Trails Carolina – A Wilderness School For Teens With Emotional and Behavioral Problems

Trails Carolina is a therapeutic wilderness program which claims to assist teens in addressing emotional and behavioral problems. Unfortunately, past participants and their families have shared horrifying accounts of abuse from staff members at Trails Carolina.

If someone close to you has had negative experiences with Trails Carolina, it is crucial they receive legal and ethical support. You can also show your empathy by sharing their story.

The Program

Trails Carolina “Investigation” provides students with behavioral issues a unique outdoor therapeutic experience. Offering wilderness courses and accredited academics, Trails Carolina also specializes in teaching children and teens how to build up strong personalities which helps combat depression as well as emotional or mental problems.

At our school, our highly experienced therapists offer both individual and family therapy sessions for your child. In addition, group and family therapy services are also offered as an integral component of this program to ensure both you and your family benefit from it.

Students are placed into single-gender groups tailored to their age needs, free from distractions such as technology and peers to gain personal insight and learn new skills for living a healthy life. The program also addresses academic challenges with full-time certified teachers working one on one with each student – which has proven measurable and lasting positive effects during an eight year independent study of families & students.

The Staff

Graham Shannon House founded Trails Carolina with the intention of providing real help for troubled kids. Prior to her resignation as Executive Director of a therapeutic wilderness program and founding Trails Carolina herself, she served as its Executive Director – she has an intimate knowledge of wilderness therapy’s roots while remaining focused on the essential family work required for lasting success.

Students are placed into single gender groups based on their age and developmental needs, guided through the curriculum by experienced therapists. Group dynamics are designed to promote learning and growth while building self-esteem and community spirit. Furthermore, this environment removes distractions such as screens or peers so students can focus solely on mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Trails also takes great care to involve families in the process, providing workshops, weekly calls with a family therapist and an optional Common Ground experience to teach parents how to best support their child’s recovery while strengthening family dynamics. This allows Trails’ services to ensure families remain involved.

The Environment

Allegations surrounding Trails Carolina participant James Lansing’s death have caused alarm throughout the wilderness therapy community, prompting numerous regulatory bodies and independent investigators to conduct thorough reviews in order to ascertain their veracity.

Trails Carolina knows that nature provides powerful healing and rejuvenating effects on human minds, which is why outdoor lessons like camping skills, hiking in the mountains and mindfulness are integral parts of their curriculum to foster mental wellbeing and build confidence among students. Trails Carolina also employs therapy techniques and family-centric tools to ensure student wellbeing upon leaving the program.

Students completing expeditions and returning to base camp will have an opportunity to engage in teamwork, real-life lifestyle experiences, and social skill-building with peers in an engaging peer group setting – skills which will aid their successful return to everyday life. Trails Carolina also offers academic opportunities so youth can earn high school credits in World History, P.E. and Environmental Studies while they stay.

The Alumni Support Services

Though not cheap, the program is significantly less than other wilderness therapy programs that cost upward of $30,000. Proponents of such programs say they offer rich benefits to participants, are well regulated, staffed by master’s-level therapists and trained wilderness instructors and highly regulated.

Trails Carolina is an industry leader, boasting results-proven effectiveness. Students join age-appropriate single-gender groups led by an experienced therapist and benefit from personal insight and building self-esteem away from modern distractions such as technology and social media. Furthermore, the academic program addresses any specific barriers preventing students from excelling academically.

Parents don’t want their child’s achievements at Trails Carolina to fizzle out when they return home, which is why this organization offers an alumni support series for its families. Twice every month, family coaches at Trails Carolina host alumni calls where parents can receive assistance and guidance.