The PIVOTPoint Program:
an Alternative to Wilderness Therapy

Step outside the traditional wilderness therapy box.

Our program offers a different kind of adventure. We developed The PIVOTPoint Program, a 6-week integrative transitional program for young adults. PIVOTPoint provides an alternative to traditional wilderness therapy that combines the best practices of outdoor therapy with real-world integration. 

This is an opportunity to leverage the experiences you have had in a structured program designed for practice.

A hand holds a bright green maple leaf up to the light
Years of Facilitators Experience
Participants since 2020
Two hikers stand on a ridge looking out at a mountain vista

PIVOT Beyond Wilderness Therapy

While wilderness therapy has its place, our community has long been asking for an alternative. Our curriculum includes many aspects of wilderness therapy like teaching social, emotional, and interpersonal skill building through outdoor adventure. It is an effective way to build self-confidence, walk through and overcome challenges – perceived and otherwise – and develop problem-solving skills. 

But our program also integrates the realities of young adult living outside the woods: school, work, community, and family. 

PIVOTPoint Program at a Glance

We deliver a unique combination of outdoor adventure and real-world challenges, enabling our clients to overcome obstacles and reach new heights.

  • Age: 18+ (typical age range 18-25)
  • Location: Asheville, NC and surrounding state, federal, and private lands
  • Length: 6 weeks
  • Schedule: Monday • Wednesday • Friday 10am–4pm
  • Cohorts: 5 per year
  • Capacity: up to 10 per cohort
  • Facilitators: 2 per cohort
  • Housing: We partner with 4 standalone, reputable sober housing programs in the area. Through the assessment process, we will match you directly with the best assessed fit.
  • Aftercare plan: This is a deliberately condensed model, so we begin discussing what comes next during week 2. Maybe you’ve come in with a plan for what comes next already. We’ll help you get there. Maybe your plan shifts along the way. We can support that pivot, too.
  • Cost: $25,000 including a stipend for supportive housing costs. The Family Track is available with 16 parent coaching/family systems clinical coaching sessions over an 8-week timeline. The Family Track builds upon and runs along the Single Track 6-week program plus an additional 2 weeks for an additional $10,000.
A group of youth study a pool near a waterfall

PIVOTPoint Program

Single Track

The Single Track is your starting point for healthy, independent living. We’ll set you up with vetted housing options so that you have solid community support from day one. For 6-weeks, we’ll meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and head to the mountains. Think of a long-term, immersive wilderness program and trim the 3-6 months stay down to 6 weeks. Now add a community-based, practical setting that builds in time for integration, a social life, part-time work or school – or both. 

We’ll workshop skill building in the woods, and then you’ll test drive them at the house, while you’re taking classes, or working a part-time job. Real-world application, as we go.

A group of youth study a pool near a waterfall

PIVOTPoint Program

Family Track

It takes a lot to do this – new location, new people, new approaches. It’s a lot of new. And it’s so important that we build or rebuild together. Consider thru-hiking: it’s framed around the solo journey, just one person, the gear, and the trail. It is transformational. No doubt. Dig a little deeper and you hear about trail-magic. About the amazing people that walk with you. In a long-term collaboration with Aspen Growth Coaching (AGC), the Family Track focuses on the entire family system – building upon the weekly schedule of the Single Track. While the work is happening out on the trails, parents/guardians are doing their own work – experiencing a parallel process intensive for the first three weeks of the program. For weeks 4-6, the clinical coaching intensive blends with the work in the woods, focusing on the whole family system.

This work is led by a dedicated clinical coach familiar with the PIVOTPoint Program curriculum, so you’ll be working in tandem with the work in the woods. AGC then stays with your family during the transition from the woods to whatever comes next.

Get Started

We’re here for you. Get in touch with us to learn more and apply to the PIVOTPoint Program.

PIVOTPoint’s Wilderness Therapy Alternative: A Client Perspective

Since beginning the program, my son has been steadily moving in a positive direction. I can see the light returning to his eyes. I can have meaningful conversations with him. These are the first and most important steps toward building back broken trust and fostering the kind of growth he needs to successfully transition into adulthood. This program is unquestionably invaluable. A gem in a daunting and overwhelming sea of counseling, therapy and rehab.

– Father of a young adult client

2023 Program Schedule

A group of youth study a pool near a waterfall

Program FAQs

How is PIVOTPoint different from traditional wilderness therapy programs?

Traditional wilderness therapy takes place in a safe, secure, and supportive bubble. There are limits to outside influences and stimuli that often activate the very behavior patterns that are being addressed. It can be super effective. It’s also super unrealistic. The PIVOTPoint Program swings between the woods and everyday life regularly. It’s these consistent application opportunities that make our program an impactful alternative to traditional wilderness therapy. Our clients put skills, strategies, and concepts to work immediately – because you need to work on reactivity to outside stimuli engaging in everyday life. 

Who would benefit from this? 

We offer intentional group facilitation to those facing challenges around mental health, behavioral health, and substance use. We support clients wrestling with anxiety, depression, and relational skills. Our cohorts are designed for young adults who are ready to play a central role in their own healing and growth.

What will clients gain from the program?

Self-efficacy (a healthy belief in yourself and your abilities). Self-awareness and core values (what is it that drives you – not what you think everyone else wants for you). Grit (the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and push through when you face obstacles). Awareness and appreciation of existing resilience (it takes strength and courage to have gotten this far). The capacity to sit with discomfort and confusion; adaptability and flexibility; and a new relationship with the idea of  ‘failure’ (falling short of expectations, walking through days when things don’t go to plan, these are the proof that you’re actively engaged in your life. Things not going to plan is the best way to get more info. And more info means more informed decisions. Take a break from this failure to launch nonsense – get it out of your head that ‘failure’ is something that can be avoided).

What do clients do when not with you? 

One of the many reasons we picked the housing programs we have to collaborate with is that they have strong ratios of staff to residents, structured and community-integrated schedules and transportation options allowing for adaptability to part time school, work, or volunteer schedules. Tuesdays and Thursdays and ‘off-the-trail’ hours are first and foremost the program’s implementation time – during the structured programming of the sober houses, while you’re at work or in class, or just walking around downtown Asheville – this is the time to test-drive the theoretical in your everyday life!

What do clients do on the weekend? 

Our partnering houses host bonfire meetings and barbecues. They go to local sporting events and downtown games and festivals. Weekends are a great time for incorporation. That doesn’t mean sitting in your room and twiddling your thumbs. Incorporation may include a float down the French Broad River, an afternoon at the Tourists baseball game, a round of golf,  or a visit to a local museum. Keep in mind that this is where clients will use the skills and strategies we’re practicing in the woods.

Who’s this for?

Your kid is over 18 and ready to do some work. They’ve gone through traditional residential treatment more than once or they’ve done the 3-6 month full time in the woods thing. Seems like no matter how they’re handling themself in that controlled environment, once they’re out of that setting, they get tripped up by real-world situations. Probably been to some amazing programs, met and learned from some amazing people. And they probably take in and process information best when they’re engaged, moving, and can practice what they’re learning in the situations when they’ll need it most. The pivot back into their actual life felt unsupported.

The PIVOTPoint Program offers you and your family the opportunity to combine the most effective elements of past experiences in long term wilderness environment with the ability for practical application of these skills, strategies, and lessons in real life. Your kid responds more to adventure, movement, activity, and conversation. And they need to learn how to use these skills in their community, at their dorm, in their office, at local restaurants, and at shows – they need to practice this stuff in the places where they’re going to need it the most. We’ll lay the foundation here in Asheville, NC; then, you all can make an informed decision as to what’s next. 

What are you offering?

Our clients report learning & retaining coping skills and ways to practice self-care and self-regulation. They report learning how to prioritize their feelings; trust others; create and hold healthy boundaries; practice self-compassion; utilize breathing techniques; cook for themselves; exercise; embrace accountability; practice more acceptance; experience self-respect and self-trust; and, an overall increase in resilience.

But there’s more to this. When we talk about nature, we’re talking about more than the mountains and rivers. We’re talking about our own nature; about how we relate to ourselves. Our team has backcountry safety training; years of experience as wilderness guides. The truth of the matter is, we’re hardly ever even in the backcountry. The adventure we’re talking about here, this exploration, is internal. But our clients’ safety is paramount. Without a sense of safety, trust is next to impossible. So we’ve got that safety covered.

With that in mind, and while we’re doing our adventure thing, this is also about what you – the family, friends, and loved ones – get back. Let this be a disruption to the trauma cycle you’ve been in. Take a walk, read that book, call back those friends you haven’t felt right about spending time with lately. Check out that band, see that play, or that new restaurant. Let the tension in your shoulders ease up; let that twist in your stomach unknot itself. This is just as much about the opportunities that this program affords you. And we hope you’ll give yourself permission to take advantage of that, too.

What’s the housing situation?

We work with housing programs in and around Asheville, NC that match our core values and standards. They’re also in alignment with national standards of practice. Each has its own vibe, so we can work together to find an optimal fit. They’ll provide community, safety, and a supportive homebase to return to when we get back from the trail.

What if substances aren’t a thing?

No problem. This program is a deep-dive intervention. In our experience, problematic use of drugs and alcohol often is a thing, even if it doesn’t present that way now. The way we see it, either there is an existing & challenging relationship to substances, or there is not. If substances are not a concern: perfect! 6-weeks in a substance free environment won’t be an issue. If they are a concern: perfect! then 6-weeks in a substance free environment will be essential. 

What’s the cost?

The PIVOTPoint Program offers: The Single Track and the Family Track. Both are a 6-week intervention, including supportive housing. The Single Track is for the participant themselves and costs $25,000. The Family Track is offered in collaboration with Aspen Growth Coaching and incorporates twice weekly clinical coaching sessions & daily real time access to your coach utilizing a smartphone app. The Family Track costs $35,000.

We do not accept insurance. 

Is this therapy or not?

It’s a fair question. And the short answer is no. We designed this program with consultants who are psychologists, doctorate candidates, counselors, clinical supervisors, and a bunch of amazing humans with all sorts of letters after their names. And our team is made up of clinicians, counselors, veteran wilderness guides, coaches, and first responders. But we run things in a way that feels familiar and casual while also intentional and supportive – we are not providing traditional therapy in our program.

This is anchored in relationship and connection. And the activities we use create a cool platform to teach critical life skills focused on accountability, goal setting, emotional awareness, effective communication and follow through.

Our collaboration with Aspen Growth Coaching provides a robust, clinically-focused experience for the entire family.

How big are the groups?

Each group has 2 facilitators and is capped at 10 participants.

I’m still not clear on…

We get it. This stuff is complicated. And it gets more so when it’s your child or family member we’re talking about. We’ve designed this work for those who do not require a full immersive, long term stay in a wilderness program. We’ve designed this work for dynamic, experiential group work. And our setup leaves room for part-time work and school options, too. We believe that there are powerful opportunities for healing, growth, and shift in the natural environment. And we appreciate that it can be tricky to assess if this model is a good best fit for everyone. So reach out and let’s figure that out.

Ready to Apply?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our program and how to apply.