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Where wild things grow: Friluftsterapi as a preventative, health promoting, and sustainable method for children with neurodivergence in school, health care, family and leisure settings in Southern Norway

Annelies Van De Moer


Annelies works as a family therapist in a residential facility of child and adolescent psychiatry. She works in a multidisciplinary team with young adolescents who have been hospitalized for long periods of time because of serious psychological and psychiatric problems. As a family therapist, she tries to work with the adolescent's family to find what the adolescent needs in order to grow. Because of the complexity of the problems, it is often necessary to think out of the box. 

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Supporter days' - How to use nature in the psychiatric treatment of a child and his context

In the two residential treatment groups of Vleugel K (children psychiatry) we try to involve the caregivers of the children/young adolescents as much as possible in the treatment process. For example, we organize regular ‘supporter days’ where we invite the caretakers or other people who are important for the children/young adolescents to join the program. We operate and organize these supporter days around specific themes (e.g. connection, strengths,...) and provide an environment to take action together and gain new experiences through hands-on exercises and assignments. We try to go outside the walls of the hospital on these days and often seek out nature. Spending time together in another environment can already create new experiences and different dynamics. In addition to the activities, we dedicate time to reflection moments providing room for new personal and interpersonal insights. These insights are further incorporated in the treatment process of the child or young adolescent.
In this 2-hour workshop we invite you to and include you in one of our supporter days and let you experience how we bring our children and young adolescent together, in an action oriented environment, with their caretakers. We focus on how such an environment positively impacts the overall treatment process.

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