Trails Carolina provides students with an idyllic setting in which to develop the confidence and resilience necessary to thrive. Through its mindfulness sessions and therapy sessions, it also teaches participants the power of nature connection as well as improving mental wellbeing.
Over the past months, shocking reports of abuse and mistreatment by Trails Carolina staff members have come to light, leading regulatory bodies and independent investigators to review its practices.
Careers at Trails Carolina
Trails is an idyllic wilderness retreat located in Western North Carolina that provides young people with an opportunity to restore themselves and move forward in their lives. Trails employs adventure-based activities as well as professional therapeutic guidance in order to assist young adults through any challenges that they are currently facing.
This program provides solutions to numerous problems, including substance abuse, behavioral issues and mental health concerns. Students learn how to control their emotional reactions using guided breathing exercises while finding happiness and relaxation outdoors.
Trails is known for having an extremely close and supportive team. Many staff members have worked at Trails for multiple years and enjoy both the challenge of their job as well as seeing positive change in students lives they work with. Trails’ team includes wilderness therapists, outdoor instructors and field mentors.
The “Investigation” Aspect of the Program
Former Trails Carolina participants and their families have come forward with stories of trauma and abuse at Trails Carolina programs, alleging anything from emotional neglect to physical mistreatment. Yet these accounts also demonstrate how therapeutic wilderness programs provide life-altering experiences for teens with mental health conditions.
These programs can provide troubled youth an alternative means of healing, with many families attesting to its effectiveness. Some even cite wilderness therapy as being instrumental in keeping their child from taking his or her life or entering prison.
However, these programs can be highly profitable and prey on parental desperation. Furthermore, many programs have been accused of not meeting state regulations or providing enough supervision for participants; some staff members even received inadequate training on dealing with challenging participants or allegations of abuse. It is crucial that programs adhere to strict standards of transparency and accountability to safeguard student safety.
The “Reunification” Aspect of the Program
Trails Carolina “Investigation” works hard to help teens disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature and those around them through outdoor wilderness therapy and therapeutic group activities, individual and family therapy sessions, peer support activities and holistic practices such as equine therapy.
Trails Carolina goes beyond typical teen therapy programs in terms of parental involvement. Parent workshops, weekly family calls with an experienced family therapist, mindfulness classes for parents and siblings and the Common Ground experience all help families to grow before, during, and after their child attends Trails Carolina.
Reunification at Trails Carolina provides the foundation for your child’s successful transition back into your family environment after participating in the program. Families will have an opportunity to practice new skills they have learned together with their children while building deeper connections between family members. Parents also gain an opportunity to gain more insight into wilderness therapy approaches that could benefit their child while also learning how to support their child once Trails Carolina concludes.
The “Alumni Support Services” Aspect of the Program
Trails Carolina offers continued support to families long after our programs end. Family coaches and therapists are on hand to address any issues or concerns after their child completes wilderness therapy, which helps give families confidence about the success of their child’s recovery process.
Trails Carolina provides classes throughout the year specifically geared towards alumni students and their parents, covering topics like “Dealing With Perception” and “Creating Healthy Habits Around School”. These events allow families to hear from others who have also gone through wilderness therapy experiences who understand exactly what their experiences entail.
Classes help reinforce what students learned at wilderness programs, showing both parents and students they are not alone upon returning to daily life. Classes also enable them to build confidence in themselves as individuals while applying the skills learned while in nature.