OBH Council Member Since: 2014
Populations Served: Aspiro Groups take Adolescents 13-17 and Adults 18-28; single gender groups for our adolescent boys and girls groups, mixed gender groups for our adult groups; Aspiro Vantage Point groups take Adolescents 13-17 and Adults 18-28; mixed gender groups for our Vantage Point adolescent and adult groups.
Program Offered: Each program utilizes a hybrid of traditional clinical modalities including wilderness therapy, adventure therapy, family systems, experiential therapy, and experiential education. Students are immersed in therapeutic outdoor experiences seven days a week with round the clock supervision by highly trained outdoor field guides. Aspiro uses a base camp model. Base camp consists of 120 remote acres in Mount Pleasant, Utah. Participants return to base camp two days each week to resupply for the following week.
Licensing and Accreditation: Licensed by the State of Utah, Department of Human Services, as an Outdoor Youth Treatment Program. Accredited by the Center for Outdoor Ethics, National Association of Outdoor Wilderness Camps, and the Association of Challenge Course Technology.
Program Offered (continued): The Aspiro Group of programs include: Aspiro Adolescent Program 13-17, Aspiro Young Adult Program 18-28, Vantage Point Adolescent Program 13-17, and Vantage Point Young Adult 18-28. Each program utilizes a hybrid of traditional clinical modalities including wilderness therapy, adventure therapy, family systems, experiential therapy, and experiential education. Students are immersed in therapeutic outdoor experiences seven days a week with round the clock supervision by highly trained outdoor field guides. Aspiro uses a base camp model. Base camp consists of 120 remote acres in Mount Pleasant, Utah. Participants return to base camp two days each week to resupply for the following week. Any gear that is broken is mended or replaced. Students take hot showers to avoid long-term hygiene-related medical issues. Students experience the food store where they ‘purchase’ their food for the week out of healthy, organic, well-balanced options. Most importantly, base camp days are very clinically-focused. Therapists are present and lead both group and individual therapy with our students. Five day adventure expeditions are planned each week wherein participants are exposed to multiple novel environments across the state of Utah. Adventure itineraries include: backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering, canyoneering, mountain biking and skiing. Each group at Aspiro is kept small, no more than 9 participants. Staff to student ratio is one staff to every three participants.
Wilderness Adventure Therapy (WAT), is an exciting, safe and clinically rich therapeutic model for working with adolescents and young adults. WAT was pioneered by the Aspiro Group as an alternative to the traditional, minimalistic wilderness approach. Aspiro programs represent the progression, improvement and future of the short-term assessment and intervention. Aspiro Group programs provides a life changing experience where participants will develop self-awareness, healthy coping skills, improve self-efficacy, and improve family and peer relationships, and improve academic function. The best way to understand WAT is to break it down into its three distinct elements:
The foundation of WAT is outdoor living. In the outdoors, daily living is focused on the most essential of life skills. Away from the distractions and complications of typical adolescent life, our students live in a small group environment and depend on each other for support. They learn about self-care and about taking responsibility for their lives. They learn about natural and logical consequences to their behaviors. Our students develop perspective and understanding of how they contributed to negative situations at home. They learn how their behavior impacts others and themselves. They recognize unhealthy coping responses and develop healthier coping. Therapeutic processing of daily experiences facilitates understanding of how unhealthy patterns were developing at home. Connections are made and understanding is developed.
The outdoors is an ideal setting for students to explore holistic approaches to healthy lifestyles. The Aspiro experience includes balanced nutrition, daily exercise, self-awareness, relationships, emotional awareness, stress management, journaling, recreation, education, self-expression, empowerment and personal responsibility. Living in the outdoors promotes a sense of awe, perspective and environmentally conscious living. Our students see the most majestic and scenic wilderness areas, state parks and national parks and learn about our stewardship over public lands.
Adventure therapy components such as backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering, canyoneering, mountain biking and skiing are especially effective in teaching persistence, teamwork, patience, self-efficacy, self-awareness, emotional/behavioral regulation skills, and confidence. Adventure activities promote buy-in, which is essential for the therapeutic process. Adventure activities are used in very specific and strategic ways to achieve desired therapeutic outcomes as we expose individual participants to various novel environments. The variety of activities allows for therapeutic challenge of students with different ability levels and diverse emotional, physical, family, social and academic challenges. In addition, the exposure to these different activities within the different novel environments allows the treatment team to formulate a more functional, accurate assessment of the clinical presentation.
In nearly every case that is admitted to the Asprio Group, traditional talk-therapy modalities in an office back home have been unsuccessful. For most adolescents, this treatment method is simply not intrinsically effective, and obtaining full participation at more than a very surface level is rare –and that is if the student participates in the process at all. At Aspiro, students participate in individual, group, and family therapy sessions facilitated by a Masters or Ph.D. level therapist. Therapists address the specific needs of each individual participant.
The treatment team, lead by the therapist, constructs a comprehensive individual assessment of each participant. A collection of data from parents, professionals, schools, psychological testing, and isomorphic field observations are used to formulate the assessment. The assessment is updated regularly based on presenting behavior, attitudes and progress. This document is then utilized to provide specific recommendations for transition plans and long-term success.
Licensed as a clinically based outdoor youth treatment program by the state of Utah, Aspiro provides an integrated; solution focused clinical approach that is strategically combined with daily physical activity and adventure. As opposed to utilizing a conventional indoor hospital or treatment center, Aspiro provides treatment and assessment opportunities in the natural environment outdoors. Experiential adventure activities are used as tools to facilitate exposure therapy and are combined with talk therapy in the forms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Family Systems Therapy. Individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy take place on a weekly basis. A formalized Individualized Treatment Plan is also developed for each participant. Through this hand’s on, integrated clinical model, participants gradually begin to learn new, healthy coping strategies, behavioral and emotional regulation skills, social skills, executive functioning skills and life skills that lead to future success. A foundational goal is to help participants develop a higher level of self-efficacy and eliminate negative, unhealthy behaviors.
63 East 11400 South, #186
Sandy, Utah 84070