Week 1 Readings

I thought the overall message of the two articles was how to adapt to the ever changing world. Within the articles I was struck by multiple phrases in We need Imagination Now More Than Ever that resonated with adventure education. the authors wrote about the need of play and risk.

Those are two corner stone of what I see lacking in our society. I am not the best at always getting in play and taking risks, but when I do I find that I’ve made great strides in growth. they wrote that “dealing with real risks involves taking imaginative risks, which requires hope.” Having that hope to step out of your comfort stone is huge and part of wilderness therapy is first establishing trust so that the hope doesn’t get squashed. Often, you hear about needing to create a safe space and what we are doing is really making a space for hope. A space where a set back doesn’t cause you to lose hope, where you feel allowed to fail and still make progress. Risk is a concept that is ever present, but each of my fields of study categorizes risk differently. Interdisciplinary studies has offered the opportunity to be creative in my program design and in how I want to view risk. It has allowed me to learn multiple conceptualizations of risk. I’ve learned of healthy risk and minimizing risk for participants in adventure ed. and I’ve learned how we are ethically responsible to not expose people to undue risks from a research study.

I also found the list of potential challenges insightful and reflective of my own thoughts. In my program something I’ve been asked and thought about is how to make it legitimate. I want therapeutic experiences with nature to be common place and available, so how do we present and prove our claims of success for insurance companies, government agencies, and our participants? I’ve just listed four interested parties with personal stakes in therapy, but I have yet to include all those interested in the outcomes and procedures of the therapy. Already, I can see a group of 10 or more made up of those with an interest in wilderness therapy.

Many Brains are better than one… brings forth an important question of reevaluating how we determine how to fund and report research projects. As someone steeped in “soft” sciences, I am in favor of redistributing the criteria for a valuing a research study. I think one of the largest hurdles is that nothing can be claimed as a law of psychology. We deal with diverse individuals who come with a variety background factors that makes it impossible to exactly predict how an individual will behave. Unlike the laws of physics, we don’t have the benefit of a common starting point, everyone is unique. I understand why it’s hard to validate a finding that doesn’t have 100% assurance but we need to look at individual rather than the treatment given to the individual.