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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

Stijn Brenard 

Belgium

I'am Stijn Brenard. I'm working as a nurse in a child psychiatry. The children in my working place have some emotional and social difficulties . For these problems, the children stay for about 8 months in our residential group, and as a team we try to treat the child and their context. My job function is leading this group of children, giving therapy , and giving them some new eye opening experiences to help them in their future life.

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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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