Wilderness Treatment Center Philosophy
Wilderness Treatment Center offers residential addiction treatment for teen and adolescent males between the ages of 14 and 24. Treatment includes experiential adventure therapy, 12-Step services, family programming, individualized planning, medical supervision, and more. Clients are provided the opportunity to earn high school credits while participating in treatment. Courses provided include physical education, english, social studies, and psychology.
Areas of Specialization
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The focus of cognitive behavioral therapy (also called CBT) is helping people to understand the thoughts and emotions that underlie their addiction with the goal of learning new, healthier and more productive ways to understand and express themselves.
The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.
Meet the Staff
Director of Admissions, Counselor, L.A.C.
Ben is a Licensed Addictions Counselor and a native of the Flathead Valley. He has a degree in Psychology from Linfield College and has been working at Wilderness Treatment Center since 2003. Ben is an avid golfer, fisherman and softball enthusiast.
Business Development Manager
Since beginning his journey in recovery, Chase has worked with many programs helping adolescents and young adults achieve sobriety. He has spent his career in several recovery residences, an intensive outpatient program as a group therapist, and working with a drug screening company doing field work with clients.
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ABOUT WILDERNESS TREATMENT CENTER
Nestled along the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Marion, Mont. on a 5,900-acre working cattle ranch, the Wilderness Treatment Center (WTC) is a residential substance rehab for teens and young men ages 14 to 24. The program combines a conventional 30-day rehab stay with a 16 to 21-day therapeutic wilderness excursion. Co-occurring disorders are also addressed, but there are no detox services on-site. Clients must be medically cleared prior to beginning treatment.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Wilderness Treatment Center is a part of the 35% of facilities in the country that is family-owned and operated. The treatment methods are based on the 12-Steps. During the first 30 days, clients live on the ranch and participate in therapeutic interventions such as group therapy, individual counseling, psychoeducational lectures, and 12-Step meetings both on and off-site.
In addition to traditional methods, clients also participate in activities such as hiking, equine-assisted therapy, rock climbing, and ropes courses. All residents are assigned chores, with tasks ranging from tending the land and feeding animals, to woodworking and helping in the kitchen.
After the first month, clients head-out into the mountains for a 21-day wilderness retreat, escorted by one of the addiction counselors and a wilderness instructor. There they are faced with the challenges of living without personal comforts and are taught how to camp and make their own food. Clients continue to participate in group and individual therapy while camping. When the three weeks are up, the group returns to the ranch and spends the remainder of their stay processing their wilderness experience and preparing for discharge.
Loved ones may participate in a specialized family week program. It lasts 4.5 days and focuses on showing family members what the treatment process is like. They participate in therapy sessions as well as the daily activities on the ranch. Clients still in high school can earn up to 2.5 school credits via educational courses.
The facility has a staff-to-client ratio of 1:5, and the clinical team includes a medical director, a consulting psychologist, and licensed addiction counselors. All wilderness instructors are certified wilderness first responders. The facility and program are ranked in the Top 100 Best Treatment Centers for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The program is also Licensed by the State of Montana.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Originally built in 1924, the 35-bed ranch houses residents in rustic, single-level log cabins. Of the three alumni surveyed by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing, two gave the facility five out of five stars for its accommodations and amenities, and one gave the facility four out of five stars.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The three former clients surveyed by Rehabs.com gave Wilderness Retreat Center positive feedback. All noted that the program was serious and takes hard work. “They will make you work for your sobriety,” J.M.J. wrote. “This is ONLY for people SERIOUS about recovery,", and an anonymous reviewer described the program as “strict but fair.”
The third Rehabs.com reviewer noted having a rough time staying sober since leaving WTC. However they did not fault the program--if anything, they credited WTC with helping them later in life through harder times. In general, all of the alumni indicated that the program was worth the cost.
On Google, Wilderness Treatment Center earned an average of 3.9 out of five stars from seven reviews. Two of the reviews were negative. Four of the reviews specifically mentioned the staff and how they were caring and quality. However, two alumni complained about the staff, whom they indicate were unprofessional and allowed drug use within the facility. Alum Riley went through the program twice and described how the program had changed from an “amazing experience” in 2012 to being “highly disappointed” in 2018.
On Facebook, which the facility can manage, Wilderness Treatment Center has a 4.5 out of five stars to date. Forty-nine reviewers gave five out of five star reviews. A lot of the feedback came from parents who were happy with the “trained, kind and loving” staff members.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Of the six loved ones surveyed by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing, most gave the facility positive reviews. The exception was D.G.D, who gave the facility just one star for its treatment effectiveness and described it as “the most unprofessional program that exists.”
However, overall, loved ones provided extremely positive feedback about the level of staff experience, giving this category some of the highest ratings. Loved ones were relatively satisfied with the available counseling options, but preferred the wilderness program in particular.
Staff Experience and Training: 4.75/5
Counseling Options: 3.5/5
Five of the reviewers praised the program for its skill-building activities, its straightforward treatment, and the effectiveness of its wilderness program.
Loved ones were neither satisfied or dissatisfied with the level of family participation offered at the facility, but concurred that they'd highly recommend the facility to others.
Likelihood to Recommend: 4.75/5
Family Participation: 3/5
WHAT STAFF SAY
The one current staffer polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing gave WTC mostly high ratings, including five out of five stars for its honesty, its patient loyalty, its staff’s level of training and experience, and its willingness to put patients’ interests first. The staff member would recommend the program to others who need it.
Currently, the cost of treatment at the Wilderness Treatment Center is $525 per day. Private insurance is accepted, and the program is in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Self-pay options are available through major credit cards, checks, and wire transfers. Financial assistance and healthcare loans can be acquired through the facility’s lending partner, Prosper Healthcare Lending.
Wilderness Treatment Center has a strong reputation and connection with the community since it has been providing treatments for community members for 30 years. Many people in the area have worked with or been affected by the services at the WTC. Local articles detail what the experience there is like from the perspective of the clients. The treatments focus on using nature to simplify clients’ lives, which continues to have an impact on the surrounding community.
Published on June 2018
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