skip to main content
Washington State Institute for Public Policy
- Remove
- Remove
- Remove
From To
+ Add new line


Found 1 results

Wilderness Therapy Programs: A Systematic Review of Research

Open Publication PDF

Julia Cramer, Paige Wanner - June 2022

Wilderness therapy programs are set in natural or remote settings and embed therapeutic elements into daily outdoor activities like camping and backpacking in order to build program participants’ personal and interpersonal skills. Some programs serve individuals with behavioral, mental health, and substance use disorders.

In 2021, the Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a research review of wilderness therapy programs and assess stakeholder interest in Washington. We identified 88 studies evaluating programs serving youth and adult populations in need of behavioral, mental health, and substance use support. Due to limitations in the literature, we could not estimate whether or not wilderness therapy programs are effective or determine if the approach is cost beneficial. In this report, we describe our systematic literature review and summarize the main themes from the literature including program models, populations served, and general findings.

A second report, due December 2022, builds on this report and will focus on the interest of stakeholders who currently participate in wilderness therapy programs in Washington or want to in the future.

Report ID: 22-06-1901

Filter By Topic
Benefit-cost analysis
Children’s services
Criminal justice: Adult corrections
Criminal justice: Juvenile justice
General government
Health care
Higher education
Mental health
Pre-K-12 education
Public health
Substance abuse

Filter By Author
Nathan Adams
Julia Cramer
Colin Gibson
Rebecca Goodvin
Chasya Hoagland
Bailey Ingraham
Katelyn Kelley
Lauren Knoth-Peterson
Kara Krnacik
Stephanie Lee
Marna Miller
Catherine Nicolai
Amani Rashid
Paige Wanner
Eva Westley
Corey Whichard
(show all authors)