“The scientific community says the health benefits of Nature Connection is an emerging science. I would say that it is an ancient wisdom, and that it is therapy on the couch that is the emerging science and we should start studying the consequences of this type of thinking” -Derek Daley
From an evolutionary perspective, a strong connection to nature as a health benefit should be no surprise. We have evolved for more than 2 million years, yet have lived relatively insulated from nature for only a fraction of that time.
According to recent NIH funded studies "The human connection to nature and the idea that this might be a very component of good health". Really? Should we be surprised that by taking children outside they become more resilient, or that by taking people who are stressed and anxious into nature they experience tangible health benefits or how about that if we take people suffering from addiction deep into the wilderness that they heal and become inspired? Or should we find it surprising that most of our healthcare system is built to treat people inside four walls and often sitting on a couch.
On the OBH Council website you can find Wilderness Therapy described as is the prescriptive use of wilderness experiences by licensed mental health professionals to meet the therapeutic needs of clients. At Legacy we are also an accredited Outdoor Behavioral healthcare program, and often use the term Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare or OBH. We expect our guides to be OBH Professionals.
At Legacy Wilderness Therapy (OBH) consists of:
1. Extended back-country wilderness experiences with the establishment of treatment goals and ongoing clinical assessment.
2. Active and direct use of clients’ participation and responsibility in their therapeutic process. (LSP and weekly therapy assignments)
3. Continuous group-living and regular formal group therapy sessions to foster teamwork and social interactions (excluding solo experiences),
4. Individual therapy and mentor sessions.
5. Adventure experiences utilized to appropriately enhance treatment by fostering the development of eustress (i.e., the positive use of stress) as a beneficial element in the therapeutic experience,
6. The use of nature in reality as well as a metaphor within the therapeutic process.
7. A strong ethic of care and support throughout the therapeutic experience.
In the video Derek teaches his children the ancient art of bow drill and a fundamental way to connect to the healing power of the wilderness.