NVW was founded in February of 2007 and is the first wilderness therapy intervention offered in the state of Wisconsin. Drew Hornbeck and Steve Sawyer created NVW based upon an observed need to offer an innovative therapeutic option for struggling youths and hard-to-reach client populations throughout the region.
In 2012, Drew and Steve teamed up with Robert Koning to expand NVW into the west. The Pacific Northwest has been identified as a region with an observed need for therapeutic intervention programming. We believe it is imperative to provide therapeutic services in regions where it will be most accessible. The West Coast in general has some underserved regions in the delivery of alternative therapeutic programs. Currently, there is a limited number of wilderness-based programs working with young adults in Oregon. As of 2014, New Vision Wilderness West Coast celebrates its first year in operation out of its Central Oregon locations. In 2020, NVW opened its newest location, “First Light,” in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia.
The Integration of Adventure Therapy and Psychotherapy
Prior to NVW, Drew and Steve had operated independent programs for five years that were both centered on their individual therapeutic modalities. Drew was owner of Midwest Outdoor Experience, an adventure-therapy based intervention. In addition, Drew was a key experiential programming staff at Rogers Memorial Hospital. Steve was the director of one of Milwaukees largest outpatient clinics and had operated Eagle Vision Wilderness program, which offered intensive psychotherapy within the wilderness setting.
Upon Drew and Steve meeting it was clear that both therapeutic modalities could unite to offer an intensive intervention. This combination meshed the power of experiential therapy with intensive mental health intervention that includes various cutting edge techniques in psychotherapy. Steve and Drew are respected as authorities in their fields of psychotherapy/adventure therapy and can often be seen presenting at both state and national conferences. NVW is the culmination of both Drew and Steves career experiences, which total over two decades of intervention with the most difficult-to-reach client populations.
Challenging the National Therapy Frontier
New Vision Wilderness is challenging the national therapy frontier by offering a clinically intense, highly professional, and affordable model. Wilderness therapy interventions may be new to the therapeutic community within Wisconsin, but have been operating and in existence on both coasts for many years. Drew has worked for wilderness programs in Alaska, Montana, and Colorado and has been immersed in the wilderness therapy world for most of his career.
NVW maintains the highest standards for wilderness therapy available in the nation. NVW offers policy, programming and protocols which meet or exceed industry standards. In addition, all psychotherapy is overseen by certified staff.
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