Recently, I was playing catch with my two-year-old daughter, which is one of her favorite games lately. I’m hoping I can get a lacrosse stick in her hands before her next birthday. One of my throws was a bit too high and “Bonk” it bounced off her head. The look of shock on her face quickly melted into tears welling up in her adorable blue eyes. It is amazing how fast children learn the concept of secondary emotions, because soon after her hurt came the anger. A series of forceful one-liners: “No, No, No” erupted from her pursed lips. Then she attempted to walk past me and go to her room, which she’s learned to do in the process of her own emotion regulation. It’s a place for her to calm herself in her own space.
Viewing entries tagged with 'psychological theory '
Research indicates that adopted adolescents are at higher risk in areas including school achievement and problems, substance use, psychological well-being, physical health, fighting, and lying to parents.While adoptees account for 2% of the child population in the US. (US Census, 2000), they account for roughly 18% of Second Nature’s recent outcome study sample. This difference in percentage calls attention to this population and the need to better understand their treatment needs and investigate how wilderness treatment addresses these needs.
Does the question ever come up: “is my lil’ girl too delicate or fragile for the woods?” Great question! Girls (and women) in our society are often portrayed as weak, defenseless, helpless, and above all, vulnerable! In a recent Second Nature blog post Sabrina Hadeed explored the vulnerability and strength of young women (Girls Daring Greatly: Elements of vulnerability and strength in a therapeutic wilderness setting). I believe that her post opens an extremely important conversation about the value and power of a wilderness experience in the lives of young women. I propose to continue this discussion forward as we examine how society’s beliefs are crippling and marginalizing young women, and the role that wilderness can play in restoring dignity and identity. I invite YOU to join in this conversation.
“Don’t ask the world what it wants from you, ask yourself what makes you come to life. Because what the world really needs are more people who have come to life.”
When discussing the idea of girls in the wilderness, the topic of vulnerability comes up a lot. Often it is in the context of how girls are vulnerable in fragile ways that we often want to protect or tuck away. However, having been a teenage girl myself and having worked as a therapist now for 8 years – I can confidently say that vulnerability among girls in the wilderness has more to do with courage and resilience than anything else.
Recently, I have been incorporating Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with the students. DBT as a treatment method was conceived and developed by Marsha Linehan, who was at different times in her life diagnosed as having both schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. Despite being committed to a secure psychiatric facility, several suicide attempts, and her very real mental health challenges, she was determined to develop treatments to help those who suffered as she did. She eventually earned her doctorate and became a clinician and researcher. For more on Dr. Linehan’s personal story, you can read this New York Times article on her from 2011:
Irvin Yalom1 identified eleven factors that contribute to healthy functioning in group therapy, which therapists may use to facilitate meaningful and effective interventions. Application of these factors to the Wilderness Therapy experience allows clinicians to both understand Wilderness Therapy on a more sophisticated level and to design interventions that serve to highlight or develop any of the factors.