Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Feb 23, 2022

How can wilderness therapy help young people suffering from trauma? Is transporting young people to wilderness therapy traumatizing? We explore these topics and more with Steve Sawyer, Co-Founder/Chief Clinical Consultant of New Vision Wilderness. Steve has been a long-time champion of trauma-informed care and entered the wilderness therapy field when there was little discussion about trauma in behavioral healthcare. Steve shares his thoughts about trauma-informed care versus trauma-responsive care and how wilderness therapy programs have evolved in their approach to trauma over the years. Steve also dives into the challenging subjects of whether transporting youth to wilderness therapy can be done without trauma and whether behavioral healthcare has become too focused on trauma.



From the New Vision Website: Steve Sawyer, Co-Founder/Chief Clinical Consultant of New Vision WildernessDeschutes Wilderness Therapy, and First Light Wilderness Therapy. Steve is a licensed psychotherapist filled with passion and knowledge surrounding the intervention and change process. His experience comes from over a decade of intervention with tough-to-reach client populations in therapy settings ranging from residential, community-based, outpatient and wilderness therapy. Steve is trained in several unique therapeutic models including somatic trigger release, traumatic memory reprocessing, and HeartMath. He is also recognized internationally as a Brainspotting trainer and consultant who trains outpatient therapist and treatment programs. Through his experience he has authored two books, co-founded Wisconsin’s only wilderness therapy program, New Vision Wilderness, and works as a core therapeutic training development staff with the Institute of HeartMath. He was an author in the innovative and comprehensive HeartMath Interventions Establishing a New Baseline for Sustained Behavioral Change therapist training Module that revolutionizes modern therapy interventions through an emotional physiology approach. Steve’s largest project has been the development of NVW’s Trauma Informed Care model in the wilderness setting that has challenged the entire wilderness therapy industry on making healthier interventions with their clients. Steve’s trainings are recognized nationwide for cutting-edge therapeutic techniques and inspiration.