Recently in Introduction to NBT Category

A Wilderness Therapy Symposium will take place in Boulder, Colorado September 5th-7th, 2013. Like any health-related gathering there will be a keynote speaker, presentations, workshops and opportunities for industry networking. But unlike other health-related gatherings, this one will have many off-site workshops in the wilderness where practices and ideas are actually tested in person.

One of the things I was surprised to learn is that continuing education credit is available for many different health professionals who choose to attend the symposium including psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses from numerous states across the U.S.

This looks like an amazing opportunity for health professionals to gain more first hand experience in Wilderness Therapy practices!

http://obhic.com/symposium.html

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Children and Nature Movies

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Here is a link to video about children and nature made by 13 year old young women Miranda Anderson - link for article below
http://blog.childrenandnature.org/2013/02/04/the-child-in-nature-a-new-film-by-miranda-andersen-13/


A Sunset

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For last week's personal nature activity, we were asked to think about an environment in nature that we feel best. I love the ocean, and I am unable to hear or experience it much living in this part of the nation. I thought of that while I was in Hawaii recently so took a video of the sun setting on the beach.

Nature is not just about what you see, it is also what you can hear, feel, smell, and just experience. I knew that looking at the video would not be the same, but it could help me remember. The sun felt so warm on my face and arms and the sand and lava rocks poked and pinched under my feet in my sandals. The way the air smelled briny as tiny splashes of foam sprayed me.

There is a lot of natural beauty around me here that I absolutely appreciate. However, sometimes it's nice to visit a tropical place, especially in the middle of winter with an impending blizzard, even if that visit is only in my memories. Do you have somewhere that you escape to in your mind?


The Giving Tree

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One of my favorite books is "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. I enjoyed the simple story and pictures as a child, but only as an adult have I truly appreciated the deeper meaning of the book.

The tree that continues to give to the boy, first her apples and leaves, then her branches, and finally her trunk, is reflective of nature overall. Nature gives and gives and gives and asks for nothing in return. Even when the tree seemingly has nothing left to give, she offers her stump as a resting place for the boy who has taken everything.

We can all learn something from the tree and from nature in general. If everyone tried to give to others the world would be a better place. And for those who do give it's important to realize we can always give a little more. We should be aware of what we take. It's easy to take nature for granted but the growing body of evidence around climate change and nature deficit disorder shows that we forsake the natural world only at our own peril.

The Giving Tree.jpg

Introduction to blogging Angela Kariniemi

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The Peace of Wild Things
By Berry Wendell

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

I thought that this poem told in such a beautiful way of the peaceful and uplifting effect that nature can have on us when we are weighed down with worries and stress. For me, being out in nature is often a form of meditation. It is a special place to just be, to feel, hear, and experience life around me at that time and I also experience a certain freedom in that. Many of the research articles that we have been presented with have also indicated that nature is an effective way to decrease stress. In over one hundred studies, according to Ulrich (1993), decreased stress was listed as one of the significant benefits of being out in nature (Kahn, 1997).

Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things." "Poetry Foundation." n.d. Web. 6 February 2013. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171140

The Wild Geese by Wendell Berry

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I've had this classic Wendell Berry poem on my fridge at times. I feel like the ending, "what we need is here" epitomizes nature based healing-- the patience that's granted in the act of slowing down to observe. And the middle section about finding the tree within the persimmon seed is a great adjunct to last week's journal assignment.


The Wild Geese

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.


Evidence-based Art

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http://www.healthcarefineart.com/2007/09/what-is-evidenc.html

I was interested in the reference made in our readings to art in a mental health setting, and went looking for more information. This is a blog and open conversation between a doctor and a researcher about findings related to that original concept - that realistic nature scenes have an observable impact on patient anxiety.

I know that there are some of us who aren't thrilled with the idea of "science-ifying" nature, and science-ifying art probably doesn't sound great either. But here is the cool thing: this researcher found a way to express her findings and tie it to a bottom line dollar amount in terms of money that can be saved by introducing realistic nature art into mental health settings. And while I philosophically question the need to attach dollar values, pragmatically, I'm thrilled. It is so much easier to have health-related conversations when there is an observable outcome or change in outcome, a somewhat immediate outcome or change in outcome, and best of all, when you can say that you are saving an organization money by doing something that they will want to do anyway - namely, decorate.

This conversation basically argues that there is nothing wrong with seeking evidence to support claims about art, and nothing wrong with trying to identify the characteristics of art that seem to be associated with making it "work." Again, with my general reservations about quantifying art, I think that the ability to do so gives people access to art (and nature) in a way that they might not have had previously!

My research question going forward would be about the details concerning the findings. Are there particular materials that people are drawn to? Does something that uses natural materials have a stronger draw than a realistic picture of nature, for example? How does a photograph compare to a water-painted natural scene? I would be interested in understanding if there is something about a piece of art that had been very clearly touched and created by an individual hand, which I would think of as appealing, applying theories about our desire to gravitate to other humans. For example, I would be interested to know if a highly realistic vision of nature, as presented in a beautiful photograph, is capable of the same intensity of effect as a painting.

Other Natural Wonders Besides Life on Land

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Having learned about our interactions with nature thus far, I wanted to incorporate not only life on land but also life in water because life and nature just does not stop here where it is dry. Life on, in, and around the coral reefs--the largest located in Australia--shows an intricate and diversifying pattern of biological life. One thought that jumped out at me was the fact that some of the things that can destroy one way of life can have a rippling effect on others if there is not a balance put in place for human interactions with nature. Here in this video, I remembered listening to a documentary about coral reefs being a natural barrier for protecting the shores of land masses; the documentary that I had seen is a little obscure right now, so I hope you all enjoy the video. Because the world is also made out of approximately 3/4 of water, I thought this video showed a spectacular array of life beyond the land we live on.

Maurice Sendak and Life

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I just watched this wonderful animated interview with Maurice Sendak and Terry Gross - thought it appropriate for first blogging example as it relates to the heart-felt attachment we have to nature and life

Maurice Sendak


Locklin Road

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Hi Everyone,

I feel like all our readings so far have discussed how we are connected with nature and how nature makes us feel better. Over the summer I heard this lovely song by Locklin Road and I think it perfectly sums up what we have learned so far.

"The earth sings out to me
every bird and every flower
growing closer every hour
here is all I ever need"

I think these four lines are the most important out of the whole song. More importantly they fit in right with the biophilia hypothesis. These lyrics remind me of "Biophilia: Does Visual Contact with Nature Impact on Health and Well-Being?" In this article Grinde & Grindal Patil (2009) found that the biophilia hypothesis has merit and that the availability of nature correlates positively with health.

This song and topic has meaning to me because I have spent my whole life growing up in the outdoors and I would not trade it for anything. It pains me to see my three year old second cousin sitting in her parent's house playing with her iPad. She and many other children do not get the opportunity to go outside to play and appreciate nature because they have been sucked in by technology. Although the biophilia hypothesis may impact her and she may like flowers she does not get the opportunity to advance on it because she has spent her whole life inside.

I think it is really important to interact with nature. I feel like we are not truly experiencing life until we can go outside and be happy.

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