Collaborative Information Site

Mental Health

Field Instructor Training – August 16th to 22nd

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Thank you for your interest in Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. We are a licensed treatment program that uses the wilderness setting to provide a clinically-focused intervention, teaching clients accountability, communication skills and healthy emotional and behavioral habits. BRTW’s main office is in Clayton, GA, in the southern Appalachian Mountains and borders the Chattahoochee and Nantahala National Forests. Clayton is conveniently located between Atlanta, GA, and Asheville, NC.

We are currently looking to fill the position(s) of Field Instructor. Qualified individuals will be asked to go on a week-long training.

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The question: why do we bow drill?

I have been thinking about this question for a while. After four years in the field, hundreds of personal embers and who knows how many more witnessed, you would think it would be easy for me to answer that question. I have been a long-term proponent of bow drilling because I have seen it work miracles. I have seen tears of anger, joy, and triumph. I have seen bows broken in rage and then re-crafted with delicate care and love. Of all of the things we do out there in the woods, nothing can elicit the full range of emotions quite like bow drilling.

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What is self-esteem?

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Self-esteem can be broken down into 2 words: self and esteem. Translation: How do you esteem yourself? Or more simply, how do you judge, regard, feel about, perceive, love or value yourself? This includes personal introspection about your character, qualities, talents, social skills, and body.

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The question: why do we bow drill?

I have been thinking about this question for a while. After four years in the field, hundreds of personal embers and who knows how many more witnessed, you would think it would be easy for me to answer that question. I have been a long-term proponent of bow drilling because I have seen it work miracles. I have seen tears of anger, joy, and triumph. I have seen bows broken in rage and then re-crafted with delicate care and love. Of all of the things we do out there in the woods, nothing can elicit the full range of emotions quite like bow drilling.

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Bilateral Stimulation in Wilderness Therapy: Treating Trauma, Grief, and Shame in Adolescent Boys

As my training in EMDR was coming to a close, I had an interesting conversation with one of the primary facilitators, Frank. He described his efforts to bring EMDR treatment into public schools. He spoke with conviction about the need for and potential benefits of this treatment for children, and he lamented the opposition he’d encountered. Some of the students were very resistant, and this paled in comparison to parents who thought the protocol looked a lot like hypnosis. Though frustrated by this, Frank smiled as he described the solution he’d devised. Proudly, Frank displayed a toy ball that flashed when he slammed it against the table.

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Bilateral Stimulation in Wilderness Therapy: Treating Trauma, Grief, and Shame in Adolescent Boys

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As stated by EMDR Institute, Inc., “EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.”  In sessions, clients shift patterns of avoidance and explore their memories and interpretations of past events. In between sets of eye movements, the therapist checks in with the client to follow how they are reprocessing the events and guide the client further. Typically, through EMDR, negative beliefs about self decrease and, following this, positive thoughts and perspectives are strengthened.

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Field Instructor Training – May 17th to 23rd

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Thank you for your interest in Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. We are a licensed treatment program that uses the wilderness setting to provide a clinically-focused intervention, teaching clients accountability, communication skills and healthy emotional and behavioral habits. BRTW’s main office is in Clayton, GA, in the southern Appalachian Mountains and borders the Chattahoochee and Nantahala National Forests. Clayton is conveniently located between Atlanta, GA, and Asheville, NC.

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Field Instructor Training – April 5th to April 11th

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Thank you for your interest in Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. We are a licensed treatment program that uses the wilderness setting to provide a clinically-focused intervention, teaching clients accountability, communication skills and healthy emotional and behavioral habits. BRTW’s main office is in Clayton, GA, in the southern Appalachian Mountains and borders the Chattahoochee and Nantahala National Forests. Clayton is conveniently located between Atlanta, GA, and Asheville, NC.

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Nomadic Wilderness as a Relational Model of Healing Substance Use

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I have worked in a multitude of treatment settings from sober living communities, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, a university, and most recently found myself in a new container: the wilderness. I assumed that this treatment modality would be similar to the other environments I have worked in, only, it was doing therapy out in the woods. It had been a long time since I thought about how being outside unquestionably impacted my childhood. However, it didn't take long for me to remember just how profound a connection to the wilderness can be. I see this vital relationship to the outdoors forming in my students, and I know that they are learning so much from it, just as I have.

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You are Murdering My Childhood

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Between the ages of 9 and 12, Scotty’s life took a new path and no longer was he the carefree boy who would try anything without fear. No longer was he a dreamer of his future; instead he wanted to escape reality and live in Middle Earth. The blonde-haired, green-eyed boy with a heart and soul of kindness was angry, resentful, rebellious and putting on weight rapidly. We brushed it off as puberty, and I am sure part of it was, but I knew there was something deeper happening. I just didn’t understand it all. Why should I? I’ve never been depressed; I don’t understand the lure of that deep bottomless pit of despair. Instead, I live in the thought that the world is my oyster and full of possibilities. Why oh why did God give me children who see the world and life so differently from me? I don’t feel equipped. Now what?!

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