Center Category: Rehab Centers
Wilderness pioneers Ezekiel Sanchez and Larry Olsen created the ANASAZI Foundation in 1988. A Navajo word – “Anasazi” is interpreted as “wise teachers.” Located in Mesa, Arizona, the foundation utilizes nature to rehabilitate adolescents and adults. Inspired by Native Americans’ “Anasazi method,” the foundation uses wilderness walks to promote healing and address medication, substance abuse, and emotional issues.
The program does not intend to punish the clients but is designed to help the clients discover their inner selves.
The program offered by the ANASAZI Foundation is not for the weak-hearted. The program, spanning 49 days, involves living primitively. They carry modest supplies and hike and camp at any suitable place. The whole idea behind the program is that if one can survive the harsh wilderness, then they can endure the various challenges that they face in their daily life.
The clients build shelters on their own. The foundation believes that this process helps them in learning to be independent as well as rely on others for support. Even though they are taught to fend for themselves, the clients are never far away from caring staff members. The clients are encouraged to seek help whenever necessary.
Clients in this program learn to prepare their meals, with food packs being replenished every week.
There are two treatment tracks offered by ANASAZI – an adolescent track for teens aged between 12 and 17, as well as an adult track for clients aged 18 and above. The groups are small, with eight being the maximum number in each group. The staff-to-client ratio is 3:1. Both tracks have the same structure – send them into the wilderness for seven weeks.
As mentioned, these excursions are not a boot camp or any punishment. There is no harsh environment and the clients are not forced to do anything they do not like.
The wilderness program starts with a “learning period.” During this period, a client learns and participates in acquiring cooking skills, learns first aid, the importance of personal hygiene, and looking after the equipment. Additionally, clients are taught how to create their trail gear. The gear consists of a primitive backpack, rabbit stick, and fire set.
Upon completion of the first phase, clients put into practice whatever they have learned. Therapists see clients who are struggling with emotional issues. The final stage of the journey involves the family members getting invited to join the trail for three days. This allows in a healthy reunion before completion of the hike.
During the journey, clients can address medication, substance abuse, and emotional issues – issues which impact their daily life. Therapists use individual sessions, emotion-focused family therapy sessions, and DBT during the program period. Instead of using fancy medical jargon, the therapists use language derived from Native American traditions. Staying in groups helps clients in developing healthy relationships with their peers. The group setting also helps in teaching accountability, responsibility, as well as the need for structure. The foundation allows the clients to choose their path for spiritual aspects of recovery.
Even though clients have to fend for themselves in the wilderness, they are always followed by trained staff members. These counselors are called “shadow” and work closely with clients during the entire journey. Having Master’s-level degrees or higher, these counselors work under psychologist and clinical director. Parents can check their child’s progress with the shadow on a weekly basis.
The foundation also has arrangements with a local hospital and a medical helicopter service in case of any emergencies.
The staff at the ANASAZI Foundation include psychiatrists, registered nurses, social workers, and marriage and family counselors. Every member is trained in CPR and first aid. They also complete the Wilderness First Responder course.
Approximately $16,000 (49 days). ANASAZI offers scholarships available for necessary clients.
No Records Found
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Google Map Not Loaded
Sorry, unable to load Google Maps API.