Outdoor Therapy

Outdoor Therapy

As well as offering therapy drawn from Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy models, much of my work is based in family therapy and relational models. These models draw heavily on the work of Daniel Stern and the relational therapists, as well as Peter Fonagay’s adaptation of attachment theory through a lens of relational theory.

Both of these theories emphasize a very physical grounding of the body in real experience to reprocess the way that traumatic experiences create “miswirings” or hypervigilant overprotective responses in the brain’s reactions to the environment. Even for kids who have not experienced trauma, sometimes the freedom of talking while walking side by side, (instead of the pressure of talking face to face), and the opportunity to be challenged to run, or balance on logs, to throw leaves in the water or hit trees with sticks, and just be a kid without limits, is a wonderful freeing experience that can open up all sorts of therapeutic connection.

For these reasons, I often go with kids outdoors. From the Areis Building, when the school is not using it, we can walk across to the playground and playfields across from TOPS Elementary. We can also walk a few blocks down the hill and be on the shores of Lake Union, accessible via several pocket parks along the water.

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