Cliff Stockton, Wilderness programming consultant

Services, news, advice and opinions from an Old Desert Guy

An Old Desert Guy

Sage perhaps, but definitely old!


For many people, TV programs such as the Dr. Phil show or the Brat Camp series will be their first exposure to wilderness therapy. Some may have wilderness therapy recommended to them by a professional who has had previous experience with such programs. While they may have had experience with Wilderness Therapy, they may only have an inkling about how it works. I liken it to buying a car from someone who understands how valuable a car can be, has ridden in one or two, and likes what it does, but really doesn’t know how it works. Consulting with me is like having a discussion with a car designer.  I didn’t invent the car, but I did design a model or two.

I have been working in wilderness based therapy for most of my career in many different capacities.  My years of experience allows me to perform unique and valuable services for programs, program therapists, field instructors, educational consultants, other mental health professionals, and most importantly parents and their children. With my experience and knowledge I can explain the programming elements; how they work and what you can expect in an honest and straightforward fashion.

Many parents and guardians, who utilize wilderness therapy as part of an overall treatment plan for their child, often don’t have any direct experience with this type of therapy. They are often much more familiar with traditional therapeutic approaches. Making such an important choice about which program to utilize can be a daunting challenge. A quick Google search will end up with dozens of options. These options are all offering to work with their child in a unique fashion, in which all have excellent results.

Different therapeutic approaches work better with different problems. What is the programs therapeutic approach that you are considering? Is it Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or something else altogether.  Program dynamics also change frequently and can affect the outcome for their child; such as which therapist is available for their child? Therapists are people too, and have lives outside of the program that they work for. weddings, vacations, family emergencies, even presentations at conferences can affect their attention to your child’s case. Programs go through cycles with field instructors including areas such as; are the instructors working with your child fresh, too fresh, or seasoned and even perhaps jaded and cynical? Do you know how to discern these subtle differences?

Having a conversation with me can help you discern what you are looking at and whether it will serve your needs.

UPCOMING WFR’s & WFA’s that I am conducting.

As fall turns into winter and with the Solstice celebration over this winter into spring looks pretty busy for me. As always I encourage you to contact me sooner rather than later for any needs you have

  • WFR University of Missouri January 4-11
  • WFA/WFR Re-Cert University of Missouri January 12-13
  • WFA/WFR Re-Cert Dupage College February 9-10
  • WFR BlueFire Wilderness Program February 13-18
  • WFR BlueFire Wilderness Program February 27 – March 4
  • WFR Passages Alaska (Prince of Wales Island) March 23 – 31
  • WFR American Adventures (NorCal) April 7-14
  • WFR Ramah of the Rockies, Colorado May 27 to June 7
  • Contact me about your WFR/Programming needs.