Deschutes Young Adult

Young Adult Program (ages 18-25)

Located in Oregon

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.   With an emphasis on wilderness expedition, individual mastery, life skills, and adventure, emerging adults discover personal motivation, increased drive and self-discipline, and accountability.  Let this new vision take you to new heights. 


Think challenge; think success.  Hiking expeditions offer an immersive experience rich with self-reflection and insight.  With daily tasks of planning, prioritizing, and executing, expedition is gateway to enhancing life skills applicable in the wild, and transferable school, work, and life.  Blast limiting self-beliefs into oblivion as you amass leadership skills, communication, and patience.  Elevate your coping skills as you navigate emotional terrain, and release burdens as you hurl “burden rocks” off mountain tops.  Expedition will help you unlock your true potential.  

Individual Mastery: 

Choose a mastery focus and become an expert.  With stellar teachers and resources at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy, students design their mastery.  Get creative! Past students have chosen to master primitive skills, geology, art, music, knitting, and more.  Mastery provides an opportunity to challenge yourself to learn something new, to teach others, and to give back to your community. 

Community Integration:

Take skills you are learning in wilderness therapy and practice them in the real world.  With community integration, Deschutes Wilderness Therapy students travel out of the wild and into town to engage with the community.  This may be attending AA or NA meetings, community service/volunteer events, or career research, resume development, and mock interviews at the library. Climb at the climbing gym, shop for resupply, or attend an inspirational speech. Facing unstructured situations within the community context allows for practical uses of self-regulation and coping skills, as well as revealing to students, which skills may need to be fine-tuned while still in the immersive therapeutic process. Exposure to a variety of settings promotes a smoother transition for young adults following their graduation from wilderness therapy. 

Highlights of the Young Adult Programming:

  • Emotional and physical safety for our students is the most important factor for our staff.
  • Average length of stay is between 10-12 weeks.
  • Intensive individual therapy each week in addition to psychotherapeutic group-oriented therapy.
  • Access to clinical specialty staff 3 days per week.
  • Brainspotting &EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitized Reprocessing)
  • Adventure Education including backpacking, canoeing, white water rafting, fly fishing and much more…
  • Intensive family communication sessions
  • HeartMath somatic stress-testing
  • Occupational development and knowledge/expertise growth
  • Unique transitional services through our Y.E.T.I. program, or Young-adults, Emerging, Transitioning, and Integrating.

Y.E.T.I. (Young-adults, Emerging, Transitioning, and Integrating)

Despite the robust efforts of clinicians in wilderness therapy, transition planning and follow through has always been a challenge. Our transitional services exist to integrate the therapeutic benefits of wilderness into the experience of transitioning into a community.

Life Skills:

Following the seven domains within the wellness wheel, students participate in weekly workshops focused on sustainable life skills.  The domains include social, emotional, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, and physical. Each domain provides rich lessons that are applicable in the backcountry on the expedition, and in day-to-day life in the city. 


In addition to hiking expeditions, Deschutes Wilderness Therapy students find adventures to enlighten and create joy. Activities can include rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park, raft the Deschutes River, and explore lava tubes and caves created millions of years ago

Transition focus:

Reintegrating into life after Deschutes Wilderness Therapy is key for success. Participate in goal setting, developing a personal statement, and future planning.  Identify potential obstacles for backsliding.  Create specific action steps and a personal accountability plan, and maintain a support network for when things get challenging.   

Resume Building

As Young Adults navigate the next steps in their life, our team will help support your resume creation and help you to identify areas of passion to pursue.   


Therapeutic Modalities:

Licensed clinicians provide weekly individual therapy and group therapy. All clinical team members are trained in Brainspotting and Heartmath. We also have Golden Retrievers in the group year-round for active canine therapy. 

Admissions Process:

At Deschutes Wilderness Therapy your child is most important. To better determine if our services can serve you appropriately, please contact us at 866-282-3024 or email us at admissions@DWTbend. 

DWT 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. 

Start moving forward by speaking to a member of our experienced and compassionate admissions team by calling 866-282-3024 or email us at admissions@DWTbend