Why Deschutes Wilderness Therapy:
Deschutes Wilderness Therapy provides an intensive, individualized, and trauma-responsive healing process. Our nationally recognized, individually tailored wilderness challenge program leads the way in relational model wilderness therapy. Our program is designed for struggling adolescents and young adults needing immediate and longer-term treatment and combines a challenging wilderness experience with an intensive clinical immersion. Deschutes' intervention services are designed to be a catalyst for positive change by fostering an encouraging atmosphere emphasizing safety, family involvement, and mastery.
What we do differently:
Deschutes Wilderness Therapy's strengths reside in the intensity of clinical interventions and a true trauma-responsive 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.
DWT utilizes a proprietary CASA treatment model, a unique relational and experiential approach. Our programs are not based on behavioral modification. Instead, Deschutes Wilderness Therapy offers individualized healing through intensive trauma-responsive care. Our treatment team consists of experienced therapists and field instructors who work together to create a student's goals and treatment plan.
Our field instructors are empowered to be an integral part of a student's treatment plan. Field instructors work with a group of 6-9 students in teams of 3-4. They help students process the challenges that arise in the wilderness setting and foster resilience, increased sense of self-worth, and ability to connect to the self and others.
Living In Bend:
Nestled between the snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Mountains and the vast high desert plateaus, Bend, Oregon has become an international mecca for outdoor adventurers looking for an active and healthy community to call home. Bend has you covered whether you’re seeking world-class river activities, hiking and biking through scenic mountain forests, or the pristine beauty of trail running on Bend’s cutting-edge Urban Trail System.
Have you ever wanted to surf? Bend has a world class surf wave in town guaranteed to give you the perfect ride year round. Head to the Oregon Coast on the weekends to test out your skills on the ocean. The Oregon coast is known for its miles long sandy beaches.
If there’s snow on the ground, scoop up all the skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice skating opportunities your winter-loving heart can handle. When you’re done, we’ll save you a spot by the fire bit at your pick of restaurants or breweries.
For music and art lovers, there is live music on every block and headliner concerts throughout the summer. Check out the lineup of upcoming events here https://www.visitbend.com/event-calendar/
You can also stick with simple pleasures like a walk around one of 80+ public parks or a stroll through bustling shopping districts in our vibrant, hip, cosmopolitan mountain town.
If Bend isn’t quite your speed, areas within commute distance to Bend include Redmond (20 min), Terrebonne (30 min), Sun River/Three Rivers (30 min), La Pine (45 min), Prineville, and Madras (1 hour).
Redmond is the closest city of size outside of Bend, a politically purple town with a mix of rock climbers, skiers, and other adventure sports enthusiasts. Redmond is only 15 minutes from Smith Rock State Park and about 40 minutes to Mount Bachelor and Hoodoo Ski Resorts. The school system is robust for people with families. There is good shopping, restaurants, and breweries as well. Redmond is also home to the local airport, making travel very convenient.
Terrebonne is an ultra-small town in the country and is the home to Smith Rock State Park. It offers limited but good dining and shopping options but close access to Redmond for those needs.
Sun River, a resort community about 20 minutes South of Bend, hosts fun activities such as ice skating, bike rentals, and our favorite little book store. Several excellent restaurants and breweries make for a great night out. Sun River is only about 20 minutes from Mount Bachelor Resort.
La Pine, a small town of about 2500 people, is the gateway for many big adventures and close access to trails without the crowds.
Prineville and Madras are mid-size rural towns about an hour away from Bend. While these are more conservative communities, they are equally passionate about horses and boating. The high desert environment offers about 300 days a year of blue skies. The rental market is plentiful rental in both areas.
Here is what our staff are saying
This job has changed my life. I feel I'm constantly gaining new tools and insights to better work with struggling adolescents in therapeutic contexts....I have a wonderful community in work and surrounded by people who care deeply about the therapeutic processes and healing of all involved....Leadership takes really good care of their employees.
DWT Field Instructor
I worked as a Field Instructor for just under 3 three years. It was the hardest job I've ever loved. It was fulfilling, challenging and meaningful. I was pushed to grow interpersonally and professionally throughout my time as a Field Instructor. I wouldn't trade anything for the beautiful sunrises in the field, vulnerable moments with students sitting by the fire, and the connections I built with my co-workers.
DWT Field Instructor
Being a Field Instructor at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy is the best job I’ve ever had. It pushes me to grow in so many ways, and the company is supportive and caring. They make sure you have the time off and coaching that you need and go above and beyond to ensure your mental and physical health are prioritized. I cannot think of a more fulfilling job than helping adolescents/young adults heal from trauma in the outdoors, even if it is difficult to get there at times.
DWT Field Instructor
The culture at DWT is one of hardworking, fun, creative, and energetic individuals who love what they do. The support within the company is met with empathic care and a focus on growth. I love the feedback culture and constant creative thinking that is always happening. The most enjoyable part of the job is coming out of the field dirty and celebrating a job well done with my co-workers.
DWT has helped me grow as a professional as well as an individual. There are constant learning opportunities and growth as a therapist. The in-house training and external training provided and encouraged truly emphasizes the value of growth.
The people who gravitate to this job are authentic, caring, dedicated people with who I have made friendships for life.
We do important and meaningful work at DWT. The work is hard but everyone is supported by a healthy company culture, room for ideas, and providing feedback and flexibility that takes into account your needs as an individual human. And, colleagues are a lot of fun!
The work is very meaningful, helping adolescents, young adults, and families with attachment and trauma issues. Expect long hours and moments of stress, which is inevitable with this kind of work. There are a lot of growth opportunities at the company, much more than at other wilderness programs I have worked at.