Nature Based Adventure Therapy is Helping People Heal
New from 'We Are Explorers'
Posted on 03.06.2021
Recent new article from ‘We Are Explorers‘ on the importance and effectiveness of Nature Based Adventure Therapy.
We’ve all felt nature’s ability to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. But for some people, nature can be the answer to overcoming personal challenges and trauma, and to growing their sense of self, and self-esteem. Simon chats with two adventure therapists to understand the importance of this increasingly popular therapy.
There’s often a moment in nature when you see a change come over someone.
For Jocelyn Evans and Laura Engel, who run bush adventure therapy provider Right Foot Forward in Western Australia’s South West region, that moment often comes after a participant has been handed the reins and encouraged to make decisions that impact others.
Jocelyn, an outdoor educator who gained her stripes working with Outward Bound Australia and a range of other adventure-based programs before founding the business, recounts one of those turning points.
‘We got to a place along the track where it went in two directions and the two young people navigating were struggling to work out which way to go,’ Jocelyn recounts.
‘I suggested they could walk a certain distance in each direction to see if landmarks on the map became evident, then they would return to the group with more information to decide which way to go.’
‘This allowed them to choose the correct path and later that night, when we were recounting the day around the campfire, one of the young boys who was navigating spoke up and said ‘Thank you for trusting me to do that’.
‘The boy had a long history of getting into trouble at school and had consequently lost most people’s trust, so it was something he wasn’t accustomed to.’
Laura’s a social worker who also has qualifications in psychology and many years’ experience working in clinical settings with adults. She says we tend to have an overreliance on the dominant systems of care – the medical model.
‘I believe we’re all part of something greater than ourselves and this sense of deep connection keeps us well and motivates us to take care of the planet. Therapy, for whatever reasons it may be required, typically occurs within the confines of four walls.’(Laura Engel)
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