The Certificate in Advanced Wilderness Therapeutic Approaches
Training for you:
Therapists and Counsellors
Prospective children’s workers
A unique and comprehensive accredited qualification equipping you to design and implement your own Wilderness Therapeutic Interventions and applications targeting children and young adults aged 4 to 24.
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:
- 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
- It is highly targeted for application with identified small groups of children and young adults within the 4 to 24 years age / ability range
- 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”
This is not just a certificate of attendance handed out by a training organisation. It is a unique, externally accredited Qualification to Certificate grade, under the Customised Qualifications framework.
The Training Structure:
This training takes place over two separate weeks that you must attend. In between these training weeks, you will be working on your Portfolio, and designing and running case-study sessions with children to report on. Week 1 is a full Training Week; Week 2 is a Further Training and Assessment week.
Working with children in the UK
In order for you to work with children in the UK you will need to meet Safeguarding Requirements and hold a current, clear DBS check. You may also be required to have your own Public Liability Insurance as a “trainee”. This is very common and available for e.g. trainee outdoor forest-school practitioners.
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 children’s workers, wanting to work effectively and explicitly therapeutically with children in the natural environment. The wild.
You are interested in the concept of Wilderness Therapy, in the context of working with 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…
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 of children are out there. But you’re now seeing the limits in terms of impact and wellbeing, 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 steps towards explicitly and genuinely working therapeutically with children and young people. 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.
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.
You encounter or work with 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 children 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 children and young adults 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 children 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 with children and young adults 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 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 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 children 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 activities and education in the woods” which might then implicitly benefit a child’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 child, 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 hundreds of school staff and children’s workers in both Indoor and Wilderness Therapeutic Approaches and specific Interventions, subsequently impacting thousands of children through a range of targeted programmes and interventions.
In our 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
The impact of eQe wilderness therapeutic approaches, interventions and training has been measured and proven since 2011, and eQe’s indoor interventions since 2008.
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
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 children and young adults 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, 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 with real children since 2011.
“By the end of the day, the whole group had identified their own personal visions and desires for the year ahead; worked through group and team visions, fears and concerns that were now in the open for management to take away and consider; and they had agreed a single primary vision and achieved a corporate sense of mission for the year ahead.”
Clarity & Focus…
“A very rewarding day for the participants. …It had achieved clarity and focus.”
Creative Problem Solving…
“I led a Creative Problem Solving session with the Senior Leadership Team and it was very productive – thanks again for such a great course!”
“I have to admit there are people who will always stay in your mind as nice, positive, authentic… and Robin is definitely one of them. Cheers from Germany, Thomas Heckmann, Senior Solutions Consultant, ServiceMax”
“If it had not been for WILD CREW I don’t think that we would have been able to keep xx on roll” – Cardinal Langley High School
Wild Crew Training
Wild Crew is the best training I’ve done since qualifying as a teacher 10 years ago – Class Teacher, Wythenshawe.
It’s amazing to see year 6’s really playing and just being children – Sendco, Wythenshawe
The impact of being outdoors in woodland was so powerful – our young people gained lots of resilience from just realising they could manage as well as achieve – TA, Manchester Hospital School.