Judith Herman, author of Trauma and Recovery wrote; “Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure.” These wise and astute statements so vividly describe the experience for an individual entering wilderness therapy at Evoke, particularly one who has experienced trauma and is in the process of recovery.
Viewing entries posted in 2016
I worked for 11 months as a field staff before becoming a Wilderness Therapist. As a member of the field staff team, I have memories of the therapists coming into the groups and shaking things up after we developed a rhythm within our group for the week. At the time, I did not understand this approach. Why leave students feeling sad or upset, letting them deal with these feelings on their own?
At Evoke, we practice family communication through letter writing. One of the reasons we do this is the obvious lack of technology that our participants have in the wilderness – they are free of the usual convenience of texting, messaging, emailing and social media. Instead, they are left with pen and paper, and therefore, are only able to communicate with their loved ones through handwritten letters. Because of this, families have to respond through letter writing as well.
It was just over five years ago when I attended the personal growth workshop that would change and shape my life going forward. For me, it was a crossroads in an inescapable torrent of anxiety and confusion. For others in attendance, it was time to refuel and reassess the direction in their lives. We all came together with the belief that we had work to do. I came to it after many years of outpatient work with a gifted therapist, while others came as an initial foray into their own personal work. In either case, what was promised was, “You will get out of it exactly what you need.”