Two representatives from each country came to the Reaching Further meetings, sometimes three. Every action group has members from at least three countries and for every meeting the host country requires more hands to manage. The group fluctuated sometimes but that is what strong trees do when the tree trunk is strong and solid.
Here are the people behind Reaching Further!
Lynn Van Hoof
Lynn is a clinical psychologist with a degree in adventure education, client-centred and EFT therapist. She has 6 years of experience of working with youth at risk, within family- or group work, in mental institutions and with NATURE.
Lynn is a facilitator of experiential education activities and adventure therapy programs, experiential education trainer for coaches, teachers and therapists and individual therapist for youngsters and young adults, implementing outdoor activities and walks in their therapeutical process. She is also the Belgian representative of ATIC (Adventure Therapy International Committee).
Lynn has experienced the therapeutic value of nature. A value that comes from the beauty, the hugeness, the overwhelming power that nature holds. Simply being outside, being present, simply putting one foot in front of another, can be strongly therapeutic.
I believe that we have lost the connection with the ‘outside world’ in our treatment- and coaching programs and I feel the need to restore this wonderful and healing connection with nature.
Natalia has a MASW, MSc Soc.Pol. LMFT, is a Psy PhD candidate and an ongoing MA in organizational psychology.
She has 15 years of experience in the field of social care, of child protection as a practitioner in the field, as a researcher for an institution, as well as being a trainer and supervisor. Since 2007 her efforts have been focused on therapeutic methodology, as a systematic family therapy and adventure therapy. Natalia has been the official leader of the Foundation kéTTé since 2012 and is currently working as a freelance therapist and the president of kéTTe Foundation, Hungary.
Natalia believes that the strength of the wilderness- and adventure therapy is to combine therapeutic expertise, adventure experiences, academic assessments and a family system approach in healing nature.
I believe, that this method and all experiences we help people attain makes them free and more deeply connected with themselves.
Nadia has a bachelor in psychology and graduated as a contextual psychotherapist. She worked in a mental health centre for children and families as a psychotherapist for 8 years before moving to Chilean Patagonia. There she worked as an outdoor guide and began searching actively for the connection between and combination of psychotherapy and nature.
Nadia now works as a contextual (crisis) counsellor with youth and families at risk and tries to incorporate experiential outdoor therapeutic aspects in the healing process. As a volunteer for “NATURE” she applies adventure therapeutic programs with youth at risk and with families and contributes at the same time to the common European adventure therapy dream.
Adventure therapy because it accepts nature as a partner in therapy with the special ability to bring you back in contact with yourself, your essence and others through extraordinary and authentic experiences and awareness.
Susana has a degree in sport psychology and a masters psychosocial intervention with children, youth and families.
She has worked as a psychosocial re-educator at Pressley Ridge since 2004, and implemented life skills programs for children and youth, since 2001. She is a trainer in many different contexts (self-development; conflict management; team building; community building) and uses experiential learning foundation.
Adventure therapy is a powerful tool to promote inclusion, children life skills training and education.
Elmo studied sport psychology and has a master of arts in education and sport science. He also has various qualifications in mediation, traumatic therapy, systemic counselling of change-processes in teams and organisations.
He is the founder of the experience-centred process-facilitation, a freelancer at Create Your Change and the CEO of Elmo Vision. Elmo has been facilitating experience-centred change processes of families with youth at risk, teams, school classes and organisations for more than 15 years. Conductor and instructor of experiential education training and sport psychological training at all levels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He is also a sspecialist in team development of high performing sports teams and a ssupervisor in systemic and experiential education.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by. And that has made all the difference.“ (Robert Frost)
Roberta studied psychology, went to Specialization School in Institutional Psychotherapy (SIPSI) and did a masters in Experiential learning at Via Experientia. She has worked in the private and social sector as a outdoor trainer with theatre-therapy, carrying out theatre and integration activities for people with both physical and psychological disabilities.
Her passion for foreign countries and for social inclusion led her to take an active interest in international projects, especially in the field of youth exchanges. Privately she works as a psychotherapist, for individual therapy. Currently Roberta works as a psychologist, psychotherapist and trainer in experiential learning.
Therapy by adventure is a powerful way to promote and maintain psycho physical well-being of the individuals.
Alexander has a degree in psychology, sport sciences and did teacher training, as well as a masters in clinical and health psychology and drug counselling.
He has been working with youth at risk groups in non-formal education for the past 15 years, coordinated an outdoor learning school for 12 years including training youth workers. Alexander has experience from volunteering in adventure and wilderness therapy programs in USA and Europe. For the past 4 years he has used outdoor experiences in addition to psychological treatment.
Alexander is a clinical psychologist in private practise, a lecturer at different universities and psychologist and president of Asociación Experientia.
We belong to nature. Providing positive, enhancing and growing experiences in nature can help develop a healthy self.
Per is a social worker and has specialised in experiential learning. He worked with youngsters with intellectual disabilities from 2003, organising several enduring projects in and outside the Netherlands. Now he works as an experiential learning trainer at Mutsaersstichting, trainer at Team-Focus and coach at Wijnands Training & Coaching. Per works mostly individually with children and youth with psychological problems but also with the children’s parents and with groups.
Per likes to work in, beneath and beside trees. Since 2003 he has seen the positive effects of experiential learning on the behaviour of young people. In his experience experiential learning is not only for youngsters with intellectual disabilities or psychological problems but also for adults. He also thinks using adventure therapy simultaneously makes the effects even bigger.
Being in the woods, being outside and using Experiential Learning with Adventure Therapy is my mission in working with other people and facilitate them to take steps in their own development.
Mario graduated from social and educational studies, did an advanced training for trainers in Europe, ATTE by EU and CoE and has a masters in Training for life coach from the Epoche Institute. Mario is a pedagogue and an expert in non formal and experiential learning education. An adviser for the Youth and Sport Directorate projects of the Council of Europe. He works in the training field at an international level. He has planned and directed several events on the issues of intercultural integration, environment and sport. Since 2002 he is the director of the Outdoor International Festival “Animazione e natura” of the Circeo National Park.
Mario is the president of A.S.D. Kamaleonte, Trainer in Experiential Learning and Educator.
Adventure therapy is the best tool to understand the limit between therapy and personal development. I would like to start up a sector within the organisation solely dedicated to the adventure therapy.
Corinna is a psychologist with a master’s degree focusing on counseling, development and learning. She is a trained mediator and has facilitated various workshops concerning conflict resolution.
Since 2012 Corinna worked as an experiential educator with school groups and as an outdoor-trainer for companies in Germany. She joined the staff of Educo Adventure School in BC, Canada, to offer personal development programs for the youth. In a psychosomatic clinic she got to know adventure therapy for patients suffering from substance abuse. In 2016 she conducted a meta-analysis on “Adventure Therapy Effects on Self-Concept”.
Corinna wishes to use the power of nature based experiences to empower people.
Connection with one another, with nature and with yourself – that’s what we have often lost in our daily lives. That’s what Adventure Therapy can promote through holistic experiences.
Kátia studied clinical psychology and did a masters in sport psychology. She devoted practitioner of adventure sports and activities that brings her in contact with nature. She has been racing for 30 years in orienteering in all its disciplines: hiking, mountain biking and adventure racing.
Kátia founded Pressley Ridge in 2000 and is currently the president. She is specialised in therapeutic crisis intervention by the Circle of Courage by Reclaiming Youth International and the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute.
I believe in adventure therapy to work with kids at risk, to help them to thrive.
Wilbert has a bachelor degree in social work and creative therapy. He has completed both ABC and AABC courses at Project Adventure, studied adventure therapy at John Moores University, Liverpool and did a postgraduate degree in adventure education.
He is a manager at Xonar Youth Care where he uses experimental learning with youths that no longer attend school. Wilbert helps his clients with social skills and care for independent living.
Adventure therapy with youth at risk helps the kids and families to recognise and internalise what they have to change and experiment new behaviour in a safe environment.
Harpa Ýr Erlendsdóttir
Harpa has a Bc.S in occupational therapy and a Ms. in organisational behaviour and talent management. She studied at the Academia of Via Experientia and has various courses connected to non formal education and experiential learning under her belt. Harpa also studied parent and infant psychotherapy at Anna Freud Center. She worked with youth with developmental and behavioural disabilities for 3 years, in a psychiatric unit for children and adolescent for a year and in a psychiatric unit for adults for 5 years. Facilitating Adventure therapy groups and non formal therapy groups with youngsters and young adults as well as individual therapy.
Currently Harpa works as a occupational therapist for the Kopavogur municipality welfare system in Iceland. Harpa was a scout and participating in all kinds of outdoor sports and nature has played a big role in her life from childhood. She has had the opportunity to experience the healing power of it through her work and the therapeutic values that nature provides.
I belive nature provides an opportunity to get connected with a tangible aspect that can be useful in therapy. Having experienced the therapeutic change in my patience makes me believe in the potential of adventure therapy.
Natalia Ruiz de Cortázar Gracia
Natalia studied psychology and has a masters in mental health counselling and family therapy intervention. She worked in United States for two years as a mental health counsellor and within the wilderness therapy industry in two different programs in the southwest, as a field guide and as a family and wilderness therapist. Volunteer working with youth in non-formal education in the outdoors for 5 years.
Currently Natalia works as a program developer, psychologist and secretary of Experientia.
I believe that nature can be the best teacher to learn about yourself. “There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone”
Christiane is a qualified social education worker, has a qualification in outdoor- and experiential learning and education (Outward Bound, Germany), academic Certification of systemic supervision, coaching and consulting of organisation-development and trained in psychic trauma education.
Christiane has more than 20 years of experience with action-based learning and for more than 15 years she has been involved with the teaching team for experiential education at Outward Bound, Germany. As a social worker she has extensive experience from working in schools, with families and in institutions. Christiane has experience exceeding 15 years as a supervisor and consultant for maladjusted adolescents. She is also is a member and on the board of directors of the German Federal Association of Individual- and Experiential Learning, Outward Bound, Germany and a member of the county council of Lindau for the Bündnis ’90/Die Grünen political party.
Presently Christiane works as an independent supervisor and coach (systemically oriented), leading a youth welfare service group of unaccompanied minor refugees in Germany and is the CEO of CREATE YOUR CHANGE.
“The fear of a future that we fear we can only overcome by images of a future that we want.” (Wilhelm Ernst Barkhoff, initiator of the GLS Bank)
Guðrún has a B.Sc. degree in occupational therapy as well as a plethora of scholastic and nonacademic accreditations aquired both through employment and studying. Guðrún worked for the psychiatric rehabilitation wards of the National University Hospital of Iceland, both in and outpatient wards, after graduating as an occupational therapist. Currently she works in residential rehabilitation with young adults with a dual diagnosis. She also gives regular courses on various subjects including empowerment and self management practises for users of the mental health services.
We can not understand the world by reading about it. We have to experience the world in the same way we have to have experiences to understand ourselves.
Gabor Timur Szabo
Gabor has an MA in psychology and is a counsellor psychologist and LMFT. Has worked as a counsellor psychologist in his private practice since 2004 and founded kéTTe Foundation the same year. Gabor studied adventure therapy in IOA, Wien University between 2005 and 2007 and has since then lead different adventure therapy projects and is a member of the international adventure therapy community.
Currently Gabor works as the CEO of AHA! Outdoor LtD and and expert in the kéTTe foundation.
Because Humans belong to Nature.
Silvia has a degree in psychology and a “Via Experientia” masters in Experiential Learning. Silvia has worked as a trainer in experiential learning and currently lives in Sardinia where she works as a psychologist and trainer in experiential learning.
Therapy supports people in becoming more aware of their own resources and improvement points; nature on the other hand offers good context and opportunities for experimenting with personal resources and challenges.