Wilderness Therapy for Women offers women risktaking adventure activities in the outdoors as an alternative to traditional therapy. The contributing authors illustrate the empowerment, confidence, and self-esteem women can derive from adventure and experiential activities. This is the first book of its kind devoted to the symbolic value of wilderness accomplishments to women’s mental health.
Wilderness Therapy for Women unites women with nature and each other by lifting the social constraints surrounding women in adventure pursuits. It offers women a new method of healing while developing an appreciation for the uniqueness of the environment. Daring experiences in the outdoors rekindles a sense of strength and a respect for the provider of that strength. A therapeutic experience from the outdoors provides women with an awareness of their capabilities to strengthen and preserve themselves and their surroundings. This book is divided into four parts: Theoretical Perspectives, Wilderness Therapy in Action, Special Populations, and Personal Narratives. Readers will find many topics of interest including:
Body image and wilderness therapy
The therapeutic value of the wilderness
Ethical considerations of experiential therapy
Ropes courses for women
All-women’s river trips
Special populations: rape and incest survivors, welfare mothers, and mid-life women.
Intended as a guide book, Wilderness Therapy for Women is ideal for mental health professionals who are either practicing wilderness therapy or merely inquisitive about it. Outfitters and professional outdoor leaders will benefit from chapters on theory, applications, and special populations. Outdoor program administrators and educators who must remain on the cutting edge of their industry will also profit from this book.
Reviews: “Primarily for those dealing with the psychological wellbeing of women and the use of wilderness and adventure therapies in their roles as counsellors, outdoor educators, or both. . . . Accessible not only to the professional but also to general readers. It is likely to appeal especially to women who already enjoy the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure pursuits in their leisure time.”
Journal of Family Studies
“There’s an undeniable excitement in these pages about the thrilling satisfaction of meeting challenges in the physical world, the world outside our cities that is unfamiliar, uneasy territory for many women. If you’re interested at all in the subject, this book is well worth your time. It’s another step forward in understanding more about therapeutic change and about women and our possibilities.”
Psychology of Women Quarterly
“New ideas abound here about the healing and challenging power of nature to invite women to greater awareness, confidence, and skills.”
“This ground-breaking, one-of-a-kind book deals with the special rewards of outdoor adventure, risk-taking, and wilderness experiences for women. . . . As a licensed Adirondack wilderness guide, I have long recognized the boost to self-reliance, self-confidence, and general health that our excursions bring to women. Now, the authors present proof of the liberating and empowering value of wilderness therapy.”
Dr. Anne LaBastille, Wildlife Ecologist and Author, Woodswoman, Beyond Black Bear Lake, and Women and Wilderness; Resides at the edge of the Adirondack wilderness
“Will be thoroughly enjoyed by professionals who work with women’s groups in adventure programs. It is a heartfelt anthology of how wilderness activities provide transformational experiences for women. . . . REQUIRED READING FOR THOSE PROGRAMS AND STAFF WORKING WITH WOMEN SURVIVORS OF INCEST AND RAPE.”
Michael A. Gass, PhD, Coordinator, Outdoor Education Program, Chair, Department of Kinesiology, School of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire
Contents: Contents Introduction
I. Theoretical Perspectives
Wilderness Therapy: What Makes It Empowering for Women?
Self Control: The Key to Adventure? Towards a Model of the Adventure Experience
Transforming Body Image Through Women’s Wilderness Experiences
Ethical Considerations in Adventure Therapy: A Feminist Critique
II. Wilderness Therapy in Action
The Wilderness Solo: An Empowering Growth Experience for Women
Women on the Ropes: Change Through Challenge
Building Self-Efficacy Through Women-Centered Ropes Course Experiences
What is the Therapeutic Value of Camping for Emotionally Disturbed Girls?
Equine Psychotherapy: Worth More Than Just a Horse Laugh
III. Special Populations
Two Bears, Dancing: A Mid-Life Vision Quest
Therapeutic Considerations of Wilderness Experiences for Incest and Rape Survivors
Breaking Through Barriers: Wilderness Therapy for Sexual Assault Survivors
Women’s Adventure Group: Experiential Therapy in an HMO Setting
So . . . What Does Rock Climbing Have to Do With Career Planning?
IV: Voices of Experience: Personal Narratives
When I Reach the Place I’m Goin’, I Will Surely Know My Way
Climbing for My Life
After the Next Full Moon
A New Generation of Women in the Wilderness
Reference Notes Included
from the publisher's website