It is amusing to me how certain things in this world can be given so much value by us, take a busting set for example. Nothing more than a few sticks and rocks, my busting set has had a place of display in my house for years and has often been a conversation piece with visitors to my home. While sharing with them about my journey it can be hard to truly convey how important that pile of sticks and rocks are to me.
Viewing entries posted in 2016
At Evoke at Entrada, we can (and do) handle a variety of dietary challenges, ranging from nut allergies and gluten or lactose intolerance, to vegetarian and vegan diets. Our participants have two food restocks (or divies) a week: Tuesday/Staff change, and Friday/Meat Night. Occasionally, we get to do something different, and this last weekend was different.
This past weekend was Easter, and we sent out items that were beyond our standard fare; all groups received Roast Beef, Ham, Tofurkey, Red Potatoes, Carrots, and Dinner Rolls for the holiday feast. For Easter Eggs, we sent out plastic eggs, as well as fresh eggs with commercial dyeing kits and natural dyeing materials (Red onion skins, Yellow onion skins, Red cabbage, Beets, Red Zinger Tea, and Turmeric).
The Wilderness can bring up different meaning about holidays for our participants. They can be a touchstone to remind them of home, a springboard to propel them forward, or just a break in the routine. I remember Easter of 2004 when I was in the field and dyed eggs and had an Easter Egg Hunt with a group of adolescent boys; it was exciting to see them be able to have fun and make different memories in the field. My hope is that holidays in the wilderness can be used to build upon the new tools, skills, and goals that participants can gain during their time at Evoke.
Evoke Therapy Programs is pleased to announce that Evoke at Cascades has received its Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation from the Association of Experiential Education (AEE). As a member of the Outdoor Behavior Healthcare (OBH) Council since 2010, Evoke at Cascades has made a commitment to uphold the OBH Mission, Ethical Standards and Best Practices. This also includes contributing to the collective research of OBH members making up the OBH Research Center, and being OBH Accredited.
This is one of the most common questions parents ask when contemplating a child’s emotional reaction to a Wilderness Therapy or long-term rehab intervention. Often, the questions center around whether the child will forgive, will feel abandoned, or will hate the parent. Will your child forgive you if you take away his car, don't let him back into the house, or don't support him financially? These questions tug deeply at the heart of each parent; nothing is so precious as the relationship with one’s child, and the fear of losing that relationship is truly frightening. Ultimately, the parent is asking about whether or not the child will abandon them. And this fear is evidence of a wound from the parent’s own childhood, one that will require their attention as they press forward with the stated goal of helping their child out of mental health or addiction issues.
When dealing with the rare but brutish winter weather in the field, there’s nothing like hearty, hot stews for comfort and simple self-care! This was a recent hit out at the Oasis. Beef barley stew is simple, traditional Americana fair to warm the body and spirit on a cold night. And, for vegetarians, try tofu and portabella mushrooms in place of steak! Enjoy!
A cairn is a pile of stones or rocks, often used as a trail marker, landmark, or memorial. We use cairns in the field to mark where the group is so we can find it when we go to the field. Wilderness participants also look forward to cairns, as they mark where camp is and represent the end of a hike. On a solo, the cairn represents where staff will come to deliver water, food, or other needs while the young man or woman is reflecting and considering things. Over the course of a stay in Wilderness Therapy, the young person will see and build many cairns which represent a variety of things: starting and ending points, art in general, part of a sculpture of some kind, something done in group while they listen to others, and steps along the journey of their experience. In many ways, research in outdoor behavioral healthcare is like cairns, marking the way, representing steps as we investigate and evaluate this innovative therapeutic intervention.
Beginning in the eighth grade I lived in the spurious bubble of my own mind. I based my priorities on my desire for acceptance from peers. This led to a dangerous lifestyle, and on August 23rd, 2015, my life changed forever. I was sent to Evoke's Wilderness Therapy program in Santa Clara, Utah. Before jumping into this incredible experience, I need to explain what led me here.
Imagine a girl who struggles to connect with others. Imagine this girl afraid and angry. Imagine her longing to be understood but finding it hard to trust. Then picture this girl in a primitive central Oregon desert wilderness therapy program, trying desperately to cling to her defenses. She is hiding in her sleeping bag, curled up like a caterpillar in a cocoon. She is refusing to come out. Field staff and peers in her group have all tried to encourage her out of her cocoon sleeping bag, with no success.
Many of the young people we work with identify the solo experience as one of the more significant interventions during their time in the wilderness. This opportunity often creates some apprehension for the young person as they anticipate the challenge and consider how they will handle this alone time without people or things as distractions. The wilderness represents a break from a person’s lifestyle, and the solo is an additional step away from the daily group therapeutic process to focus further on one’s self. During their time away from group they have the opportunity to sit with themselves in nature, to consider their sense of self in relation to the natural world, consider further their relationships with family and other loved ones, at times do some reading and writing and engage in some meditation and reflection. We find that this experience tends to facilitate growth and development in the treatment and personal awareness with the young adults and adolescents in the program.