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Wilderness Therapy

What is it like to "be" in the wilderness? To hear the wings of the birds as they flap through the sky, to feel the connection to our family, the deer and the trees and all there is? We wouldn’t know, our culture has become so far removed from its roots that it has become sick. We as individuals follow the paths everyone else has created without thinking about what we are doing and who we are. How do we free ourselves from the pathological societal bonds? How do we heal ourselves in a culture that is ill?


My answer is to get away from it, to go back to the source of where it all began: nature. It is there that there are no pressures and expectations running our lives. It is a silent place where we can take a look at what is really going on. In this place of freedom healing can occur in various different ways.


The Native Americans have known all along about the healing power of nature and their practices are ways of forming and deepening relationships with nature. They are able to learn about themselves firsthand through listening to the wisdom that manifests through nature when one is open.


While indigenous peoples use to listen to the earth for their own answers, we listen to what everyone else does. We need to find the courage to choose a way which is different then the norm. We need to get out of our self-centeredness which as come to us via this culture that believes humans to be the center of the earth. Wilderness is a modality that can bring all aspects of self together: mind, body, sprit, and interconnection with nature. This is done through both physical challenge and psychospritual ritual.


The lack of inorganic pressures in wilderness and the forced increase in self dependency and isolation provide an ideal setting for inward self reflection. Thoreau found that through the act of placing one’s self into an environment devoid of unnecessary distractions, one could reach a higher plane of thought and being. This connection allows a better understanding of the surroundings. One may also experience a spiritual humility once they discover their smallness in the grand scheme of events, things and time.


Wilderness can be viewed as a partner in life who mirrors our own depth and richness, supports our growth and at the transpersonal level is a part of us. I have found that one approach to healing is to take some time to accept nature as sacred and as a mirror of ourselves. Looking at the symbolism in everything around you, tapping into what parts of yourself are being represented there and what are they trying to tell you.


If interested in psychotherapy in a wilderness setting for individuals or groups, please contact Monique Rees at [email protected] or 303-641-6773.

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