The Certificate in Advanced Wilderness Therapeutic Approaches


LOCATION: Unless otherwise specified, all training is held at our dedicated forest training site at Lyme Park, Disley, Peak District (SK12 2NR),  and indoors nearby at our classroom in Poynton (SK12 1RB).
DATES: All scheduled training dates available here: Book Now

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Wilderness Therapy Training Level 3 Certificate

Whether working with adults or children, our Advanced Certificate-Level Training and Qualification (Level 3) trains you to design and implement your own Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions and Programmes; how to measure therapeutic impact and create Impact Assessments.

Cost £970 – Payment options are availablefind out more

Learning Units

This is a high level of multi-disciplinary Level 3 training.  Workload for this training is potentially up to 200 hours.  This is Certificate grade training.

The Certificate is comprehensive in its content and as experiential in its approach as possible.

Within the 5 Learning Units you will be trained to be multi-disciplinary skilled, including:

  • Bushcraft
  • Therapeutic Content and its Application
  • Appropriate Wilderness Therapeutic Activities
  • Structure of Therapeutic Interventions
  • Age / Ability / Issue Appropriate Targeting
  • Therapeutic Group Management Outdoors
  • eQe 4-Dimensions Impact Assessment Approaches and Reporting
The 5 Learning Units are...

Training on The Certificate is headed up by Robin Sheehan, and co-led with other eQe Outdoor Consultants and Therapists.

You will be required to meet and demonstrate competencies within 5 separate Learning Units, which will be assessed as far as possible during training sessions, but crucially also in debriefings and discussions, and as part of your Portfolio and case-study Impact Assessment submissions.

 UNIT 1: Outdoor Skills 1 – Basic Bushcraft*

UNIT 2: Outdoor Skills 2 – Wilderness Therapeutic Group Management** 

UNIT 3: Therapeutic Approaches, Application and Best Practice**

UNIT 4: Design, Structure and Implementation of Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions**

UNIT 5: eQe 4-Dimensions Therapeutic Impact Assessment Approach**

*Robin is a qualified Advanced Bushcraft Practitioner, and you should expect your Bushcraft Unit training to be significantly higher level than typically you would expect in other mainstream outdoor qualifications that are not solely bushcraft.

**This is considered a very high level of training, being not just about outdoor activity, or outdoor pedagogy with young children; nor is it simply and implicitly “wellbeing” based through doing activity in nature:

  • This is explicitly and intentionally Advanced Wilderness Therapeutic Approaches training
  • With this qualification, you are trained to be highly targeted for working with specific identified issues, all ages and abilities
  • This training is for working with adults or children – people of all ages
  • You are training to work to best therapeutic practice and best bushcraft practice

We have set the bar very high.  The content and expected workload to complete this multi-disciplinary Level 3 training is potentially 200 hours, earning successful Learners the Certificate grade qualification.

The Structure – How it runs

Full attendance, and completion of Portfolio and Case Study Impact Assessment Report, are required to achieve this qualification.  Successful Learners will then be externally certificated by the awarding body and hold the qualification:

“Certificate in Advanced Wilderness Therapeutic Approaches (Level 3 NCFE CACHE)”

This is not just a certificate of attendance handed out by the training organisation.

This is a unique, independently accredited Qualification to Level 3 Certificate grade, under the NCFE CACHE framework.

The Training Structure:

This training takes place over two separate weeks that you must attend.

What happens between the two training weeks, and after week 2?

These are periods of consolidation and practising skills and collecting evidences of your growing competence.

The time between the two training weeks is important, and is by design.  There has to be a consolidation period between Week 1 and Week 2, to do your own study and reflection on the content of Week 1.  Also, it’s a period to start to get to grips with your Portfolio of Evidences – This is the document which is a substantial list of competencies in each of the 5 Learning Units that you must demonstrate or fulfil in order to pass the course.

It is not possible to complete the Portfolio of Evidences without completing Week 2 of training, particularly Unit 4 and Unit 5, but also elements of Unit 3

Example programme (8 session) planning, design, and implementation normally takes place after Week 2, as does the Impact Analysis / Case Study which is based on your example programme which you will have run.

During Week 2 of training, there will be a deadline agreed and set with the group for subsequent completion and submission of Portfolio and Case Study / Impact Analysis.

Safguarding – Working with vulnerable people in the UK

In order for you to work with vulnerable adults and all children in the UK you will need to meet Safeguarding Requirements and hold a current, clear DBS check, and also Public Liability Insurance.

This is an independently, externally accredited qualification by the NCFE / CACHE (see attached doc), and recognised / insurable for public liability insurance (e.g. through Birnbeck Insurance) so our successful Learners who then want to operate independently and professionally as practitioners can get insurance to do so.  This is not simply a “certificate of attendance” by a training provider, or a course which is self-certified by a training provider.  eQe are NCFE CACHE Approved Training Centre 9000398.

You will be required to have your own Public Liability Insurance in order to operate outdoors and leading others, when engaged in typical bushcraft-type and educational activities:

  • After Week 1 of training we recommend you secure Trainee Insurance. This is very common and similarly available for e.g. trainee bushcraft practitioners and trainee forest-school practitioners.
  • After passing Week 2 of Training, you will then be eligible for full Public Liability Insurance.
  • We work with Birnbeck Insurance who are very experienced in outdoor practice insurances, and particularly with this Qualification requirements:

Birnbeck Finance Ltd, 129 High Street, Worle, Weston Super Mare, Somerset, BS22 6HQ

Tel: 01934 522252

Fax: 01934 520100



Training is completed only when both training weeks have been fully attended, and final Portfolios and Impact Assessment Reports have been submitted.  These will be marked, and may be Externally Quality Audited.

It is crucial to set your expectations high within this training – It is not simply “outdoor activity which implicitly improves wellbeing”, nor is it just an “add-on” to an existing qualification that you may have.  All Learners will receive training to typically achieve a very high working level and ability in order to confidently and competently, safely and successfully design and run Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions and other applications, independently.


Stating the obvious, but you need to be physically and mentally able and well enough in order to access this training.  A fundamental requirement is that you can physically operate well and normally in e.g. a woodland or other wilderness environment, unaided.  You need to be physically and mentally able enough to physically and emotionally look after the clients / children you may end up working with in a wilderness environment.  You may have to physically walk, run, clamber and crawl with them or after them.  Otherwise you may have difficulty in keeping your clients safe, accessing suitable environments to work in, and modelling certain activities or skills.

We will work with you as far as is reasonably possible to make this work for you but, more importantly, it must work for the clients / children you may end up working with in the future in this capacity.  We are open to any bright ideas, wisdom, new approaches or help with this and around this.  (I would love to explore this area more – Robin)

Is this training for me?

This training is designed for all current or prospective adult or children’s workers, wanting to work effectively and explicitly therapeutically in the natural environment.  The wild.

You are interested in the concept of Wilderness Therapy, in the context of working with adults, children and young adults and doing whatever you can to help them on the road to become all that they can be.

You probably come from one of the following groups:

  • an Outdoor Practitioner background, possibly already trained and qualified
  • a Therapy background, possibly already trained and qualified
  • a school or educational background: whether mainstream, alternative, or Special Educational Needs
  • a children’s worker background outside of school or education
  • a trained and qualified healthcare worker
  • an individual already trained or qualified via other eQe Wilderness Therapeutic Training and you want to do more

So, within your current discipline I’m betting you’re thinking something along the lines of…

Outdoor Practitioners

You are looking to expand your practice and your mind.  You know it’s great being outdoors in the wild, and you know first-hand the tangible impact on how it makes you “feel” being in the wild versus an office block, and how great your groups are out there.  But you’re now seeing the limits in terms of impact and wellbeing, perhaps of what you have been taught, and need to do more.

You want to explore that further and see if it is possible to inform your outdoor practice way beyond that, so that you can make large steps towards explicitly and genuinely working therapeutically. One day you want to be able to not just pay lip-service to mental health and wellbeing, and that what you are doing in terms of someone’s mental health and wellbeing is okay because you are “doing stuff in the woods”.  And everyone knows it’s good for you being out in the woods, don’t they?  Even though most outdoor practitioners don’t actually know why, beyond confidently regurgitating the pop-science statement, “it improves their mental health and wellbeing, doesn’t it?!”.  You suspect or know that there is very much more to it than that.

You want to expand your personal Outdoor Practitioner bubble to incorporate some form of explicit and genuine therapeutic understanding and application, and learn how to actually engineer a lasting positive impact on personal development, mental health and wellbeing using the great outdoors.



Education Professionals
You have witnessed a different side to your children (and perhaps colleagues) when they are in the woods, or even just on the school playing fields, as opposed to being in a classroom.  Or you might have an inkling, or have read somewhere, that being in the wild is good for you, not just in terms of wellbeing but also in terms of academic achievement.    Or you’ve heard about it from other schools banging the “outdoor” drum.

You feel the need to be properly informed of what is actually out there that can truly help you exploit the outdoors with your children, and in what different ways, beyond what every other school might be subscribing to just because everyone else is doing “it” and that particular bandwagon is rolling.

You want to explore and understand how to get identified staff – perhaps yourself – trained to run not just the ubiquitous outdoor activities that most primary schools have heard about or claim to be running, but something more explicitly therapeutically and developmentally meaningful for all children whether 4 years old or 24 years old (yes, 24), and with measurable therapeutic impact on individuals.

You want to find and understand a targeted therapeutic approach that is designed explicitly for different types of children, schools or special provision, and that is proven and pressure tested with real children, and measurable.  Something that can easily be accessed by your school, implemented and integrated, and from which you can then incorporate Impact Assessment as part of your school inspection reports or budget-spend reports, and even contributing to a greater “Therapeutic Whole-School” strategy.

Healthcare Workers

You encounter or work with adults, children or young adults on a regular basis outside of the education system, but in the healthcare system.  This is no different to anyone else, in that it includes individuals that are identified for any number of reasons, as having social, emotional, behavioural or other diagnosed issues and conditions, but possibly in parallel with also having to deal with other health issues, trauma, and even terminal illness.

You may be looking for a way to speed up recovery, or to help those people deal with their ongoing health situations.  You may want to assist and even speed up their transition out of the healthcare system and back into normal life if that is possible.  You need to know how to measure “wellbeing” in the individuals you are working with.

You may want to know how to use existing UK National Health Service (NHS) green spaces, or access other green spaces in your locality, and utilise them effectively to start trying to meet emotional, social, behavioural or other defined objectives, through implementing structured Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions.

Therapists and Counsellors

You understand the limitations (as well as perhaps the boundary benefits) of being inside four walls with a ceiling, a floor, a door, windows, and chairs to sit on.  But you have an inkling, or perhaps you read somewhere, that being in nature is good for you, and it adds some benefit to a person’s general wellbeing and can facilitate a clinical therapeutic process.

You might or might not understand that “in the wild” is not the same as “being outdoors” which could mean the middle of a car park.  You want to know more, and explore if and how you can take your therapeutic practice with clients outdoors, into something approaching “nature”.

You want to expand your Trained Therapist or Counsellor bubble and make steps towards incorporating appropriate and proper outdoor skills and practice in the wild.  And you are open to enlightenment as how you might fit into what is “true” applied Wilderness Therapy, explicitly impacting mental health and wellbeing, beyond simply moving your current indoor sessions and sitting doing them somewhere nice outdoors.

Non-Education System Children’s Workers
You work with children or young adults on a regular basis outside of the education system, but which is no different to anyone else, in that it includes children that are identified for any number of reasons, as having social, emotional, behavioural or other diagnosed issues and conditions.

You may already be an inherently “outdoor skills” based organisation such as the Scouting Association, or you may not.  You want to expand your current mission or objectives beyond e.g. Character Education, or indeed start to fulfil the Mission of your organisation in a new way.  Say, by exploring the possibility of offering additional programmes for identified children, which are explicitly therapeutic, or explicitly defined and structured Character Education programmes, and based outdoors in nature and the wild.

All of us…

…have a heart for people – adults, children and young adults – and want to help them to be all that they can be, using a proven, impact-assessed , pressure tested, structured, explicitly therapeutic approach based in nature.

Sound good so far?  Then this training really is for you.

Explain to me more about it

Training you for delivering True Wilderness Therapy/Therapeutic Approaches:

  • Getting equipped and trained for it
  • Elaborating on the therapeutic approaches it incorporates
  • Defining the design and structure of a wilderness therapeutic intervention
  • Exploring how it works
  • Enlightening you as to the practicalities and application – actually doing it
  • Measuring the impact of it
  • Educating you about what it is, and what it most definitely is not
  • Defining it
  • Inspiring you to engage with it



In training we’ll explore the variety of different flavours of common outdoor approaches often used with adults, children or schools, along with exploring what is best Wilderness Therapeutic practice.  We will learn how you can – and cannot – integrate some of these approaches together.  You need to understand what is appropriate therapeutically and what is not, and build up an intelligent appreciation and high level of expertise in these three things:

Outdoor expertise and best practice – learning what we need to know in order to facilitate delivery of Wilderness Therapy.  This needs to be learned to a high level, in order to meet the needs of working with identified individuals with specific issues and objectives.

Therapeutic expertise and best practice – what therapeutic approaches and activities do we find and use in Wilderness Therapy?

How to integrate these two areas, into true Wilderness Therapy practice… 1 + 1 = 3

It is important to recognise this whole area is not on a par with simply doing “mainstream outdoor activities or education in the woods” which might then implicitly benefit a participant’s immediate sense of wellbeing in the short or immediate term.

This goes way beyond these other approaches.  You are training explicitly in Wilderness Therapeutic Practice, structured and run to best therapeutic practice, with defined outcomes and objectives for each participant, for a long-lasting impact.

LOGISTICS AND BOOKING – Book on our scheduled training weeks, at our designated locations.  You will need to find your own accommodation, and bring a packed lunch each day.  Some of the training will be indoors or under cover, and a lot will be outdoors in a wild environment, learning as experientially as possible.



Background – What do eQe know?

eQe and eQeOUTDOORS have trained many hundreds of people – Therapists, Counsellors, Healthcare Professionals, Education Professionals, Refugee Workers, Veterans and Veterans Workers, Expedition Leaders, Bushcraft Practitioners, Forest School Practitioners, and NGO’s working with vulnerable groups overseas.

More on our specific work with children:

eQe work with a broad range of issues, ranging from mainstream children with everyday basic social and emotional issues, low confidence and low self-esteem, through to children with deeper issues, behavioural issues, and additional identified and diagnosed issues like ASD, ADHD, MLD / SLD.  We have designed and implemented a number of targeted Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions, because they are all designed and constructed to be impactful at different age / ability levels and developmental levels.

In this training, we will draw on eQe’s unique expertise and long experience of combining different disciplines, and designing successful and impactful Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions.


eQe people have been:

  • Delivering professional therapeutic provision, and interventions in schools, since 2002
  • Teaching and training people since 1998
  • Working professionally with the natural environment since 1983

eQe utilises the expertise of our highly qualified, very experienced Outdoor Specialists, Wilderness Vision Quest Guides, a professional Environmental Scientist; Business Coach; Army Officers; and also the expertise of our award-winning Lead Therapist and team of Qualified Therapists and Counsellors.  All content has been carefully designed to have maximum impact, with specific objectives, groups and individuals in mind.

  • In 2016 Robin Sheehan (Director, eQeOUTDOORS) was invited to consult for the NHS on the use of community woodlands and NHS greenspaces, focusing on how to measure the impact on wellbeing operating in these spaces. Working alongside the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, his contributions are in the document “ROOTS TO WELLBEING- A handbook for evaluating and communicating the wellbeing impact of woodland social enterprises”
  • In 2006 our Lead Therapist received the Play Therapy International Award.

All of our training programmes and interventions have been developed by experienced trainers, teachers and therapists.

eQeOUTDOORS continuously develops and pioneers Wilderness Therapeutic Practice and training, targeting both children and adults.

Track Record and Impact of our Interventions

In terms of the measured impact of our approaches – in our work with children and young adults for example, using impact assessment data over a period of time, from a range of different schools and widely different profiles of children, our Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions show dramatic changes in children using Standardised Therapeutic Measures over only 8 half-day sessions:

88% of children reduced their Total Difficulties Scores, e.g. in Externalising Behaviours (Conduct and Hyperactivity), and Internalising Behaviours (Emotional Problems and Peer Problems)

95.5% of children improved their Pro-Social Scores

Book here

This is extremely valuable training, potentially transformative for your current work and practice.

So, think carefully – It is potentially life changing for you as a professional, as you work to change the lives of the adults or children you work with.  This could be the turning point for you, in your own purpose and work mission and vision.

Explicitly therapeutic, and intentionally personal development focused, the scope and content of what is true Wilderness Therapy reaches far beyond the disciplines of bushcraft, adventure activities, and outdoor pedagogies like outdoor learning, forest schools, learning outside the classroom, etc.

Whether you are already working as an Outdoor Practitioner, Therapist, Counsellor, Healthcare Worker, School’s Worker or in some other children’s services, or seeking to embark on something new, this training and qualification is unique, and underpinned by tried and tested, impact assessed Wilderness Therapeutic Intervention work in the real world since 2011.


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