Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that will help you learn more about Medicine Wheel’s wilderness therapy program. As always, we welcome your phone calls and are happy to provide you with additional information specific to you. Please call us at (800) 898-1244.

What type of client can you help?

Our clients could best be described as good young adults who are making bad decisions. Medicine Wheel is especially helpful to young people who have simply “failed to launch.” These adults may also struggle with a variety of emotional and behavioral concerns, including substance abuse, ADHD, mood disorders, etc. Please see the Program section of our website under What About Diagnosis for a complete discussion.

Where are you located?

Medicine Wheel is located in Enterprise, Utah, a small town in the southwest corner of Utah in the western part of the United States. We are 2.5 hours north of Las Vegas, Nevada and approximately 4 hours south of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Is financial aid or scholarships available?

Unfortunately there are no scholarships. Our admissions team can give you information about companies who offer educational loans.

Are any of the program costs covered by medical insurance?

Medical insurance typically does not cover the cost of the program. This is because we are licensed as an Outdoor Therapy Program. Most insurance carriers cover residential treatment only.  Since our students are out of doors throughout their stay, we do not meet the criteria for residential treatment.  Some insurance providers will cover the cost of therapy sessions only. We will be happy to help you work with your insurance company to determine any available benefits.

Will Medicaid cover the cost of the program?

Medicaid will not cover the cost of the program.  Generally speaking, Medicaid uses only providers that have contracted to provide services within your specific state. Please check with the appropriate state agency for a list of providers in your area.

Are you licensed or accredited?

We are licensed and regulated through the State of Utah Department of Human Services. We are also an accredited member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) and the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry Council (OBHIC).

Do I need a formal diagnosis to enroll?

No, you do not need an official diagnosis. Psychological and neuro-psychological testing can be done once you are enrolled.

Is diagnostic testing included in the tuition cost?

No, however, costs for psychological and neuropsychological testing are very competitive, and prices may vary depending on which testing options are selected. These charges are about half the cost of a hospital administered evaluation on average.

Does every client need a diagnostic test?

No. Testing recommendations are made on a case by case basis at the discretion of the clinician assigned to you. Sometimes referring professionals such as private practitioners or educational consultants may also recommend testing. As a young adult, you have the final say in whether or not psychological evaluations are conducted.

How long do most clients stay?

The average client stay is 6 to 8 weeks.  Some clients will stay longer, depending on how quickly they respond to therapy.

Will I be outdoors the entire time?

Yes. Your wardrobe and gear are specifically designed for the protection and safety, regardless of the weather conditions. Emergency shelters are available in our field in case of extreme weather conditions.

What will I eat?

Clients eat a healthy, balanced diet that is low in fat and sugar but high in carbohydrates. This diet was developed by a registered dietician. It is based on principles taught by Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Walter C. Willet in his book, “Eat, Drink and Be Healthy.” Medicine Wheel clients eat rice, beans, meat, cheese, lentils, trail mix, fresh fruits, vegetables and spices as earned. They do not have any carbonated or caffeinated drinks during their stay.

Are clients ever denied food as a punishment?

Medicine Wheel is NOT a deprivation program. Food is never withheld from clients.  A hungry client is unable to focus on therapeutic issues.

How much hiking are clients required to do?

Clients determine, as a group, how much hiking they will do. They average 15 miles per week, sometimes more, depending on the physical fitness level of the group and whether or not there are new clients in a group.

What should I bring?

We provide all of the clothing and camping gear you will need. You should bring any prescribed medications. If you wear contacts you will need a pair of glasses. When clients complete the program, they keep all of their gear except for their backpacks.

Can I talk to my family or friends while I am in the program?

Due to our remote field location, telephone calls are generally not permitted. If your clinician recommends it, and you have authorized family therapy sessions, you may occasionally be included in a family therapy session via satellite telephone. Generally speaking, all correspondence will be by letter.

You may send written letters as frequently as you like. If you wish to receive mail from your family, those letters can be sent regular mail or emailed to your clinician and then printed and delivered to you in the field.

With your permission, your parents may access a secured Internet portal on our website to see new pictures of you weekly and to review clinical notes from your clinician. Families must have your authorization and no other individuals are allowed access to this information.

How often can my family talk with my clinician?

If you approve, your clinician will arrange a convenient time for your family to speak with him/her at least once each week. They are welcome to email your clinician anytime with any questions or concerns.

Do my parents have a role in my therapy?

Yes – if you choose to allow it. Besides participating in weekly family therapy sessions, they will be asked to complete a journaling activity called The Parent Narratives. This coincides with assignments you will be working on while in the field. In addition, they should view “The Parent Seminar,” a set of five DVD’s that will help them understand your therapeutic and developmental progress.

How do I get to Medicine Wheel?

Las Vegas, Nevada is the largest airport in the region and is about 2.5 hours away from our headquarters. St. George, Utah is closer to us but is smaller and does not serve as many carriers. We are currently offering free transport service from Las Vegas to our Utah headquarters.

Can you provide me with references?

Yes. We prefer to receive an online application first. Then we can refer you to a family who may be closer to you or have similar struggles. The online application is confidential, free and does not obligate you in any way. It provides a snapshot of the issues you face at the moment.

Please explore our website or call an admissions counselor at (800) 898-1244 for additional information about how Medicine Wheel at RedCliff can help.