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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Mar 14, 2023

Tammy Marks is the parent of a former wilderness therapy student who enrolled in a program at 12 years old. Tammy shares her family's story of how her son struggled with his mood and behavior from an early age and how they tried to help him. When her son was in his later elementary school years, he was often suspended from school for oppositional behavior toward teachers and coaches. He brought her son to numerous mental health professionals with different treatment strategies, but nothing seemed to help. One clinician informed Tammy about wilderness therapy, and shortly after the pandemic started, she decided that something had to change as her son really struggled. Tammy and her husband brought their son to a wilderness program in North Carolina, and things began to improve. Tammy shares what she learned about parenting style while her son was in wilderness and "how to hold boundaries lovingly and compassionately." Tammy reveals what she thinks parents should know about wilderness therapy and what she wants everyone in the field to understand.  

Season 15 of Stories from the Field is focused on parents' stories and is underwritten by Other Parents Like Me ( We are grateful for all does to support parents whose children are struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. We want to thank for underwriting Season 15!