A six-week life-launching adventure.


Northwest Passage Expeditions is a one-of-kind, carefully crafted therapeutic and educational powerhouse. We team up with renowned adventurers, artists, and scientists to lead high-impact six-week expeditions for young people ages 18-26 who are ready to make a pivotal, powerful launch into adulthood.  We don't think of ourselves as a "therapy program" as much as an real, authentic, once-in-a-lifetime adventure with a therapist on board to help guide and maximize the deeply life affirming elements inherent in any true adventure. 

We believe that dramatic action is the only way to overcome dramatic pain. We believe that doing is better than talking. We believe that authentic experience is more effective than contrived therapeutic programming.  We believe that healing is about thriving, not just achieving baseline wellness. We believe that life moves forward in big leaps rather than slow, step-wise progressions.  And we believe in you.  This is your leap. 

We think big, and we want to teach you how.  You’ll achieve the following on the expedition:        

1.    Gain intensive experience creating real action in the world.   Learn how to navigate relationships, ideas, and information so that you can shape the world around your goals. 

2.    Gain insight into your gifts and your pain, and learn how to achieve daily emotional balance and wellness.   

Backed by 39 years of excellence

Expeditions is operated by Northwest Passage, a Wisconsin-based non-profit treatment organization with a reputation of excellence and innovation over its 39 year history.  Learn more about Northwest Passage here.  

Our Formula

Is simple.  Each expedition begins with a 1-2 week transition and orientation at a beautiful and peaceful Wisconsin lake cabin.  Then we travel to our expedition site for a 4 week intensive immersion.  Look here to learn more about each individual expedition.  Every expedition shares the following values and objectives:

 World class explorers and action-makers as your mentors.  Shaping the world around you isn’t an innate skill. You learn it.  And the best way to learn is from people who are REALLY good at shaping the world around them.  They see the world differently, they solve problems differently, they approach goals differently.   People like Wallace J. Nichols and Sachi Cunningham shaped their world in big ways and they’ll show you how.

Evidence-based clinical mental health treatment.  A licensed therapist guides all clinical programming aspects. Expect at least two formal individual therapy sessions per week, at least two group therapy sessions per week, and countless spontaneous therapeutic insights and discussions.    Learn more about our treatment approach here. 

Perspective-shifting exotic locations.  They're just fun to visit, but essential for personal growth.  We can’t see ourselves and our world clearly when we’re still surrounded by all the stuff we think is important.  This "therapeutic disorientation" is highly stimulating on several cognitive levels, and serves to help "wake up" cognitive processing that has been too quiet for too long.   

Heal the world.  In our program, service projects aren't quaint, short-term side activities, they're the foundation of the experience.  Every expedition centers on making a positive impact on a local and international scale.     

Authentic purpose, real projects.  Every human needs to feel part of something bigger than themselves.  Become a filmmaker with Sachi Cunningham.  Save sea turtles with Wallace Nichols.  Fluency at navigating the real world requires real-world practice.  Nothing in our program feels contrived, nothing that you'll do is "because we told you so."  You'll intuitively and immediately recognize the purpose of every moment of every day.  

Education at its finest.  You'll learn more useful information and skills in six weeks than most learn in a year.  We'll work with your college or university to award internship or independent study credits for your time in the the program.  Efforts are also currently underway to partner with a university to attach transferable college credits to our program. 

Family involvement. A student's family is often essential to fostering positive momentum in the student's life after our program.  We will work with families on a case-by-case basis throughout the program to create a game plan for both family and student.  

A purposeful return.  This process begins before you even enter Northwest Passage Expeditions. Every day is ultimately spent in service of your next move.  We'll work with your family, school, therapist, and potential employers to ensure you hit the ground running as fast as possible upon your return.   


A pivotal journey from which you'll draw strength and wisdom for the rest of your life.

Join the Wallace J. Nichols Sea Turtle expedition

Join the Wallace J. Nichols Sea Turtle expedition

Join the Sachi Cunningham coastal filmmaking expedition

Join the Sachi Cunningham coastal filmmaking expedition