All Kinds of News for March 06, 2019
Co-founder of Elements Wilderness Lynn Smith, LCSW had the opportunity to reflect on the evolution of wilderness therapy over the past 25 years as a guest on Dr. Will White’s podcast, Stories from the Field. In episode 17 of the podcast series, Lynn reached back to his early days as a field staff in 1994 and reflected on how far the wilderness therapy field has evolved. Although hard to imagine now, Lynn recollected times as a group lead where he would call off individual therapy sessions, “so the group could hike more”. Similarly, he noted the first changes to the work were the evolution away from consequence-based programming, citing how programs like Elements developed clinical foundations for cognitive therapy and DBT-based skills development. He also saw adventure therapy as once a new evolution that was at first seen as antithetical to “true wilderness,” but can be now utilized as an integral complement to an expeditionary program. He and Will shared their obvious pride in how a treatment modality such as wilderness can develop and evolve to a place where the entire field of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare can be given the legitimacy that it now deserves.
In 2008, Lynn helped Karen Scrafford and John Karren found Elements Wilderness Program, where Lynn first served as Clinical Director. As Elements grew and evolved in its own right, Lynn handed his job to his partner Dr. Neal Christensen and took the helm of Elements family programming as Director of Family Services. Lynn has maintained a group of adolescent boys since the founding of Elements Wilderness.
Elements Wilderness Program is one of the first wilderness therapy programs to be nationally accredited through the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council’s partnership with the Association for Experiential Education (AEE). Elements Wilderness Program and Elements Traverse, its partner program for young adults, serve clients in Utah’s red rock country of the San Rafael Swell in central Utah.
Click here to listen to Lynn Smith's 38 minute interview on the podcast.
About Elements Wilderness and Elements Traverse
Since 2008, Elements Wilderness has been providing a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17. We at Elements envision a world in which everyone has the skills and support necessary to live a full and healthy life. Through innovative therapeutic and psychiatric intervention, a comprehensive outdoor living experience complete with expeditionary backpacking and adventure programming, a robust family program involving the family at every step, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, we strive to provide our clients with intervention, treatment and assessment.