Hiking Refusal: How to Make it OK

Posted by Devin Frechette on April 13, 2022 | 0 comment(s)

D16AA59D B03E 41CC B2D8 1F6FCD6C7DB9 1 201 aThere is still a question I remember from my initial interview for the field instructor position at Evoke: What do you do if a student refuses to hike? At the time of my interview, I was fresh out of college and had little to no meaningful experience dealing with resistance, defiance, manipulation, and other challenging behavioral patterns that we regularly see from our Evoke students. So, of course, my answer was: um, say okay? I had no idea what to do but give in, say okay, and let a person do what they were going to do. I considered saying I would try to convince them to hike, but I knew that when someone tried to convince me to do something I didn’t want to do, I only dug my heels in deeper. Little did I know, there was more wisdom in my response than young me could have realized.

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Group Therapy & Finding My Fab 6

Posted by Becci McNeely on March 30, 2022 | 1 comment(s)

15E11185 70D9 4769 85E5 6D5AA5FA4AB8When offered the opportunity to attend Evoke's Finding You Intensive, I was swept up with excitement. I speak about this program daily, I hear others' glowing feedback about it, my friends and colleagues have explained it as a life changing experience, and I’ve listened to Dr. Brad Reedy recommend it time and time again on his podcast. I was all smiles, until it hit me, this is group therapy. And my heart began to sink into my stomach. Prior to this intensive I’d attended regular therapy sessions but doing a deep dive into my personal work, with strangers watching me, is far from my comfort zone!

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Creative Maladjustment

Posted by Brand Bonsall on March 23, 2022 | 1 comment(s)

D88F0CC7 4036 447F 81D7 EF64F92012DB 1 201 aIn 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave an address to The University of California, Los Angeles and said, “Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any….It is the word 'maladjusted'.…Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. But I say to you, my friends, there are certain things in our nation and in the world [about] which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted.”

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When You Look for Others, You Find Yourself Too

Posted by Katelyn BeVard on March 16, 2022 | 0 comment(s)

D0147746 9052 4785 97C7 B2A5EBAB916E 1 201 aOne of my favorite memories from my time as a Field Instructor, was during a week I was working with a group of adolescent girls. One of the students I was working with that week (we will call her Julie) came from a sports family. She played sports and her father was a coach for a professional sports team. She was the type of student who would put her head down and work tenaciously towards a goal, while often ignoring any emotions she was feeling. It was clear to the staff team at the time that this young person was spending a lot of energy on tasks and, in the process, ignoring her emotions.

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Hidden Lessons of Self Worth

Posted by Lorin DeMuth on March 09, 2022 | 0 comment(s)

LorinDeMuthSomewhere on the side of a rural highway in Georgia I unknowingly began my journey to Evoke. At the time, I was co-leading a group of 11 high school students to bike across America along with my co-leader, an ex-professional bike racer who spent his free time doing multi-day, 500-mile bike packing races. Today, he and our support car driver were an hour and a half away at the doctor with one of our campers. Today, I captained solo.

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Understanding, Supporting, and Treating Young People with Pathological Demand Avoidance

Posted by Dr. Matt Hoag on February 23, 2022 | 1 comment(s)

 8F839954 F0C6 44E6 85EE ACB8101CDC7ELast month I presented at the National Association for Therapeutic Programs annual conference about a relatively new profile called Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). PDA has been studied over the last 40 years by psychologists and mental health providers. Elizabeth Newson, a British developmental psychologist, and her colleagues, were some of the first to explore the profile of these young people referred for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment who reminded referring professionals of autism but differed in important ways (e.g., sociability and imaginative play) (Newson, Le Marechal & David, 2003). It became clear to Newson and her colleagues that these young people did not fit into traditional Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) type diagnoses, and they proposed a separate diagnosis (PDA) within the general diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders.

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Reframing Letter Writing

Posted by Anthony Salerno on February 16, 2022 | 0 comment(s)

B0835258 89CD 4778 94BA 044ABCAA1B63 1 201 aCommunication throughout the wilderness therapy experience can feel very different for most families in treatment. At home, communicating is as straightforward as talking around the dinner table or sending your child a text, and in residential settings, phone calls typically happen a few times each week. In wilderness, however, the majority of communication happens through letter writing. In and of itself, this can be a drastic change for most families, and for this week’s blog I wanted to touch on one of the biggest shifts I navigate with families regarding the letter writing process.

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You’re Worth the Work: Brushing Your Hair, and Other Lessons in Self-care

Posted by Devin Frechette on February 09, 2022 | 2 comment(s)

D16AA59D B03E 41CC B2D8 1F6FCD6C7DB9 1 201 aSelf-care has become a buzzword in therapeutic and self-help spaces in recent years. People throw it around as a catch-all remedy for myriad issues. Are you burnt out at work? Self-care! Did you get into an argument with your partner or child? Self-care! Are you experiencing the consistent and pervasive existential dread that is the hallmark of the human experience? Self-care! But what does "self-care" really mean? What does it look like in practice?

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