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138: Cindy Ross, author of "Walking Toward Peace-Veterans Healing on America's Trails"

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Release Date: 08/18/2021

141: Philip Stallard, Founder of New Wave Wild Project in Ireland show art 141: Philip Stallard, Founder of New Wave Wild Project in Ireland

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Phil Stallard is the founder of the New Wave Wild Project in Ireland. Philip is the first person outside of the U.S. to become a Certified Clinical Adventure Therapist. Philip's journey into the field was filled was paved with the intention of legitimizing the Adventure Therapy profession in Ireland. He shares his story of how he became interested in the field and why he choose to become a clinical social worker. He goes into the evolution of New Wave and why he was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year.

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140: Harpa Erlendsdottir: Manager of the Icelandic Adventure Therapy Association. show art 140: Harpa Erlendsdottir: Manager of the Icelandic Adventure Therapy Association.

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Harpa Erlendsdottir is a clinical occupational therapist and the General Manager of the Icelandic Adventure Therapy Association. Growing up in the majestic beauty of Iceland inspired Harpa to become involved in the field. She shares her story of being involved in Scouting and learning about Experiential Education. She would travel to the U.S. to take a course at Project Adventure to learn more. She shares stories about her experiences in the field and the Gathering of Adventure Therapists in Europe.

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139: Andy Hardie: Clinical Manager at Venture Trust in the United Kingdom show art 139: Andy Hardie: Clinical Manager at Venture Trust in the United Kingdom

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Andy Hardie is the Clinical Manager of Venture Trust in the United Kingdom. Andy shares his journey into the field, which began when heading to the only university that accepted him to study Outdoor Leadership. He would go onto work at the original Outward Bound school. Andy shares how Venture Trust began as a 21-day “boot camp” style wilderness therapy program and has evolved to be a social change agent, including providing Outdoor Therapy for free to young people age 16-25 and ex-service members.

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138: Cindy Ross, author of 138: Cindy Ross, author of "Walking Toward Peace-Veterans Healing on America's Trails"

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Cindy Ross is the author of the new book, "Walking Toward Peace- Veterans Healing on America's Trails," which profiles combat veterans who found healing through the outdoors as well as long-distance expeditions. She shares her journey of writing the book and what she learned from veterans.

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137: Jorge Venceslau, Co-founder of Age of Discoveries in Portugal. show art 137: Jorge Venceslau, Co-founder of Age of Discoveries in Portugal.

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Jorge Venceslau is the program director and co-founder of Age of Discoveries, located in Portugal. Jorge's journey into the field began in his early 20's when he struggled with several issues and found wilderness to be a place of healing. He would become a recovery coach and worked in programs worldwide, including The Crossroads Center in Antigua. He always dreamed of starting his own program, and in this episode, he shares the joys and challenges of creating the first adventure therapy program in Portugal

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136: Dr. Virginie Gargano, Founder of Dehors and Professor of Social Work show art 136: Dr. Virginie Gargano, Founder of Dehors and Professor of Social Work

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Dr. Virginie Gargano is the founder of Dehors an adventure therapy training program located in Quebec, Canada. She is also a professor of Social Work at Université Laval and is a researcher, teacher, and practitioner of adventure therapy. Virginie shares her journey from being a guide at a program that worked with adjudicated youth in the outdoors to going on to get her Masters and Doctorate in Social Work. Virginie also shares her involvement in the International Adventure Therapy Conference and much more

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135: Graham Pringle, Program Director of Youth Flourish Outdoors in Australia show art 135: Graham Pringle, Program Director of Youth Flourish Outdoors in Australia

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Graham Pringle is the program director at Youth Flourish Outdoors (YFO) in Australia. Graham shares his story of how he became involved in outdoor therapy after a stint in the military and why it is referred to as Bush Adventure Therapy. Graham compares the similarities and differences in how outdoor therapies are practiced in his country versus the US. He shares how YFO works with traumatized youth in outdoor adventure settings as well as how the organization functions with little government support.

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134: Ray Burke: Founder and CEO of Active Connections in Ireland show art 134: Ray Burke: Founder and CEO of Active Connections in Ireland

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Ray Burke is the founder of Active Connections in Ireland. Ray shares his story of growing up in Dublin and finding solace in the woods from the challenges of the city. He would venture to the US to work at summer camps and Outward Bound in Oregon. He learned about wilderness therapy at Catherine Freer Wilderness and returned to Ireland for more education so he could bring adventure therapy home. Ray tells the story of starting Active Connections over a decade ago to help transform lives through adventure.

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133: Natalia Ruiz de Cortázar Gracia : Psychologist and General Director of Experientia in Spain show art 133: Natalia Ruiz de Cortázar Gracia : Psychologist and General Director of Experientia in Spain

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Natalia Ruiz de Cortázar Gracia is a psychologist and general director of Experientia located in Spain. Natalia shares how she first heard about wilderness therapy when she was a graduate student in the U.S. and describes how she worked at Wingate and Anasazi. After two years she returned to Spain to work at Experientia. Natalia describes how Experientia is helping young people with mental health challenges with outdoor treatment as well as differences and similarities between the U.S. and Spanish models.

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132: Research:Transporting Young People to Wilderness: Part 2 show art 132: Research:Transporting Young People to Wilderness: Part 2

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

This second research episode examines a recently published qualitative study regarding transporting teens to wilderness therapy programs with the researcher Dr. Will Dobud, an affiliated research scientist at the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center at the UNH. The study is titled "Experiences of secure transport in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare- A Narrative Inquiry." Dr. Dobud talks about this study through a social work and a trauma-informed lens and shares its implications for the field.

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More Episodes

Cindy Ross is the author of the new book, "Walking Toward Peace- Veterans Healing on America's Trails," which profiles combat veterans who found healing through the outdoors as well as long-distance expeditions. She shares her journey of writing the book and what she learned from veterans.
Cindy Ross has written numerous articles and books, including "The World is Our Classroom- How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education" and "A Woman's Journey on the Appalachian Trail."

 

Bio from Cindy's Website

In April 2021, Walking Toward Peace- Veterans Healing on America’s Trails, The Mountaineers Books, Seattle, will be released. The veterans’ portraits were created by her son, Bryce Gladfelter.

Walking Toward Peace shares the intimate stories of veterans who, post-deployment, have wrestled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Through a process called “ecotherapy,” spending time in nature to promote healing and mental health, they have found new tools to deal with issues that have resulted from combat experiences: survivor’s guilt, nightmares, lack of trust, depression, hypervigilance, thoughts of suicide, and lack of purpose. Some veterans profiled here have gone to extremes, spending months on long-distance expeditions, like hiking the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail or canoeing the 2,320-mile Mississippi River. For many others, however, brief excursions in the outdoors offer an opportunity for healing. Author Cindy Ross examines current research and perspectives of professional therapists and provides information on organizations devoted to healing veterans in the outdoors. Each featured veteran is depicted in an illustrated portrait.

Veterans share their stories, frequently as they sit by a campfire, describing wartime traumas and their present lives. Through their collective voices what becomes clear is that anyone suffering from any form of PTSD may discover the powerful comfort and healing that can be found in the outdoors.

Cindy and Her family

Cindy lives near the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania with her husband, Todd in a log home they built themselves from raw trees. They grow much of their own food on their rural property.

As a family, besides the Continental Divide Trail, they have traveled to Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe hiking, cycling and paddling and have traveled extensively throughout the US.

Besides Cindy’s nine published books, she has written over 1,000 magazine articles for such national magazines as Outside, Backpacker, Paddler, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Outdoor Life, Canoe & Kayak, Adventure Cyclist, Sailing, Wooden Boat, Scouting, Native Peoples, etc. Travel stories in newspapers include The LA Times, The San Francisco Examiner, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, etc.

Cindy has appeared on Philadelphia’s NBC “The 10 Show;” Philadelphia’s ABC “Sunday Live”; NYC’s CBS News “Up to the Minute;” NYC’s Channel 11Warner Bros., “The Morning News,” and Denver’s CBS. Her family and llamas were featured on a half-hour show on Animal Planet, called “Pet Story.”