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Julia Kosztka

Eötvös Lorand University Doctoral School of Sociology, Hungary

Julia_kosztka_picture - Júlia Kosztka.JPG

In all aspects of my life, my relationship with nature, with the people and groups around me, and my community approach play an important role. 
In my work, my main goal is to support the development of the people who come into contact with me and to accompany them on their journey of self-discovery. As a social worker, I have worked with women in homeless shelters, young people and adults who abuse substances. As an adventure and experiential therapy trainer, I have worked with children in child protection, young people in aftercare and with social professionals. 
In the last few years, my role as a mother has been the main focus, offering me many opportunities for experiential learning. I am currently focusing on my studies in social policy, as well as my research and teaching.

River of life - A tool to help social work students?

I have been teaching a course on Wilderness and Adventure Therapy to social work students at Eötvös Loránd University for four years. The aim of the course is to introduce future social workers to outdoor methods and the positive effects of being in nature. The aim is to give them the opportunity to gain first-hand experience and learn professional tools that can be used in the future, as well as to develop their professional self-awareness. Each course is a little different, but there is one constant element that tends to have a big impact on students: the "River of life" exercise. The exercise is based on natural elements and metaphors found in nature and focuses on the professional life journey, providing an opportunity for reflection and professional personality development.

In this combined workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experience first-hand my version of the River of life exercise and reflect on their own professional journey. We will then discuss the issues raised by the participants about the exercise and its application in university education and professional training. Finally, I will briefly present my teaching experience with the practice and the results of my research on the adventure therapy course.
The planned workshop will thus start with a first-hand experience of a wilderness therapy exercise, followed by an interactive professional discussion and a short presentation. 

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