Nestled in the mountains of Southwest Colorado and the canyonlands of Southeast Utah, Open Sky offers the most comprehensive experience in wilderness therapy. Powered by the belief that family involvement is essential to student success, Open Sky opened its doors in Durango, Colorado in 2006. Our commitment to family-centered therapy, holistic healing, and rigorous research has distinguished Open Sky as a leader in the field of wilderness therapy for over 15 years.
Open Sky treats early adolescents, ages 12–14; adolescents, ages 14–17, and young adults, ages 18–30. We specialize in whole-person wellness, incorporating an integrative treatment model that focuses on mind, body, heart, and soul. Our students receive sophisticated clinical treatment from a team of highly trained professionals, all while immersed in the healing power of nature. Families engage in a parallel process, working directly with our dedicated Family Services team to learn and practice essential skills for growth and lasting health.
We recognize and honor that the land on which we live and work is the traditional land of the Ancestral Puebloan, Ute, Diné, and other Indigenous and Native peoples.
We acknowledge that the very idea of wilderness exists due to historical and ongoing settlement that has caused, and continues to cause, benefit for settlers, including Open Sky, and untold harm to Indigenous and Native peoples.
It is our responsibility to acknowledge these truths: that white people killed and forcibly removed countless Indigenous and Native peoples from their sacred homelands.
We honor the lives of Indigenous and Native peoples, lived and lost, and their contributions to humanityand connections to this land.
At Open Sky, we engage in continued learning, recognizing that it is a privilege to act as stewards of this sacred land, as it supports immeasurable growth and healing.
Wilderness therapy blends the power of outdoor experiences with clinical treatment to address and treat a variety of mental health issues in preteens, adolescents, and young adults. Young people who attend wilderness therapy live in an outdoor setting among a small team of peers and field guides. Led by outdoor professionals, they learn practical skills that promote self-confidence and efficacy as well as cooperation and communication. They regularly meet with clinical therapists, who are trained in the latest research-driven treatment modalities, to receive therapeutic assessment and treatment.
Wilderness provides a secure and supportive environment removed from distractions. Students learn to form healthy relationships, respect boundaries, communicate effectively, and accept and process feedback. Wilderness therapy empowers students to better understand their experiences and issues, develop healthier coping strategies, and emerge with a more positive sense of self and hope for the future. The experiential nature of wilderness therapy equips students with essential skills to last a lifetime.
Open Sky transcends traditional wilderness therapy by delivering an experience greater than the sum of its parts: treatment for the whole family, a powerful and transformative experience, a focus on total health and well-being, and an unyielding belief that everyone has the capacity to thrive.
At Open Sky, we understand that managing risk requires more than memorizing a list of rules. For this reason, we commit to learn, develop, and apply risk management skills in our work with students, families, and each other.