In 2003, I became a field instructor at Entrada. I could not have predicted that I would spend the next decade living in Southern Utah and working at the same company, first as an assistant therapist and then as a primary therapist. The truth is that I fell in love with the work and the company. On a weekly basis I had the honor of witnessing profound transformations for young people who initially showed up feeling angry, sad, depressed, anxious, hopeless and the list goes on. I had the privilege of sitting under the stars by a warm fire listening to people courageously tell their story and start to find healing. It often did not feel like work.
Viewing entries tagged with 'empowerment'
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.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude and connection to my clients’ empowerment after I walked up to my group this past Tuesday to begin the week’s therapy sessions. With a few new inches of snow on the group, patches of boot deep mud, and a biting chill in the air, a new wintery environment had finally happened after weeks of unseasonable warmth in Evoke at Entrada’s field area. As I arrived, the clients were stocking wood as a part of a service project at the Oasis. Upon approaching the group, I heard outcries of positivity from many of them. Multiple clients yelled out to me, saying, “Caitlin! We hiked so much this week through tons of snow!” and “This week was so hard! We made it!” with smiles on their faces and strength in their voices as they methodically created a woodpile next to the wood-burning stove in the yurt where they sleep.