2023 Regional Wilderness Therapy Symposium Call for Proposals

Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBH Council) is pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for the 2023 Regional Wilderness Therapy Symposium. The Symposium will take place on March 29th-31st, 2023 at the Crowne Plaza in Asheville, NC.

After the National Wilderness Therapy Symposium in Park City, we collected feedback regarding presentations, workshops and keynote topics. The response was overwhelming. Below are the topic suggestions we received that we would love to see in Asheville.

  • Preventing burnout in staff and retention
  • Mental health first aid for staff
  • Trauma-informed care and creating more compassion
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of OBH including:
    • Gender and gender expression
    • Lived experiences among cultures
    • The spectrum of neurodiversity not just ASD
    • Financial access
    • Ways to better support racial diversity (proper hair products, bandaids that are representative of skin, etc)
    • Generational trauma and differences in how mental health is communicated
    • Individual perspectives:
      • Families and individuals living with autism and their experience in wilderness programs
  • How to be collaborative when the business of OBH feels competitive?
  • Mental health, healthcare and legislation
  • Intersection of mental health, public health, accessible care
  • Continuum of care
  • Application of skills developed in wilderness to daily life
  • Risk management
  • Working with clients with tech addiction
  • Working with clients with eating disorders
  • Attachment-based care
  • How has the pandemic affected the support clients and families need and receive
  • Ethics of transport
  • Client-centered Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing and OARS

If you are interested in presenting a workshop for the 2023 Regional Wilderness Therapy Symposium (regardless if the topic is on the list), please read the instructions below and then you may fill in the proposal form on our website. Please remember to keep your proposal clear and concise.

Below is the timeline for this proposal cycle:

Applications open: Week of November 7th

Submission deadline: Friday, January 6th, 2023

Submission for CEU application: Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Notification of acceptance: February 10th

All proposals will be thoroughly reviewed by our Proposal Review Committee on a rolling basis. We generally receive between 80-100 proposals per year, and reviewing in this way will allow committee members to produce timely feedback and ask additional questions if necessary. Thank you in advance for your patience with this selection process.

Workshop Proposal Instructions

The Wilderness Therapy Symposium (WTS) consists of interactive presentations, speakers and outdoor workshops. It brings a diverse cross-section of professionals under one roof to share theories, insights and best practices in an open spirit. The Symposium offers a place to explore, inform, and educate one another on a diverse range of topics all centering on various concepts and applications of wilderness therapy.


The purpose of including track labels is to make it easier for participants to choose from the workshop choices to select workshops that might be most appropriate for their professional interests. Please select the one primary track that you feel best fits your workshop topic.


You must submit a resume for ALL presenters that are associated with your workshop.  Resumes are needed for our CE certification process and your proposal will not be considered complete until we receive all resumes.

Workshop Length

The WTS is accepting proposals for workshops that are 1.5 and 3 hours long. This year's conference will follow a robust schedule, with a kickoff event on Wednesday and workshops held on Thursday and Friday.

1.5 hours: This presentation length is a perfect opportunity to allow participants exposure to various concepts, research, and ideas. These presentations occur indoors.

3 hours: This longer, three-hour time frame is ideal for experiential interactive presentations. Presenters will have enough time to share in-depth information and allow for extensive participation by the attendees. These presentations can occur indoors or outdoors on the hotel grounds.

Presenter Registration

We want to thank you for dedicating your time to your craft, the field and to us. We know that you've worked hard to get where you are and sharing your knowledge is a gift. To show our appreciation, all presenters will receive free registration to WTS regardless of OBH Council membership status.

Again, deadline for submissions is Friday, January 6th, 2023.

We look forward to seeing you in Asheville. Your participation–be it as a presenter, attendee or volunteer–is valued immensely.

Click here to begin your proposal
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at info@obhcouncil.org