Deschutes Wilderness Therapy Blog

Recent Blog Posts

The Culture of Ceremony at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy

By Deschutes Wilderness Therapy | September 12, 2023

By Allie Twidwell

Experiential Education Director (former)

I was a Field Instructor and Experiential Education Director at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy. I often reflect upon my time in the field and think about the moments I will always carry with me and what it feels like to be fully present with someone else in their pain.


The Value of Play at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy 

By Deschutes Wilderness Therapy | August 21, 2023

By Annette Pelletier, LCSW

Primary Therapist

When students aren’t deep in their therapeutic work, hiking, working on hard skills, or doing chores around camp, they are often engaged in play. One may wonder, “What is the benefit of play in wilderness therapy, and what do they even play in the woods?” I am here to answer these questions for you.


What is Brainspotting and How we Utilize it at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy

By Deschutes Wilderness Therapy | May 2, 2023

By Lori Vallelunga, Ph.D., Clinical Director

​​We get asked a  lot of questions about what Brainspotting is. Dr. Vallelunga shares an overview for those curious about this modality and how it can help you or a loved one struggling with mental health challenges.


Caring for Your Child, “in loco parentis”

By Deschutes Wilderness Therapy | April 17, 2023

By Daryn Reiner, Deschutes Admissions Director

I have been in the mental health field for about 18 years now, and my greatest honor in all these years has been the opportunity to live up to the immense trust parents place in us when enrolling their child.


What is Canine Therapy? Deschutes Wilderness Therapy’s Unique Approach

By Deschutes Wilderness Therapy | March 29, 2023

By Rachel Grimm, Program Director

Rachel Grimm, Deschutes Wilderness Therapy’s program director, helps demystify canine therapy and how our program incorporates canines into our process. Grimm, program director since 2018, established the canine program in 2015, and today canine therapy is one of the key program pillars at DWT.


Notes from the Field: Empowering Field Guides to Navigate the Challenges of Wilderness Therapy.

By Deschutes Wilderness Therapy | February 28, 2023

By Nick Ho
Living with and doing trauma-informed healing work with adolescents and young adults in the woods of central Oregon is one of those things that you can never be fully prepared for. Some days you’re doing wound care for a student’s self-harm injuries, others you’re singing Taylor Swift songs in chorus. Some days you’re navigating the complexities of disordered eating in the wilderness, others still you’re sitting next to a student who breaks down crying because you’re the first male figure in their life to say you’re proud of them. Even on the simplest of days, you’re practicing calming and controlling your own nervous system when surrounded by dysregulated teenagers threatening to run away in the middle of the night or punch you in the face.

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