First Light Teens

Teen Program (single gender groups ages 12-18)

Adolescent students at First Light participate in a full immersion therapy experience.  Away from the distractions of everyday life, such as screen time and peers, students have the opportunity to benefit from round the clock therapeutic support.  The wilderness environment allows students to focus on regulation through attunement with the rhythms of nature.  Every aspect of programming is intentionally designed to integrate trauma responsive principles.  Students sleep in individual tents and follow a nomadic model of movement, setting up camp in a new area once or twice each week.

Why New Vision Wilderness?

Our nationally recognized, individually tailored wilderness therapy programs lead the industry in specialized intervention services and relational model therapy as a catalyst for positive change in struggling adolescents.

Our Teen Students:

New Vision Wilderness is here for you and we want to specialize our program to help your needs and your struggles. Many of our teen students commonly struggle with issues such as unresolved trauma histories, attachment/adoption emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression, dual diagnoses, low self-esteem or lack of motivation, legal problems, difficulties with decision making, anger management, bipolar disorder, poor impulse control  ADHD/ADD, OCD, eating disorders, and poor school attendance.

Our Philosophy:

New Vision Wilderness (NVW) sets industry standards in therapeutic outdoor programming. NVW empowers the individual to improve decision-making skills and build healthier relationships. NVW works with the individual and the family. NVW provides an unparalleled wilderness experience while adhering to the highest standards of safety and individual attention. The emotional and physical safety of students is the most important factor for our staff. We offer a “build them up” philosophy focusing on their strengths and encouraging growth in those areas. We utilize both adventure education and psychotherapy to create change in students and do not solely rely on a physical challenge regimen as the catalyst for change. NVW doesn’t rely on the less effective behavioral level system, favoring instead, a relational focused treatment plan.

Highlights of the Teen Wilderness Programming:

  • Emotional and physical safety for our students/your youth is the most important factor for our staff.
  • Average length of stay is between 10-12 weeks.
  • Intensive individual therapy each week in addition to psychotherapeutic group-oriented therapy.
  • Access to clinical specialty staff 3 days per week.
  • Brainspotting and EMDR
  • Adventure Education including backpacking, mountaineering, fishingand much more…
  • Intensive family communication sessions
  • HeartMath somatic stress-testing
  • Continuing care options available


First Light Wilderness Therapy is accredited through Cognia and offers options for academic credits.  While in treatment, most students earn credits in physical education, health, and language arts.  Academic programming at First Light is designed to be woven into the student’s therapeutic immersion experience.  Students are not removed from group for classroom time, rather lessons are incorporated into daily activities and intermittent independent reflection time.

Family Involvement:

Healing family relationships is a core component of treatment at First Light Wilderness Therapy.  Parents and caregivers engage weekly in online parent support seminars and calls with our primary therapists.  Phone sessions with our family therapist are also included during treatment as is a family visit that takes place around halfway through a student’s time in program.  Our seasoned clinical team is available to conduct Family Intensive Experiences that are customized to the parents’ and caregivers’ needs.  These Family Intensive Experiences allow parents and caregivers to participate in the same supportive therapies their student is receiving including Brainspotting and HeartMath.

Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Model:

A true Trauma Informed Care model welcomes all levels of care including training in stress responses for all line staff. At New Vision Wilderness, there is an even stronger emphasis on clinical trauma training of the clinical team who compose deep interventions to effectively manage stress in the field. Our model is the result of many years of experience and a collaborative team approach…created, maintained, and updated by a team of highly experienced professionals.


Adventure Education

Wilderness is an optimal setting for Adventure Education. Our Adventure Education program helps individuals learn about personal growth and relationships by presenting achievable challenges, setting goals, and processing experiences in a group setting. New Vision Wilderness utilizes hiking and trauma sensitive yoga as a means to reduce stress and depression, stimulate the brain, and allow individuals to process emotions at higher capacities. In addition to the Adventure Education embedded in the daily structure of New Vision Wilderness, we have specialized experiences encompassing rock climbing, access to several north Georgia rivers, and fishing. While focusing on communicating and incorporating all five senses, Adventure Education also encourages participants to engage in healthy lifestyles!

Admissions Process:

At First Light Wilderness Therapy your child is the center of the process. To better determine if our services can serve you appropriately, please contact us at 866.489.9277 or email us at

New Vision Wilderness has the ability to enroll students year round, every day of the week, and depending on scheduling, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Start moving forward by speaking to a member of our experienced and compassionate admissions team by calling 866.489.9277 or email us