When most people think of therapy, they think of talking through their life's challenges in a clinical setting, probably on a couch in an office. Experiential therapy looks very different: It can involve the arts, the outdoors, physical activity, or even acting out past events. All of these kinds of therapy have the same goal, to help people process their emotions in a healthy way as they take on an active role in a new activity.
Camp SEK uses many kinds of experiential therapy, including mindfulness and yoga, art therapy, and equine therapy, but all are underpinned by an immersive farmlife experience that forms the cornerstone of the program. Participants literally get their hands dirty, connect with others, take on responsibilities, and develop self-confidence by learning new skills.
Farmlife therapy is not offered in very many places, but it just might be the world’s oldest form of therapy. For millennia, our ancestors tended to animals and the land to feed their families. They learned self-reliance, cooperation, and the value of hard work, even at a young age, because their very survival depended on it. Farmlife therapy embraces those key factors of human flourishing and translates them in a way today’s teenagers can understand.
A day at Camp SEK could involve planting and weeding a garden, tackling a low ropes course, fishing, and hiking. By breaking participants out of their daily physical routines, farmlife therapy makes it easier for them to break out of mental routines that may not be serving them.
Combined with nutrition, art therapy, meditation, and more, the overall experience at Camp SEK gives participants a hefty toolbox of coping methods and strategies they can carry with them for a lifetime. Things like daily structure, independence, and balance of mind, body, and spirit can be found more easily in nature than in our hectic daily lives. All of these traits are every bit as useful at home and in school as they are on a farm.
Healthy habits don’t sprout up overnight, but because farmlife therapy is immersive, it creates change more quickly than you might think. A session in a therapist’s office may last an hour, but Camp SEK is a therapy session that lasts all week. Parents can tell their camper has benefitted from farmlife therapy if they see a change in the child’s daily behavior patterns, communication styles, and emotional wellbeing.
To learn more about how farmlife therapy at Camp SEK helps teenagers process grief, stress, and trauma, click here. Applications are now open for June 2023.