Many mental health counselors identify adolescent clients as the most "difficult" clients with which to work because it is a challenge to engage them in the counseling experience (Church, 1994; Hanna et al., 1999; Gil, 1996). At-risk youth tend to be ill equipped to engage in traditional counseling interventions, which require them to be verbal and to disclose thoughts and feelings (Hanna et al., 1999; Davis-Berman & Berman, 1994). Wilderness therapy, a specialized approach within adventure-based counseling (Fletcher & Hinkle, 2002), provides an alternative treatment modality that maximizes the client's tendency to spontaneously self-disclose in environments outside the counseling office (Hanna et al.). This article provides an overview of wilderness therapy as a treatment modality and identifies the associated therapeutic factors in an effort to inform mental health counselors.

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