Wilderness Therapy

About Our Program

Deschutes Wilderness Therapy, located in Oregon, is a nationally recognized outdoor behavioral healthcare and trauma-informed wilderness therapy program that provides teens and young adults immediate intervention and intensive mental health treatment. The wilderness experience allows students and their families to have the opportunity to heal their relationships and foster personal growth.

Deschutes Wilderness Therapy (OR) sets the standard in outdoor therapeutic programming. All students are empowered to improve their decision-making skills and build healthy and safe relationships. While working with the individual and the family, students at Deschutes are encouraged to focus on their strengths and use them to launch lasting change. Slowly expanding on each student's emotional tolerance, Deschutes does not support a shock approach.

Located in the Cascade mountain range of central Oregon, students at Deschutes receive highly specialized wilderness therapy. Deschutes has treatments that target three main areas. Centered on stabilizing through the nervous system and body, and not through words, Deschutes primarily focuses on neurological release and somatic stabilization. We teach students to manage the inner world, to change their outer world with emotional literacy and self-regulation training. Finally, the team at Deschutes works to heal relationships through attachment and relational immersion. That model includes adventure and canine therapy. Call us at 541-640-7184 to learn more.

Here is what the mental health professionals are saying about Deschutes Wilderness Therapy

Dr. Gabor Maté, a renowned speaker and bestselling author, is highly regarded for his expertise on a range of topics, including addiction, stress, and childhood development. Deschutes Wilderness Therapy was honored to have Dr. Maté visit our program a few years ago, and here is what he shared about his experience.

"I recently had the inspiring experience of visiting Deschutes Wilderness Therapy (formerly New Vision Wilderness, OR), meeting with staff and their young clients. The latter were all young women with troubled histories. I was most impressed by how openly, insightfully, and courageously, after only a few weeks in the wilderness program, these young people shared about themselves and what they learned.

I have hardly ever seen a trauma-informed theory, compassionate intention and expert practice melded together so humanely and effectively as in Deschutes Wilderness. I can't recommend Deschutes Wilderness too highly."

Why Wilderness Therapy?

Wilderness therapy, defined as the prescriptive use of adventure experiences provided by mental health professionals, “that kinetically engage clients on cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels,” has come a long way. More than 100 Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare programs in the United States serve more than 10,000 clients and their families each year. 

Wilderness therapy does three things very well: assess the issues, help the young person develop coping strategies, and emerge with a more positive sense of self and hope for the future. 

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Adolescent Program

Adolescent students  participate in a full immersion therapy experience.  Away from the distractions of everyday life, students have the opportunity to benefit from round the clock therapeutic support.  The wilderness environment allows students to focus on regulation through attunement with the rhythms of nature.  Every aspect of programming is intentionally designed to integrate trauma responsive principles.    

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Family Services

Individualized therapeutic services for adolescents, young adults, and families. Away from the distractions of everyday life, students and families have the opportunity to benefit from short-term therapeutic support in a wilderness setting. Every aspect of programming is intentionally designed to integrate trauma-responsive principles to meet your unique needs. This program is available for current students, and those not enrolled at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy.


Young Adult Program

Activate yourself in Bend Oregon, the country’s premier destination for adventure, exploration, and nature.  Deschutes Wilderness Therapy offers cutting edge individual and group therapy in the experiential backdrop of cascade mountains, lava plateau, and meandering rivers... Let this new vision take you to new heights. 

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Who We Treat

We work with teens, and young adults.  13-17 adolescent male and females ,18-28 young adult male and female populations 




Low self-esteem




Processing Addiction (internet, gaming)

Family strain

Lack of academic engagement

Our Treatment Practices

Individual Therapy  

Deschutes Wilderness’ strengths reside in the intensity of clinical interventions and a true Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) model. DWT tailors the entire intervention process with the understanding that the field environment is a stressed environment. A focused, advanced neural science-based protocol allows for an effective and safe intervention for adolescents and young adults. 


Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment, enhanced with Bilateral sound, which is deep, direct, and powerful yet focused and containing. 

Canine Therapy 

At Deschutes Wilderness, our canine therapy program uses Golden Retrievers very strategically to teach our clients how to work on healthy relationships with the ultimate goal being transferable attachment.  Transferable attachment is practicing relationship tools with the canines and then transferring those skills learned to healthy human relationships.  The unconditional love and loyalty that canines provide make them the perfect animal to work with when practicing safe relationships. 

Family Therapy 

Family Services offers a variety of therapeutic supports for the duration of the therapeutic journey, culminating in a Family Intensive, a wilderness experience for the whole family. 

Family Intensives consist of 4 days and 3 nights of camping and connection for all family members (including siblings!) alongside a skilled Family Therapist and a supportive guide. Each Family Intensive may look different depending on the season and accommodations for individual needs. 

Meet the Team






At Deschutes Wilderness Therapy your child is most important. To better determine if our services can serve you appropriately, please contact us at 541-640-7184 or email us at admissions@DWTbend. 

Deschutes Wilderness has the ability to enroll students year round, every day of the week, and depending on scheduling. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. 

“You have 100% potential, and although it’s always been there, it may have not always been seen by you. Leaving wilderness you have a new outlook on life.”

- A Deschutes Student

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