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Rich (Tilly) Tildesley

Venture Trust/Association of Outdoor Therapy, UK

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Rich Tildesley (Tilly) is an Outdoor Therapist at Venture Trust in Scotland. He has over 20 years of experience in working with marginalized groups in the outdoors in remote locations throughout the world.

He was the Senior Development Trainer on the Venture Mòr Wilderness Therapy programme, the first of its kind in the UK. He has a BSc (hons) in Conservation and Countryside Management an MSc in Outdoor, Environmental and Sustainability Education, a PGDip in Human Relations and Psychodynamic Counselling and is an experienced MTA Mountain Leader. He is a MBACP registered counsellor and is a Senior Associate Member of the Association for Psychodynamic Practice and Counselling in Organisational Settings.

Outdoor Therapy in Scottish Areas of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)

This two-part presentation will start by exploring the development of the Venture Trust Outdoor Therapy service, including consideration of the boundaries, challenges and benefits. This multi-modality clinical service works with clients from communities identified as "deprived" in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). Clients living in SIMD areas can face issues such as unemployment, lower incomes, less access to nature, higher rates of crime, substance use etc. For clients that have experienced institutional power dynamics, like being taken into social care, it can be hard to step into clinical settings. The Outdoor Therapy service attempts to address some of the barriers faced by clients through offering a service that meets them 'where they are at', within green and blue spaces in their own communities. The rationale for this work will be explored in depth.


The second part of the presentation will bring the work to life through a comprehensive case study of a young, therapy-resistant and socially isolated client, Mr C, and his journey within the service. This will be considered through a psychodynamic lens, exploring concepts such as projective identification, transitional objects etc. in the outdoor therapy context. More general therapeutic principles like safety, therapeutic alliance, boundaries and containment will also be discussed.

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