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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

'The Art & Science of Natural Awareness'

Regarding the lack of empirical evidence into alternative and spiritual aspects of recovery in wilderness-therapy, perhaps with future research Natural-Awareness can in a small way close the gap on this so called grey-literature.

Miller (1998) states that in terms of spirituality to “…Simply ignore a… potential source of healing violates both scientific curiosity and professional responsibility”, he continues by challenging the academic and spiritual community by stating, “…It is time to question and reverse the assumption that spiritual variables are taboo for scientists and therapists, or that scientific methods cannot possibly shed light on spirituality (p. 987).

Miller, W. R. (1998). Researching the spiritual dimensions of alcohol and other drug problems. Addiction, 93, (7), 979-990.

To this end my friend Barry and I have put together a programme for people with addiction's and behavioral problems the programme is called.

'The Art & Science of Natural Awareness'

Our first workshop was a great success and will be repeated this March with the same Rehab. Each workshop will build on the previous one and the people who attended the first one will return and help to support the next group through. We will also be teaching them some wilderness-living-skills in preparation for going into the wilderness.

Below are just some of the quotes from that weekend.

Quote from TM:

“We started with Chi Gong and emotions began to flow. They were then settled by meditation before beginning the exercise to “find our tree”. Connecting with the woodland was by far my favourite task. The sense of achievement in being able to feel my way around this environment blindfolded and return to a safe place by the tree I had first been shown was exhilarating. After every task we had had opportunities to sit around and check in which gave everyone the chance to acknowledge their feelings while so far out of their comfort zone.

My weekend was full of kindness and support, and gave me a chance to challenge my ability to stay present, open and hopeful in a challenging environment. There were people there with different addictions but all of us had unreasonable fear in common. This weekend put us in situations such as walking blindfolded in the woods at night, where we could practice sitting with those fears knowing that help was only a whisper away. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, made some new friends and came home with a feeling of real accomplishment.”

Feedback from Mandy Saligari, Director of Charter Day Care:

“We were absolutely thrilled with the work that our clients had achieved over the weekend with Pathfinder-UK, and have now incorporated a natural awareness weekend experience into our treatment programme on a regular basis.

The work that Geoffrey and Barry are able to achieve over such a short space of time is incredible: our clients returned emotionally and spiritually recharged, with a greater connection to their higher power, more fully alive to their own potential, better able to trust themselves.

Best of all, every one without exception had made a significant breakthrough in terms of their specific issues in recovery which we were able to build on in our groups with great results.

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