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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

Zoë Van Winckel

PC Multiversum, mArquee, Belgium

Zoë studied physiotherapy but chose a major within mental health (psychomotor therapy). After a couple of years of common physiotherapy, she started as a psychomotor therapist for the psychiatric hospital Multiversum, specifically for the department mArquee, which offers help for young adults, aged 16-25. As a psychomotor therapist, she offers activities with therapeutic aims. Through sports and movement, individuals can learn to understand themselves and their bodies, create healthy boundaries, tolerate frustration, and foster meaningful connections.

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Searching for connection within boundaries,
working with adolescents in a psychiatric context

At mArquee, We believe that adolescents not only grow by talking about themselves but mainly by experiencing and by learning from each other. We therefore offer them as many experiences out of their comfort zone, in groups. Every few months we get out into nature, where we focus on the outdoors, responsibility and teamwork. As of 2024, we will expand these day trips into multi-day trips in the Belgian Ardennes, offering new experiences like camping, cooking, and outdoor life. 
In this interactive presentation, We will focus on our search for a balance between connection and boundaries. Adolescents learn about themselves through others. During our hiking days, we therefore aim for a sense of connection between a group of 9 youngsters. Every individual struggles with their own psychiatric problem, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, etc… Finding connection (with themselves and others) is, therefore, a challenge, because everyone has their own distinct needs. On the other hand, we aim to help youngsters to set boundaries, or try to manage boundaries set by their bodies or by others. In this interactive presentation, we propose a conversation through dilemmas grown by our own experiences in the outdoors, but also by the experiences of our youngsters. Dilemmas like, ‘a youngster chooses to walk with their headphones on, clearly communicating to be let alone’, will be reviewed. A conversation will be facilitated by positioning yourself in a space where different opinions and possibilities can be discussed.

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