Wilderness Therapy

Heard of the word? Neither had I until recently when I took a group of clients on an “Off the Grid” hiking trip into the alpine coast mountains, 12 hrs North West of Vancouver British Columbia Canada.

The magical place we went to is called Nuk Tessli and is owned by Doran Erel the 45th person ever and 1st Israeli to climb Mount Everest. To say this place is remote is an understatement. No roads, no electricity, no running water, no phones (almost) and no other people (besides us and Doran’s team of volunteers and family). A flout plane (the oldest De Havilland Beaver that breaks a world record every time its fly’s) gets you in and out of Nuk Tessli and for 7 days we walked, canoed, yarned, laughed, looked for Grizzy bears around every corner and reconnected with ourselves and the environment without the distractions that we tend to have in our everyday life.

It was fascinating to see Doran and his team of volunteers work as their own subsistence community, building new additions to their log cabins using basic equipment, making and baking their own bread, catching trout from the pristine lake to cook for our dinner. Making do with what they had, simple but very efficient and effective. I can tell you we did not go hungry and we can learn a lot from doing these types of trips.

I ran into one of my client’s colleagues after we got back and he noted how much more “Brian’s” frown lines on his forehead had disappeared during their monthly board meeting before he remembered that he had been away for some “Wilderness therapy”.

These types wild therapy set ups are starting to happen here as well with many therapists ditching the traditional couch and 4 walls approach and taking clients on walk and talk sessions, art therapy and like we just did, bush adventure therapy trips.

My ethos of using exercise as medicine for both physical and mental wellbeing is combined with this type of trip, reducing anxiety, it improves depression and is also helpful with better sleep patterns. With no TV, phones or internet it’s amazing how much clearer and de-clutted the mind can get.

Any takers for my next Wilderness therapy trip?

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