If you are a concerned parent of a troubled or defiant teen you may feel confused and hopeless. Struggles with a teen can be challenging not only for the parents but for the entire family. There are camps that provide an intervention resource of sorts, helping to restore and strengthen parent-child relationships. One such camp in Mesa, Arizona, is the Anasazi Foundation, which provides an outdoor behavioral healthcare program, sometimes called wilderness therapy.
Licensing and Accreditation
Anasazi accepts young adults 12 to 17 years of age to their inpatient 42-day program. Young adults 18 years and older with substance abuse and emotional or behavioral concerns are also accepted. Anasazi, a non-profit organization, holds licenses from the Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Behavioral Health and the Department of Economic Security, and the Administration for Children Youth and Families.
The on-site staff includes an M.D., a psychologist, a Ph.D. marriage and family therapist, social workers and certified addiction counselors as well as numerous registered nurses. Youth treatment is recorded weekly and is supervised by a psychologist and clinical director. The direct patient to staff ratio is three to one, with group sizes ranging from three to nine.
The program is based in the wilderness. Walking up to 10 miles a day, patients learn to cook their own meals, build shelters to protect themselves from the environmental elements and set up nightly camp. Through the website, it is stressed that Anasazi is not a boot camp. Patients are assigned a shadow (counselor) who holds at least a master degree and is supervised by the program's psychologists and clinical director. These counselors walk the trail with the same food and gear as the patients and look for ways to teach life lessons throughout their travels.
Shadows keep parents informed on a weekly basis as to the progress their child is making while at Anasazi.
Parent involvement is mandatory and touted as an essential element to the success of the program at Anasazi. After orientation parents attend a 12-hour seminar focusing on relationships with their child and the next steps that will be taken on the road to recovery. At the end of the wilderness stay parents are invited to spend the last two night and three days traveling on the trail with their child. This end of program ritual allows uninterrupted time to rebuild relationships and fosters trust between the parent and child.
Admissions to Anasazi are year round each Friday. Emergency admissions are possible with an additional fee and are scheduled when space is available. The application for admission is available online and can be submitted securely through the website. Forms may also be submitted by fax or mailed directly to the admissions director.
Be prepared to sign release forms, and give details regarding the social and health history of your child. All applications must be received prior to enrollment. Financial details must also be verified before the child is accepted into the program.
As of January 2011, the non-refundable admission fee is $750 per patient. The outdoor program for youth 12 to 17 years old is $395 per day. The daily program fee for adults 18 years of age and older is $425.
The daily rates cover all program costs/materials as well as individual and group therapy sessions while on the trail. The costs also cover the 12-hour (over two days) relationship workshop for parents. The $750 non-refundable admission fee covers a psychological evaluation and outfitting for 42 days. Outfitting includes clothing for the outdoors environment, one pair of hiking boots, and miscellaneous outdoor and camping gear.
Financial aid and financing options are available.