New Perspectives - September, 2001 Issue #85
American Fork, Utah
Rick Meeves, Ph.D., LMFT,
Walkabout, a licensed treatment program, employs conventional therapeutic
methods while using the wilderness as an alternative treatment setting, thus removing material and technological distractions, to
move students outside their “emotional comfort zone.”
Adolescents 13 to 17 years of age with a range of emotional and behavioral issues that may include Oppositional Defiance, Attention
Deficit, Learning Differences, Low Self Esteem, Depression, Substance Abuse and Family Conflict are appropriate for this program.
Adolescents with “major mental health disorders, serious histories of violence or running away, or who are demonstrating a willingness
to hurt themselves, are not appropriate. They will accept students on medication if stabilized prior to admission, though they do
not recommend using this setting to adjust medications.
Walkabout offers individualized treatment, flexible lengths of stay, single-gender groups, and Clinical Psychologists to provide academic
and psychological evaluations. Their therapy format is designed to increase the frequency of therapy and involve families both in
therapy and aftercare planning.
The academic program engages students in learning skills such as reading, writing, reasoning, problem solving, and collaboration.
Structured academic sessions help with skills while enabling therapists to assess learning styles, identify negative behavior in regards
to learning, and allow intervention through rewards and consequences. Since it is a “licensed treatment program and not an academic
school, it cannot issue official transcripts; nor are do they treat learning disorders.”
Both Walkabout Treatment Program partners, Rick Meeves and Tim Thayne, hold Ph.D.s and are licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.
Rick has been a primary therapist at Second Nature Wilderness Program for the last two years. Prior to that he was Clinical Director
at Aspen Ranch. Tim will initially draw upon his business and therapeutic experience to build Walkabout and later will be a full-time
therapist. Pamela McCollam, who has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, training in Diagnosis and Psychometrics, and extensive experience
with adolescents, women’s issues and abuse, will work with students as a therapist.