We’re getting lots of requests for training and presentations. DB has been secured to teach the trek leaders for Alaska Geographic http://www.alaskageographic.org and is finishing his avalanche trainings for the North America Outdoor Institute http://www.aknaoi.org
As a Master Counselor, DB is taking on a number of trainees, and serving on a number of graduate thesis committees. Summer is coming!
Email us for information on upcoming adventures…
Hey there! It’s been a great season for me, as it stands as the culmination of over a decade of work within wilderness and adventure therapy. This fall I have been fortunate to present at NAOI, gain NCC & DCC credentials, become a certified Master Counselor with NATWC, get a cover story in Counseling Today magazine, and move the wilderness therapy leadership skills series forward. It just goes to show that you need to DO what you BELIEVE. Keep doing it. Eventually, it’ll pan out. Be singleminded in your vision. Take in the good, the bad, and keep MOVING FORWARD!
Here’s a copy of the WOW APU website noting the NATWC Master Counselor certification for DB Palmer:
Alaska Pacific University’s Director of Counseling & Wellness Center has been heating up the scene in Anchorage, Alaska. DB Palmer’s office is part of the Student Services division of Alaska Pacific University. He recently attained the highest certification, that of Master Counselor, by the National Association of Therapeutic Wilderness Camping (NATWC). Regarding the Master Counselor certification, DB noted,
“The application covers areas such as wilderness skills, primitive skills and crafts, graduate and post-graduate education in allied mental health, licensure, presentation/publication, adventure leadership skills, guiding experience, wilderness medicine, and reflects the culmination of over a decade of service to at-risk youth, young adults, and families. I am honored to have received this credential and to have a career with such diversity and challenge!”
DB has received great press from his Wilderness Therapy Leadership Skills Retreat Series, which is featured on the APU website. These retreats are geared for students as well as specific practitioner sessions. DB is a regular figure at national and regional association meetings such as the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) where he has presented numerous times on the evidence base and other clinical aspects of wilderness therapy, and the Snow Safety Conference of the North America Outdoor Institute (NAOI), where he presented on “Human factors that influence decision making”, specifically focused toward avalanche safety professionals and the public. DB is an Alaska licensed professional counselor as well as a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology. His dissertation, which is currently in process, is related to Parent-Factors within Wilderness Therapy.
DB’s current projects include program development at APU, especially in regard to leadership programming for high school graduates of NATSAP, NATWC, and similar programs that choose to attend the university. Here’s what DB has to say to potential freshman and transfer students who are about to graduate from these programs:
“The personal journey that you have taken, or are completing now, involved a lot of soul-searching and work. You will find that at APU, many of us, both students and employees have taken similar journeys. We have taken the time to ask the tough questions. We have looked at the world, our choices, our connection to the environment, and many of us have come to Alaska to seek a mechanism to address these issues.
So whether you are still debating about your university of choice, or you are trying to convince a parent or guardian that APU is the right place for you; I am available to assist in the transition from your school/program. I am available via email and phone, and I would love to meet with you during a campus visit or during orientation. Let me know how we can get you plugged in at APU, and we will see you next semester!
For students, counselors, and anyone seeking to learn more about the latest at APU, or to stay in touch with DB Palmer’s continuing work, you can check out: www.alaskapacific.edu
Greta Palmer, M.A. Fitness & Family Life Coach
Well, it’s finally posted on Counseling Today Magazine! A little story with yours truly, featuring Alaska Pacific University and ABC Family Therapy. http://ct.counseling.org/2011/12/getting-off-the-couch-2/
I’ve been chatting quite a bit with Lynne Shallcross, Senior writer for Counseling Today magazine, the publication of American Counseling Association. Our conversation started when Lynne asked me about the nuts and bolts of Active Sessions, something I’ve developed at Alaska Pacific University, as well as in my own private practice.
Now, active interventions (or active sessions) are not new. Outward Bound is what many of us think about when we talk about wilderness therapy, and for good reason. Kurt Hahn, OB founder, began the biggest push toward reconnecting youth with the power of actively engaging youth through their experiences in the wilderness. This model has existed since the 1960s and continues to be refined. But even further back, the great thinkers, such as Socrates, recognized that mental fitness is not separate from physical fitness.
The Child and Nature Network, whom I’ve been involved with for a while now, mostly in shared vision but also in looking at programming, provides a wealth of research addressing the prevalence of Nature Deficit Disorder.
Active Sessions, as they are being defined, are counseling sessions which involve an active component. These components include: walking, running, nordic skiing, and hiking (as well as other ideas, I’m sure). These sessions engage individuals (and the psychotherapist) in ways that can be incredibly helpful to the therapy process. For some individuals, active sessions are the best possible choice. Almost anyone can be a candidate for active sessions, in fact.
But isn’t this different than sitting in the chair? YES!
The differences are notable for the clinician, and practitioners who are considering adding active sessions into their repetoire must take the time to get properly trained, as in any other specialty or method.
In my conversations with Lynne of Counseling Today, we discussed a lot of these differences… what does it take to offer active sessions? Who can do these? What client issues are appropriate? How do you handle confidentiality? These are great questions, and questions that must be asked well before considering this as a modality for your clients.
To assist counselors and people who are interested in active sessions, I’ll be increasing my offerings of professional workshops and classes, usually only offered for university functions and my own clients.
So… be on the lookout! I’ll be adding techniques, tips, and ideas for implementation. I’ll also be adding schedules for workshops, conversation points, and other tidbits.
Get active, keep thinking, and stay fit, mentally and physically!
The Chronicle of Higher Education, to which most of us academics subscribe, has released an article on the anti-depressant effect of physical exercise. What’s most surprising, so far, is that there are NO detracting statements in the posts that follow. I mean… in the world of academia, and certainly within this site (CHE), the strings of posts that desparage the contributing writer tend to go on and on, ad nauseum…
Regular, Brief exercise is shown to improve mental health.
In a show of good taste, and apparently, (insert shocked tone) in consensus, the academics have weighed in of one voice.
In the months to come, I will be focusing on transitioning to winter exercise, mental health aspects, and our upcoming adventure options.
Stay healthy and active!
While I generally deplore major media’s discourse on anything to do with mental health, counseling, and psychology as pop psychology, at best, and blatant marketing by the psychopharma industry; there are infrequent moments of clarity in major medicine and media. In the continuing saga of the slowly awakening medical community, the Washington Post has released an article noting that
The Green Prescription
Medical Doctors are now, in part, recognizing the inherent and curative power of wilderness and green space.
“Forget Tylenol. Your pediatrician might prescribe a walk in the woods.
The National Park Service initiative called “prescribing parks.”may soon arrive locally. “The idea is to involve the medical community in encouraging families to spend time outdoors,” said Dr. Robert Zarr, president of the D.C. chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is in the early stages of developing the program here.
(Melissa Cannarozzi – The Washington Post) Zarr is working to create a database and rating system for local parks that doctors can use to match the right parks to the right families.
From a health perspective, Zarr said there are valid reasons for prescribing nature. His top three: To combat asthma, which is often exacerbated by indoor pollutants; to lessen some of the symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which has been shown to respond well to outdoor play and, of course, to combat the modern scourge I wrote about last week, childhood obesity.
If you don’t want to wait for a prescription, join Zarr and parks advocates this Saturday in one of their other joint projects: The First annual National Kids to Parks Day . It’s a nationwide effort spearheaded by The National Park Trust to explore national, state or local parks.
The kickoff on the National Mall tomorrow might be soggy. The weather is expected to clear by Saturday, when families in the region are invited to Mason Neck State Park in Fairfax from 9 a.m. to noon for ranger walks, canoe demonstartions and other activities.
For those of us who can’t make it to Mason Neck, Zarr and his colleagues want us to get our families outside, somewhere green as soon as possible. Doctor’s orders.”
Oh, and here’s two posts from The Huffington Post on a similar use of wilderness: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/healthy-living-mind/
From ABC Family Therapy, Kudos to you all for reinvesting in our natural resources and our children.
I’ve long been a proponent of getting outdoors for sessions, and was happy to see the article in WebMD supporting our practice. Take a moment and read the WebMD article, if you like.
Life isn't a walk in the park, so it helps to take walks in the park...
Read what NY Social Worker, Clay Cockrell, LCSW has to say, or rather what The Times, WebMD, Jersey City Reporter, am New York, The Wall Street Journal, and Good Morning America have to say about Outdoor Psychotherapy: http://www.walkandtalk.com/media.html
Cheers from the folks at ABC Family Therapy!