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Healing fears, conquering challenges: narrative outcomes from a wilderness therapy program

journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Shane McIverShane McIver, E Senior, Z Francis
Despite the number of studies containing evaluations of the effectiveness of wilderness therapy, in the extent literature there is little research regarding participant views that account for the successful outcomes reported. This qualitative study contains an investigation of the narratives of staff and residents at a youth-focused therapeutic community who took part in a wilderness program. The researchers of this study seek to identify what the participants consider meaningful and the most significant change that took place within the participants as a result of taking part in the wilderness program. Data analysis reveals a sequential stage-model emphasizing the importance of relationship to: (a) professional staff; (b) nature as a healing modality; (c) peers; and (d) self, with all four categories contributing to improved mental health in specific ways. Links bridging these relationships and the factors influencing the strength of those links are also discussed. Findings inform design and practice of future wilderness programs, staff training, and directions for further research.

History

Journal

Journal of creativity in mental health

Volume

13

Pagination

392-404

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1540-1383

eISSN

1540-1391

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Taylor & Francis

Issue

4

Publisher

Taylor & Francis