Summer Camp At a Therapy Farm

Nurturing in Nature 

Flow with us on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month at 7pm EST

Daily / Weekly / Overnight Camps Available
$225 Full Week Day Camp $50 Full Day Camp $100 Overnight camp with food and accomodation.
Covered by most insurance plans

Riverside Therapy Farm offers a unique therapeutic hands-on, real world experience in nature let by a licenced psychotherapist from a person-centred approach combining evidence-based practices such as CBT, Emotional Focused Therapy, Experiential Therapy along with nature and animals which makes our approach holistic, multi-sensory and fun for all while enhancing sensory, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural skills of the child.

 

Little Farmers get to explore & experience all the wonder and magic of our riverside working farm while participating in activities such as:

  • Gardening & Harvesting
  • Collecting eggs & Milking Goats
  • Composting
  • Baking & Cooking outdoors (caveman style) from fresh produce 
  • Farm games – Archery, BB Guns as a tool of survial (Target shooting) 
  • Nature walks
  • Swimming on the farm’s river 
  • Animal care – Feeding, cleaning, petting 
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • & lots of other adventures.

Little Farmers are encouraged to touch, taste, smell, hear, observe, and ask questions. We focus on teaching respect for animals, plants, the earth, and each other.

Through a blend of Psychotherapy and somatic body movements you will experience the pleasures of remembering who you are, connecting to your deepest truths and intuition, letting your wildness out, calming the stress response in your nervous systems and enhancing your ability to show your authentic self to the world.

Children of all abilities are welcome at our inclusive farm. We also welcome siblings, friends, relatives – and anyone else who wants to be either as fellow campers or helpers!

LIMITED SLOTS AVAILABLE

Due to the nature of the therapeutic group max 20 participants. Spots fill out soon.

Gallery

Moments of Outdoor Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Outdoor therapy is a form of experiential therapy that uses challenging adventure activities to aid the therapeutic healing process. Outdoor therapy helps promote healthy identity development, self-confidence, compassion  and a growth mindset.

During Outdoor therapy, you have the opportunity to engage in various new activities and experience several novel environments. You are doing more than just having fun or an adventure. You learn to listen, keep yourselves safe, learn emotional regulation skills, and develop self confidence as you push yourself through challenging tasks.

When we include adventure as part of our Psychotherapeutic approach, we see several benefits:

  • A decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Increased self-confidence.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Improved interpersonal skills.

For the first time in human history has screen time replaced outdoor play time for our children who spend more time indoors than every before. This carries its own risk such as cyberbullying, online predators, mental health issues, sleep problems and addiction to screen time &video games. The high stimulation from screen time sets your child’s brain to get used to easy dopamine and adrenaline. This causes your child to feel excited, energized and rewarded with very little physical effort. Once your child’s brain gets used to the high stimulation from video games, then being outdoors will be less appealing. It requires more effort to run, climb or hike than sitting and playing a videogame.

For example, adventure therapy for kids with video games issues might involve a rock-climbing exercise. At the top of the rock wall, the child may feel exhilarated, accomplished, and full of endorphins, sensations that they may have come to associate exclusively with video games. This experience can help remind the client that video games are not the only source of positive feelings and can help restructure their preconceived idea of what they are capable of.

Adventure therapy for kids can be the form of trust exercises, games, outdoor activities, and wilderness adventures. By learning something new about themselves throughout the course of the activity, a client can use that new knowledge to assist in their growth.

 

  • Identity development.
  • Trauma resilience.
  • Learning to self-advocate for needs

It is important to first recognise that Adventure Therapy is enveloped in an agency dedicated to being trauma informed care when appropriate and providing trauma specific interventions.

Our activities are uniquely designed from a Trauma Informed Care Model to kinesthetically engaging Clients on a cognitive, emotional and behavioural level. 

Once a family is referred for Adventure Therapy, we gather the following information:

  1. Family strengths, structure, and dynamics;
  2. Trauma History (e.g., type of abuse, neglect, adoption, other traumas addressed during treatment; relevant findings in assessments, etc.)
  3. Identified treatment goals and current focus of treatment/interventions
  4. Recommended focus of treatment during adventure therapy

This information is used to formulate treatment goals in Adventure Therapy as below. 

Self-regulation- Enhancing your capacity to modulate arousal and restore equilibrium following dysregulation of emotions, behavior, physiology, cognition, interpersonal relatedness and self-attribution

Self-reflective information processing- Helping you construct new self-narratives, reflect on past and present experience, and develop skills in planning and decision making.

Traumatic experiences integration- Enabling you to transform or resolve traumatic reminders and memories using such therapeutic strategies as meaning-making, traumatic memory containment or processing, remembrance and mourning of the traumatic loss, symptom management and development of coping skills, and cultivation of present-oriented thinking and behavior.

Relational engagement- Helping You form appropriate attachments and to apply this knowledge to current interpersonal relationships, including the therapeutic alliance, with emphasis on development of such critical interpersonal skills as assertiveness, cooperation, perspective-taking, boundaries and limit-setting, reciprocity, social empathy, and the capacity for physical and emotional intimacy.

Positive affect enhancement- Enhancing Your sense of self-worth, esteem and positive self-appraisal through the cultivation of personal creativity, imagination, future orientation, achievement, competence, mastery-seeking, community-building and the capacity to experience pleasure.

Adventure therapy can be in the form of trust exercises, games, outdoor activities, wilderness adventures, risk taking include problem solving activities and initiatives, hiking, geocaching, archery, primitive skills activities, orienteering/map and compass, canoeing/kayaking, and rock-climbing/indoor climbing wall, low ropes/challenge course activities, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and overnight camping at campgrounds. 

All of these activities are used specifically as a therapeutic intervention, using specific therapeutic considerations to adopt trauma informed care and practice.

Adventure therapy can be in the form of trust exercises, games, outdoor activities, wilderness adventures, risk taking include problem solving activities and initiatives, hiking, geocaching, archery, primitive skills activities, orienteering/map and compass, canoeing/kayaking, and rock-climbing/indoor climbing wall, low ropes/challenge course activities, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and overnight camping at campgrounds. 

All of these activities are used specifically as a therapeutic intervention, using specific therapeutic considerations to adopt trauma informed care and practice.

Adventure therapy is highly versatile & unique in treating a variety of mental and behavioral health diagnoses. 

If you’re struggling with Anxiety and Depression, adventure can be an essential avenue for treatment in part due to the benefits of physical activity on your mood.  Bringing exercise into routine has shown to create better treatment outcomes and improve physical health.You develop good habits surrounding your daily exercise routine as you learn how to do a variety of adventure activities.

Adventure therapy is well suited to address poor self-esteem/self-confidence. For a variety of reasons, youth often struggle to see themselves in a positive light. They may have developed self-defeatist internal narratives or learned to dislike themselves.They may have learned an attitude of helplessness in life and expect to fail.

Adventure Therapy helps you have a positive attitude towards yourself & life. 

Relational conflict can take many forms, but one of the most common is Family Conflict. Family units are the most important structures for youth as they develop into adults. Maintaining positive and healthy relationships within a family unit, while at times challenging, is critical to overall healthy development. When relationships are unhealthy, it may be time to seek help.

Identity development is a crucial step for youth and is tied closely to ideas of self-concept and social development. Developing a clear concept of who you are, your values, and where you fit into the social world is central to achieving success and happiness. Many young people find that they struggle to define these areas and may fall behind in terms of identity development.

The adventure therapy is grounded in creating seemingly impossible challenges, and guiding students through the difficult, but rewarding process of overcoming those challenges. Studies have shown that this process has led to “large to very large, statistically significant improvements in Behavioral and Emotional Functioning.” Behavioral issues can vary widely. However, the adventure therapy approach appears to be versatile in meeting each student where they are at.

Outdoor Therapy is conducted as Group Therapy. This requires cooperation, communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution. These are all skills that our neurodiverse gifted clients with the Autism spectrum, non -verbal learning disorder, ADHD & learning disabilities benefit from the authentic social interactions.

ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuro developmental disorder that can significantly impact youth’s lives. ADHD is often associated with academic issues and school failure, relational issues, and behavioral issues. Evidence has shown that wilderness adventure therapy is both an effective treatment for ADHD, and for many of its associated issues.

The three main reasons Adventure Therapy is the go- to treatment approach for Neurodiverse clients. 

  • Adventure therapy is inherently unpredictable. This provides Autism Spectrum youth with frequent opportunities to engage with peers in an authentic, uncontrived way. They can engage with peers in the way while in an environment of support and trust.
  • Adventure therapy is a group-driven process that is, by nature, flexible and adaptable to the specific needs of the group and individuals within it.
  • Adventure therapy is a here-and-now approach that creates space for youth to cognitively process how behaviours and feelings experienced in the moment relate to participants’ lives beyond the treatment setting.

Eating disorders present unique clinical challenges and are often difficult to manage in the home. While the presentation of eating disorders can vary, a common thread is often an issue with Body Image.

Other critical elements are the therapeutic effect of the group process and risk-taking activities, such as hiking and team-building exercises, which contribute to breaking down the stereotypes concerning body image.

A research journal article describes the wilderness treatment process as an opportunity to reconnect with one’s physical body.

When someone experiences PTSD trauma, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) they can get stuck in what is called a heightened or arousal state. They start to feel a heightened state of fear similar to that was felt at the time of the initial trauma. Many people hold on to that state of fear and do not have a chance to finish the arousal cycle. 

This is supposed to be four stages ending in a stage where they feel safe again.

For those who get stuck in this fear stage, high adventure activities can be an effective treatment. They can mimic feelings of fear and anxiety, by introducing perceived risk, and then help students complete the last phase of that cycle to where they feel safe. Any adventure activity that provokes this fear response, including rock climbing, hiking, canyoneering and mountain biking, is particularly useful in treating trauma.

Adventure therapy is an excellent tool for addiction treatment because it provides healthy, non-substance, natural high for the student. These are skills that the student can take with them into their real life. It is a healthy alternative to substance seeking behaviors and often lets them access a new network of friends who are also participating in the adventure activity. This can draw them away from negative influences that may encourage substance abuse relapse and assist in addiction recovery.

Adventure therapy for kids with video game addiction might involve a rock-climbing exercise. At the top of the rock wall, the child may feel exhilarated, accomplished, and full of endorphins, sensations that they may have come to associate exclusively with video games. This experience can help remind the client that video games are not the only source of positive feelings and can help restructure their preconceived idea of what they are capable of.

Wilderness therapy has proven highly effective in treating oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), It provides space separation to members of the family unit, slowing down the parent-child communication process, and makes room for relationship resolutions and restoration. Further, this research has shown that in strong-willed adolescent males, especially those with co-occurring ADHD, ODD can emerge in an environment where parents are unable to hold firm boundaries or set clear expectations. During Adventure Therapy we provide clear instructions, set achievable goals, and allow natural consequences to take effect. This, combined with the other factors mentioned above, contributes to the efficacy of wilderness therapy for youth struggling with oppositional and defiant issues.

How is Adventure Therapy different from Traditional Talk Therapy for kids? 

  • That the client becomes a participant rather than a spectator in therapy.
  • Therapeutic activities require client motivation in the form of energy, involvement, and responsibility.
  • Therapeutic activities are real and meaningful in terms of natural consequences to the client.
  • Reflection is a critical element of the therapeutic process.
  • Functional change must have present as well as future relevance for clients and their society.

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