Bluefire Wilderness Therapy: Sorting Facts from Fairytale

Considering wilderness therapy for your child? Bluefire Wilderness Therapy is a prominent program, but wading through online reviews can be confusing. This post will help you navigate Bluefire reviews, understand potential biases, and find reliable resources.

1. The Spectrum of Reviews: Success Stories and Cautionary Tales

Bluefire’s website showcases glowing testimonials from parents who credit the program with transforming their child’s life. However, critical reviews alleging negative experiences can also be found online. It’s important to consider the context behind each review.

2. Positive Reviews: Potential Biases

Positive reviews often come from grateful parents who see a positive change in their child. However, these reviews might not capture the full picture. The program’s success might depend on the individual child and their specific needs.

3. Negative Reviews: Considering the Source

Negative reviews raise concerns about aspects of the program. Be mindful that some negative reviews might be from disgruntled former clients or families who may not have had a positive experience due to factors specific to their situation.

4. Looking Beyond Testimonials: Research and Resources

Don’t rely solely on online reviews. Research Bluefire’s accreditations, licensing of staff, and reported outcomes. Look for independent reviews from reputable sources like professional organizations or objective media outlets.

5. Considering Alternatives: Wilderness Therapy Options

Bluefire isn’t the only wilderness therapy program. Explore other programs that might be a better fit for your child’s needs. Consider factors like location, program focus, and cost when comparing options.

6. Open Communication: Talking to Bluefire Directly

The best way to get a feel for Bluefire is to contact them directly. Ask questions about their program, staff qualifications, and how they handle individual needs. A reputable program will be happy to address your concerns.


Bluefire Wilderness Therapy presents a complex picture based on online reviews. While success stories abound, so do critical accounts. Remember, reviews offer a single perspective, and a program’s effectiveness can vary depending on the individual. Conduct thorough research, consider alternatives, and prioritize open communication with Bluefire to make an informed decision about your child’s well-being.


Q: Are there any regulatory bodies overseeing wilderness therapy programs?

A: Yes, the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC) is a good starting point. Look for programs accredited by the OBHC to ensure they meet established safety and quality standards.

Q: What questions should I ask Bluefire during my consultation?

A: Here are some key questions:

  • What is the staff-to-client ratio?
  • What qualifications and experience do your therapists have?
  • How do you individualize treatment plans?
  • How do you handle communication with parents/guardians?
  • What are the program’s discharge criteria?

Q: Are there any costs associated with researching wilderness therapy programs?

A: Consulting with wilderness therapy programs is generally free. However, some require an application fee before a formal assessment.

Q: What are some alternatives to wilderness therapy?

A: Traditional outpatient therapy, residential treatment centers, and intensive in-home programs might be suitable options depending on your child’s needs.

Q: Is wilderness therapy right for every child?

A: Wilderness therapy can be an effective tool for some teens and young adults, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Consider your child’s physical and mental health, and discuss their needs with a qualified mental health professional before making a decision.

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