Director of Admissions
Courtney Merrill, LMFT
Admissions Phone
Physical Address
5354 Main St.
Waitsfield, VT
truenorthwilderness.com
Located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, True North provides a unique therapeutic environment for adolescents and young adults. Our students may present as anxious, depressed, or avoidant. They have generally struggled to thrive because of these issues and find themselves stuck. We work with a sophisticated clinical profile and a variety of behaviors, though we rule out extensive drug use or addiction and aggression. Our students are often compelled by their parents to attend the program, but must commit to participation when they walk in the door. Because of our location, our experiential model changes with the seasons. From May to November, we are a nomadic model of wilderness therapy. Students backpack through the mountains, hiking from one location to another throughout the week. Young adults also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of adventures including canoeing and rock climbing. From November to May, we are a base camp model. Our students participate in a range of outdoor activities like snowshoeing and hiking, but always come back to our base camp at night. There, they sleep in rustic but heated indoor spaces. They also participate in indoor activities like basketball, yoga, and cooking classes. While the experiences change with the weather, the therapeutic model is consistent and second to none. We regularly see an increase in student confidence, improvement of their relationships, and development of the ability to take ownership for their lives. We accomplish this through extensive therapeutic intervention as described below.

General Information

Private Company - Owners On-Site
Public Land
National Forest Service
State Lands

Wilderness Therapy Model

Base Camp | Backpacking
4
No
> 50%
10 Weeks

Group

14 - 17
No
Single Gender Group(s)

Family Participation

Required by Program
Recommended by Program
Required by Program
Required by Program
Required by Program
Required by Program
-
Required by Program

Family Workshop / Visits

-
-
Recommended by Program
-
-
Call for more information

Staff Information

Yes
1:2
20 Hours
< 10
> 10
Yes

Clinician Information

< 8
> 50%
2 Days
2
Art
Breathing Techniques / Breath Work
Meditation
Yoga

Medical / Wellness

Contracted psychiatrist as needed
< 50%
EMT
Call For more information

Psychological Evaluations

> 50%

Academic Offering

Yes
No

Program Licensing and/or Accreditation

No
No

Nuts & Bolts

Yes
Call for more information
Call for more information
No
No
No
No
< 50%
Burlington [BTV]
1 Hours

General Information

Private Company - Owners On-Site
Public Land
National Forest Service
State Lands

Wilderness Therapy Model

Base Camp | Adventure Therapy
4
No
> 50%
10 Weeks
No

Group

Ages 18-22. Can be 17 to enroll.
Co-ed Group(s)

Family Participation

-
-
Required by Program
Required by Program
Required by Program
Required by Program
-
Recommended by Program

Family Workshop / Visits

Recommended by Program
Call for more information

Staff Information

Yes
1:2
1:3
20 Hours
< 10
> 10

Clinician Information

< 8
> 50%
2 Days
2
Art
Breathing Techniques / Breath Work
Meditation
Yoga

Medical / Wellness

Contracted psychiatrist as needed
< 50%
EMT
Call For more information
|

Psychological Evaluations

> 50%

Academic Options

No
No
State of Vermont Agency of Human Services
No
No

Nuts & Bolts

Yes
Call for more information
Call for more information
No
No
Private / Self Pay
Call For More Information
< 50%
Burlington [BTV]
1 Hours
Mission Statement
Our Mission Statement: To provide the best intervention, assessment and transitional planning for families. We accomplish this in five key ways: Through communication with students, parents, and previous professionals, as well as in-the-moment assessment, we help students identify and begin to change patterns that have kept them stuck. Our highly trained field guides help students on a daily basis to notice patterns and implement skills learned in therapy to change them. Students meet with their therapists twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, so they never go more than 3 days without individual and group therapy sessions. The group size never exceeds 7 students, which means the therapists and field guides are able to provide exceptional individual attention to each student. Our highly trained field guides help students work through a curriculum that includes physical and therapeutic assignments specifically catered to their individual goals. The curriculum works through 4 phases, during which time students take on more responsibility and leadership opportunities. All parents at True North participate in a parent curriculum, which includes weekly calls with an assigned parent therapist in addition to the weekly calls they have with their child’s therapist. Parents are also encouraged to participate in a family workshop, which includes a day of intensive family workshops and therapy with their child and a day of workshops and therapy just for parents.