chapter  3
39 Pages

Wilderness Th erapy: Creating a Context of Hope

ByCHRISTINE LYNN NORTON

Th oreau spoke of wilderness as an entity necessary for the survival of our world. People speak of youth in the very same way. How oft en we hear that the youth of today will be the future of tomorrow. Perhaps, however, it is the relationship between the two that is most important. In his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Defi cit Disorder, Richard Louv (2005) wrote that “healing the broken bond between our young and nature is in our self-interest … because our mental, physical and spiritual health depends on it” (p. 3). Louv’s book is not about therapy, but he emphasizes some of the fundamental beliefs inherent in wilderness therapy, primarily that a major “cause of emotional and behavioral disturbances in youth is the lack of signifi cant relationship with the social and natural worlds” (Gass, 1993, p. 24).