Art therapy is one of many approaches New Vision Wilderness offers to aid in the therapeutic process. Art therapy uses the creative practice of art making combined with treatment goals to improve and enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Art provides a non-verbal outlet of expression that aids in non-threatening communication and provides a tangible product for exploration. Art created in the wilderness setting can be a different kind of forum for communication and a platform for interaction with their natural surroundings. Various projects shared between therapist and students provide increased exploration of core issues and aid in breaking down barriers to change. Art therapy projects yield increased communication, self-discovery, and personal growth.
Projects are created individually and in groups, such as: collage directives, self metaphors in photography, drawing, mask-making, poetry, sculpture, bead-making, body tracing, journal-making, and nature sculptures.
When art therapy is combined with Wilderness Therapy, it provides visual evidence of progress in the healing process. This technique provides a tangible project for exploration, challenges rigid ways of thinking, and increases motivation for positive change.
Gardening brings the joy of eating healthy vegetables straight out of the ground into the wilderness experience. The garden provides NVW participants with needed nutrition, knowledge on how to tend to the earth, and the opportunity to work on something that provides delayed and sometimes instant gratification. The spirit of giving and the metaphorical messages of internal versus external motivations are understood through our therapeutic gardening.
NVW strategically uses the gardening experience in conjunction with treatment plans and therapeutic goals of the individual participants. The garden can assist in therapeutic breakthroughs and is often a highlight of an individuals journey. Clients have the opportunity to grow their own food, gain satisfaction from providing for their group, and plant for future participants to come. The garden is a powerful tool that aids in the nutritional health of our clients; furthermore, it can be a component of the individual healing quest our participants are on.
The garden is a safe place to do family therapy or guided visualizations with one of our lead therapists. When gardening is combined with wilderness therapy, the client responds to the therapy based on a holistic approach that links the mind, body, and earth together to foster positive change and healing.
New Vision Wilderness emphasizes individual healing through the mind, body, and spirit connection. NVW Body and Somatic Awareness programming, developed by a certified instructor, ties in breathing techniques and other mind/body therapies that NVW supports. NVW utilizes mind and body work to heal trauma victims, create additional coping techniques, and further connect the physical self with core emotional release. Body and Somatic Awareness or Yoga programs are available to NVW clients for individual study and mastery. Stretching and guided visualizations are incorporated into the group milieu and structured by our field instructors or therapists. The collaborative approach to healing allows participants to thrive and explore growth while addressing multiple intelligences including physical awareness.
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