First Light Wilderness Therapy Announces Its Opening
First Light Wilderness Therapy is excited to announce its opening in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia. With administrative offices located an in Clayton, GA, First Light will be accepting its first group of adolescent females on May 11, 2020 in its innovative wilderness therapy program. First Light Wilderness Therapy provides an integrative family treatment model that is centered in Developmental Re-Integration, Generational Empowerment, Interactive Education and Self-Growth, to promote the healing of individuals and family systems.
First Light Wilderness Therapy is the newest program addition to New Vision Wilderness (NVW), a group of leading wilderness therapy programs. Led by Division President and co-founder Drew Hornbeck, Chief Clinical Consultant and co-founder Steve Sawyer, and Chief Operations Officer Leah Madamba, New Vision Wilderness announced the launch of the Georgia program location as part of its broader vision of meeting the ongoing need for high quality wilderness treatment throughout the country. “We know and are alarmed by the mental health crisis among young people in our country,” stated Hornbeck, “and have been inspired by the clinical outcomes of our treatment programs in Wisconsin and Oregon. Increasing our capacity to positively impact families who are seeking outdoor behavioral health treatment for their children is at the core of our mission to expand our program offerings through the addition of First Light Wilderness in Georgia.”
The First Light Wilderness team will be led by seasoned industry professionals. Theresa Hasting, MA, LPC-S has joined the team as the Clinical Director and will be working with the first group of adolescent female students. With over 15 years of experience in mental health and specializing in particular developmental and relational trauma, Hasting affords the Georgia program the expertise to craft individualized evidence-based interventions and execute them in an OBH setting. With over a decade of experience in wilderness settings and a passion for staff and programming development, Nick Pellitteri, BS, who comes with over a decade of experience in wilderness settings and a passion for staff and programming development, ensures industry-leading best practices and safety as he steps into the Program Director position. The program announced that Zach Pratt, BS, will serve as the Field Director. The admissions and outreach team consists of Stephanie Lewis, BA, who brings 10 years of Wilderness Therapy experience with her to the role of Program / Admissions Support Specialist and Lacey Ely, who brings over 7 years in supporting families in crisis as the Program/Admissions Support Specialist, and the perspective that comes from a decade of outdoor leadership to the First Light Wilderness admissions team.
Rooted in the principles of neurobiology and relational immersion, First Light Wilderness Therapy provides individualized care to achieve meaningful change, create the capacity for joy, and lay the foundation for sustainable personal growth and development. By utilizing a brain-based and attachment-focused model, First Light’s focus is on supporting clients with the process of understanding how to better regulate their nervous system and build resilience. Additionally, the team at First Light has been training intensively in trauma-informed and relational care. Hasting, a recognized Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Educator, will be at the forefront of training all First Light staff in this caregiving model for working with children and adolescents who have experienced relational and developmental trauma. TBRI gives staff concrete skills to build secure relationships with students, empower students in order to create a sense of felt safety, and work with students on developing healthy coping and relational skills. In addition to TBRI, First Light will focus on trauma-informed interventions, as well as an intensive family systems model of treatment designed to impact and create change for all members of the family.
First Light Wilderness Therapy is currently accepting referrals for its first group of clients. For more information, the program asks that inquiries be directed to 866-489-9277 .