Elements Outcomes Reinforced Through Research
Long a leader in research in the field of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare, Elements has been compiling data to contribute towards peer-reviewed study for the past eight years. All new participants of the program and their family members are asked to complete scientifically validated questionnaires upon intake, discharge, and again at six months and one year after discharge.
Dr. Neal Christensen, the Chair of the Research Committee for the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC) from 2013 through 2020, has been instrumental in his leadership in assisting all the OBH programs to collect this important clinical data. This collaborative effort has been supported and furthered by the University of New Hampshire; UNH houses the OBH Research Center, a collective of seven research scientists, which independently evaluates OBH and its practices. Dr. Christensen guided the OBH Council by providing oversight into data collection, management, and other research opportunities that give evidence to the incredible outcomes that OBH programs provide. He was also instrumental in helping develop the OBH Accreditation standards, further making OBH a safe and effective treatment for its clients and families.
Dr. Christensen and Cullom Cahill, his research assistant and data analyst, are continuously revisiting Elements clinical data to analyze different cross-sections of Elements Wilderness Program’s outcomes, in order to glean additional takeaways to continue improving the quality of care to its clients and families. “Although we are thrilled to see that 95.5% of our participants stated that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the treatment they received while here,” said Dr. Christensen, who also serves as Clinical Director at Elements, “that is something we get the benefit of seeing in person. The real benefit of the latest research we have conducted is the affirmation it gives to our robust clinical and family services. The data show a significant positive impact on the family system with both parents and students, particularly for those who take advantage of all our clinical offerings for the families, and for the client who comes to us with a high acuity in their mental health needs.”
The data demonstrate that although all Elements Wilderness Program’s families on average report their functioning to have improved significantly, those families who participated in Elements Family Services, such as the 3-day Family Focus Intensives, reported even greater gains in their family’s overall functioning. Elements has posted all these new results to its website for public review.
About Elements Wilderness
Since 2008, Elements Wilderness has been providing a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17. We at Elements envision a world in which everyone has the skills and support necessary to live a full and healthy life. Through innovative therapeutic and psychiatric intervention, a comprehensive outdoor living experience complete with expeditionary backpacking and adventure programming, a robust family program involving the family at every step, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, we strive to provide our clients with intervention, treatment, and assessment. Elements is licensed and supervised by the State of Utah Department of Human Services and accredited through the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council and the Association for Experiential Education. For Young Adult wilderness therapy clients, there is Elements Traverse based in central Utah.