Anasazi Foundation

OBH Council Founding Member

ANASAZI Foundation is founded upon tried and true principles and methods. The founders of ANASAZI have more than 40 years of experience serving at-risk youth in outdoor survival settings.

OBH Council Member Since:  1996

Populations Served:  Adolescents 12-17 and adults 18+, coeducational

Program Offered:  49-day (minimum stay) expedition-based treatment in remote Arizona high country, with single-gender adolescent groups and coeducational adult groups

Licensing and Accreditation:  Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Behavioral Health Licensing, Level II Behavioral Health Care Provider; Joint Commission

A founding member of the OBH Council, ANASAZI Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) behavioral healthcare provider based in Arizona.  ANASAZI’s wilderness-based treatment services are effective for adolescents and young adults with behavioral concerns, mood disorders, attachment disorders and/or adjustment difficulties.  The organization’s charitable purpose is to make these services available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.  Its core mission is to help parents and children turn their hearts to one another, begin anew, and walk in harmony in the wilderness of the world.

In the Native American tradition, life is a “walking.”  One’s walking is determined by the state of one’s heart toward all that is around him.  “Anasazi” is a Navajo word commonly interpreted as the “ancient ones” or “wise teachers.” According to legend, these ancient ones taught that the Creator placed man on the Earth in order for him to learn to “walk forward”—in harmony with man and all creation.

Formed in 1988 by wilderness-survival experts Larry Olsen and Ezekiel Sanchez, ANASAZI has introduced families to this ancient wisdom using an approach that is equal parts clinical, experiential, and spiritual.  Through a primitive-living experience, therapeutic intervention, and a philosophy that invites healing at the hands of nature, ANASAZI helps children and parents find a change of heart—a change in one’s whole way of walking in the world.  Its caring and patient staff is focused not on bad behaviors, but on helping young people discover and nurture the “seeds of greatness” which lie within.

Treatment at ANASAZI addresses depression, anxiety, oppositional behavior, substance abuse, relational problems, school failure, self-harming behaviors (eating disorders, cutting, suicidal ideation, etc.), poor social skills, lack of motivation, entitlement, and other issues related to a lack of self-regulation and moral identity.  Youth and young adults whose parents are willing to play an active role in treatment are more likely to achieve the desired outcomes.  Parents participate in an admissions-day orientation; attend a relationship workshop; consult weekly (via phone or in person) with their child’s therapist; and join their child in the wilderness for the final two nights/three days of the program.

Clinical care is individualized—supervised by licensed and credentialed staff specializing in child and adolescent psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work, medicine, and experiential education.

Program fees may be covered by insurance, and financial aid is available for families in need.  Staffing ratios are 3:1, and group sizes range from 3-9.  Alumni services are available to support and sustain changes made while at ANASAZI.  Admissions occur every week, year-round.

Renowned for its unique methodology, ANASAZI has been featured in numerous television documentaries, and its peacemaking techniques inspired the international bestseller The Anatomy of Peace.  ANASAZI’s own book, The Seven Paths, is available from booksellers nationwide.  For more information, visit





1424 S. Stapley
Mesa, AZ 85204


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