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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Center Offers Backpacking Program

Mirasol Backpacking Trip

Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Center—an eating disorder treatment facility that offers evidence-based alternative treatment of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating for teens and adults at three Tucson locations—recently became the first in the nation to offer backpacking as part of its adventure therapy program.

Experiential therapy is at the core of Mirasol’s treatment philosophy, so the small family-owned facility offers a wide variety of physical activities, from yoga and low-flying trapeze to hiking, camping, caving and challenge courses. This year, Mirasol expanded its adventure therapy program to include backpacking. Standard psychological tests administered before and after the outings demonstrate significant decreases in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

“Almost by definition, eating disorders arise from an individual’s inability to connect with the self and with others,” says Diane Ryan, executive director of Mirasol. “By fostering social connection, interdependence and self-reflection, adventure therapy can provide a fresh perspective that might only be achieved after months or years of traditional therapeutic interventions.”

Mirasol now offers bimonthly, two- and three-day trips, taking advantage of Arizona’s wealth of wild public lands. Each trip includes a 50-50 split of medically- and emotionally-appropriate clients and the clinical staff required to ensure their safety and support them in their journey.

For more information, call 888-520-1700 or visit

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