Who Applies to Wilderness Therapy

Applicants to the Wilderness Therapy program share a love of the natural world, enjoy spending time outside and have the desire to help others. They share a sense of awe and respect for nature and understand how the natural world can help humans be healthy and whole.

At the same time, applicants have a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some have studied tracking and primitive skills; others have spent years working with horses, while others have a wealth of experience traveling in remote backcountry settings.

Some applicants have already worked in counseling settings while others have taught environmental education to grade school children or outdoor education in organizations such as Outward Bound.

Our program is selective, which allows us to bring together a dynamic student body made of individuals whose life experiences are valuable contributions to the learning environment. The community spirit and friendships that develop encourage authenticity and create safety for the full development of one’s capacities.


The typical class of Wilderness Therapy students includes a wide range of people from all over the United States and, some years, from Canada or other countries.

In the past, students have ranged in age from early twenties to mid fifties, while the majority of students have been between twenty-five and forty. The number of men has been one-third to half the class.

All students must meet a certain level of physical ability and medical health, which allow them to participate in the back-country field sections. For more information on required physical condition and the medical forms needed to be admitted into the TCP Wilderness Therapy Program, please see:

Additional Admissions Requirements

Contemplative Education and Diversity