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Rotem Yanai

B'Shvil & Flow, Israel

Rotem Yanai is a group facilitator (MA) who specializes in combining arts and nature. An outdoor and resilience educator, adventure therapy facilitator and certified trainer in the science of happiness.

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Processing combat-related experiences through reconnecting veterans to personal and interpersonal resilience sources within nature surroundings

‘BShvil’ is a non-profit organization that provides veterans’ group interventions for processing combat experiences, where participants' resilience is enhanced through individual and group work in nature surroundings. The intervention is delivered as a 5-8 days retreat, in groups of 10-15 veterans. The theoretical model follows an ecological understanding of trauma and its effects, the BASIC PH model of resilience, and promotes recovery through body, mind, and interpersonal interventions. During this group nature-assisted intervention participants learn and practice emotional and cognitive skills, along with mind-body practices, such as yoga, balancing, connecting to the healing powers of being in nature, and more.
During this combo presentation, we will present the theoretical and clinical model of this intervention, along with empirical data that supports its implementation. In light of this, we will discuss the relations between exposure to trauma, post-traumatic distress symptoms, and resilience resources. To strengthen the understanding of the theoretical guidelines we will practice a sample of this intervention, for the participants to experience the power of this nature-assisted group intervention model.
Learning objective: Participants will learn how to use group interactions and being in-nature, to promote and enhance the connections of veterans with their personal and interpersonal resilience resources.

Our proposed presentation presents an evidence-based group intervention that helps people who deal with post-traumatic emotional distress reconnect with their own strengths, and with others in their social environment. By learning about and practicing the use of their dormant resilience resources, participants of this group's nature-assisted intervention connect with their natural healing powers and experience a meaningful connection to both nature and human-nature.

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