What does the evidence tell us?
There is a growing amount of evidence that supports the use of indigenous, nature-based and adventure approaches as an alternative to the main stream mental health and well being pathways.
Using movement and adventure to regulate our bodies is now been backed by current research. By calming and grounding our bodies we can then influence our emotions and ability to talk through problems and feelings.
Recognising that all humans have come from nature and require a connection with nature to have an overall healthy existence is also now supported by evidence. Science is just catching up on what First Nation Peoples have known for over 60,000 years.
A genuine and healthy connection with nature along with physical activity will influence our mental, physical and social wellbeing.
We need good food, exercise and sunshine to keep our mental health in check. (Bryan Jeffrey)
Whats informing Gippsland Adventure Therapy's practice.
PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR CLINICAL TREATMENT OF COMPLEX TRAUMA
Blue Knot Foundation
Formerly Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) The Blue Knot Foundation have developed a set of 44 practice guidelines in delivering a helping service to people who've experienced complex trauma. 1 in 4 people have experienced multiple and compounding adverse events, trauma is something that we all face at some point in our life and for some of us we can become stuck and require a little bit of assistance to move forward on a healing journey.
TRAUMA FOCUSED ADVENTURE THERAPY
Youth Flourish Outdoors
Graham Pringle (founder of YFO) as apart of his PHD has written a model that provides us with a framework in which to plan, deliver and review adventure therapy programs with a trauma responsive focus.
Gippsland Adventure Therapy uses a trauma focus for all of the programs we run. The added care to help people remain in their window of tolerance and use a phased approach to processing new experiences is relavent and safe for all of us regardless of any trauma background.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE INTERVENTIONS
YOUNG PEOPLE AND ADVERSITY - A LITERATURE REVIEW
Berry Street Childhood Institute
Dr Anita Pryor of Adventure Works published this literature review for the Berry Street Gippsland Wilderness Program. It complies a large amount of articles published in the field of outdoor interventions including adventure therapy.
NATURE - BASED THERAPY
A PRACTITIONER'S GUIDE TO WORKING OUTDOORS WITH CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES
Human Nature Counselling
Nevin Harper, Kathryn Rose and David Segal coauthored the above book. Their work has brought together a vast amount of research that supports taking therapy outside and developed this practical guide for professionals
Dr Steven Porges
"The Polyvagal Theory, in essence, is the science of how mammals connect, but also how they respond to danger. You've heard of fight & flight. Wellll, there's more to it than that. The PVT is the first to explain that there are actually three distinct primary states the body may be in:" (Justin Sunseri, "Stuck Not Broken" Podcast)
A NEURODEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH
Dr Bruce Perry
Dr Bruce Perry's research into how our brains develop and the effects of adversity on us early in childhood has helped provide insight into planning and delivering Adventure/Nature based therapies. Perry's Regulate, Relate, Repair as well as the six R's to regulation: Rhythmic, Rewarding, Repetitive, Relational, Relevant and Respectful give us a useful guideline into helping people feel safe and progress in their healing and development. Watch this useful video to learn more.
COURAGE, VULNERABILITY, EMPATHY & SHAME
Brene Brown is a research professor and has been studying for over 20 years to better understand shame, courage, vulnerability and empathy. Her work has helped countless people in their personal growth and healing. Check out this great video on empathy.
MY BIG BRAIN BOOK
Bryan Jeffrey is a Psychiatric Nurse with extensive experience as a mental health clinician both in Scotland and Melbourne. Mostly working with teenagers and young adults who've experienced emotional trauma.
"My Big Brain Book" is a great resource for and teenagers or the adults supporting them to demistify mental health and how our brains work.