Study examining the therapeutic outcomes associated with wilderness therapy for young adults with substance abuse issues shows promising results.
Independent researchers began collecting data for the study at Four Circles in March of 2007. The research protocol includes assessing clients while they participate in therapy, as well as following participants for one full year after graduation. This allows researchers to determine the long-term therapeutic outcomes associated with wilderness therapy.
Four Circles believes that it is important to know how clients are progressing while in treatment and after they complete treatment. Four Circles teamed with the Center for Research, Assessment and Treatment Efficacy (CReATE), in collaboration with the University of Arkansas, to accurately determine our clients’ progress while at Four Circles and for a full year after they complete treatment.
The rigorous, well-controlled outcome study will investigate whether clients’ psychological functioning improves while in treatment and whether these observed treatment gains are maintained during the year following graduation from the program. Another point of interest is how the wilderness component impacts an individual’s response to substance abuse treatment and their recovery efforts thereafter.
The prospective, naturalistic, multi-site clinical study has enrolled approximately one-third of its subjects to date. Participants are being assessed at five different time periods over the duration of the study. The researchers will measure such variables as substance abuse history, including symptoms of abuse and dependency, severity of symptoms, and the function of substance use and abuse (e.g., self-medication, sensation-seeking, etc.). They will also assess other issues that could impact the individual’s response to treatment, such as a history of trauma, coping style, psychopathology, and emotional reactivity.
Clients have also reported improvements in overall quality of life and work functioning. The research team follows current graduates of Four Circles for one full year after they complete treatment.
Take a look at our outcomes study. Click Here