If you like helping people and love the outdoors, Green Mountain College’s Wilderness & Outdoor Therapy program gives you the qualifications to work with mental health practitioners in delivering wilderness therapy programs.
Majors & Minors
- BA in Wilderness & Outdoor Therapy
- Minor in Wilderness & Outdoor Therapy
- Catalog Program Description
The outdoors is an ideal setting to help patients cope with mental health or behavioral challenges. Alternative venues for delivering mental health care have been growing steadily over the past few decades. Outdoor wilderness therapy is one of the fastest growing alternative venues as it allows therapists to completely remove patients from their normal environment as they work on improving their mental health and well-being. A burgeoning academic literature is also documenting the healing and stress relieving powers of the natural environment.
The Wilderness and Outdoor Therapy major provides students with a necessary foundation to work with a challenging group of participants. This interdisciplinary major gives students both a knowledge of the psychological theory that underlies counseling programs as well as the necessary outdoor skills to successfully lead patients and keep them safe in the wilderness. After completing the requirements for a degree in Wilderness and Outdoor Therapy, graduates are well-qualified to work with certified mental health practitioners in the delivery of an outdoor or wilderness therapy program. They are also well qualified to apply for graduate programs in Social Work (MSW). When combined with an undergraduate degree in psychology, they are exceptionally well qualified to apply for graduate degrees (PhD, PsyD, MA, MS) in psychology.
Learning Outcomes for Wilderness & Outdoor Therapy Majors:
- Be able to design and implement high quality non-technical wilderness therapy experiences
- Demonstrate knowledge of classical and contemporary theories of mental health and therapy
- Utilize empirical research and psychological theory as the basis for behavior modification plans
- Find opportunities for practical applications of their learning