Healing the Hero: working with veterans with PTSD


Healing the Hero provides fee-based therapeutic wilderness trips for men and women who, as a result of their service in our armed forces, suffer from PTSD and other related issues.

Healing the Hero serves as a dual-diagnosis (mental health and D&A) treatment step in a full continuum of care that includes ongoing counseling and education. Our wilderness trips will include a number of proven and innovative PTSD treatment options provided by mental health specialists, and incorporate group therapy, team initiatives, discussions about the culture of the warrior throughout history, remembrance ceremonies for fallen comrades, and purification rituals. To the best of our knowledge, no one else is combining all of these elements in an effort to aid our veterans.

Unfortunately, our veterans are struggling to cope with the demands of their service, and their re-entry into society is not always easy. Healing the Hero will do our part to help these men and women integrate back into their families and communities as the important and welcomed citizens that they are.

Kirk Shimeall


After 18 years at Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs, Kirk Shimeall is leaving to pursue other endeavors. He dreams about starting a program to help veterans with PTSD, utilizing different therapeutic modalities and the power of wilderness, and is also available for risk management consultation. He enjoys fooling about on rivers with his wife and two sons, surfing, dark chocolate, playing Ultimate, and reading irreverent satire such as “The Onion”. He recently graduated with an MBA with an emphasis on Sustainability from one of the nation’s leading “green” business schools, Bainbridge Graduate Institute.