shown tremendous growth in her time at Second Nature.”
“I appreciated the weekly letters we were able to easily access as well as photos from the field.”
“Steve is a miracle worker- he has been amazing to work with both for Jacob and for us as parents. His demeanor, knowledge, insight, understanding, and delivery is five stars”
“Our son entered the program “hating to read” and is leaving an avid reader and requesting books.”
“We had major reservations about wilderness when our son first arrived, but quickly we realized what an amazing program he was joining. Steve was the perfect therapist for our son and helped him (and us) understand himself in a way that opened doors for healing and coping. The program is organized, thoughtful, and well run, and we always felt that our son was safe and genuinely cared for. I will always recommend Wilderness and specifically 2N to anyone whose child is struggling and considering it. Thank you for changing the trajectory of our sons, and his families, life!
What Students Are Saying…
“I loved meeting all the staff and students. I found many friends that will last a lifetime.”
“Some highlights were all the fun times I had with my peers and the staff. We had fun times playing and hiking and having deep conversations.”
“Some highlights were spending time and living with my group and also the scenery. The biggest one was my therapist Coady; she helped me in so many ways!!”
Some highlights were “The constant support, care and love I felt from all the staff and peers throughout my staff- felt like a family atmosphere.”
Some highlights were “ Being in a group of people I enjoy, having amazing staff, and being able to exercise and see incredible views.”
“I love Fred!! I really respect him as a therapist and hope to stay in contact with him.”
“The staff was great. I will miss them!”
“The most important part of my intake was having that sense of welcome-ness and belonging when I first got to the field”
“The environment is great. I just hate buts so that is why I give it a 4 out of 5. In terms of physical safety it was a 5”
“Most of my highlights were funny memories, but I really enjoyed my goodbye group. The water and air phase ceremonies were definitely highlights. I also loved reading at night and playing a staff’s guitar.”
“Second Nature helped me gain a sense of purpose and what I feel like will be life long relationships that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
If you are interested in learning more about wilderness therapy and mental health through the lens of Second Nature wilderness family therapy programs, be sure to check this website frequently for updates from Second Nature Wilderness Reviews!