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New Perspectives - July, 2001 Issue #83 

Adventure Therapy Associates
Evan B. Freedman, Ph.D., Director
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-734-7310 ext. 4128

Adventure Therapy Associates is an individually tailored therapeutic wilderness program for families and adolescents. “Our courses combine the structure and discipline of a treatment intervention with the stimulation and challenge of a wilderness setting. They offer “exhilarating wilderness experiences” that include backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing and/or hut-to-hut skiing depending on the season and situation. These experiences provide the framework for individually tailored treatment curricula for families with children who are experiencing a variety of emotional and behavioral problems.

Dr. Evan Freedman, a licensed Clinical Psychologist who practices in Bellingham, Washington, facilitates these adventure opportunities. He is actively involved in research, writing, and lecturing in the field of applied psychology and is also an avid outdoorsman. He has specialized in work with children, adolescents and families and has over ten years of experience in both clinic and office settings as well as in demanding wilderness environments. He has held positions as clinical director for a northwest mental health facility that served children and families, was an instructor for Outward Bound and was a field supervisor for summer wilderness programs at the Cascade School in California. “Dr. Freedman’s certification as an Emergency Medical Technician ensures a safe program.”

The 8 day backcountry ADD/ADHD Youth Adventure Therapy Program for 13 to 17 year olds focuses on the management of symptoms related to ADD/ADHD. “The wilderness setting provides a place where participants can experiment with new behaviors and separate from over-stimulating environments. Participants will learn to improve concentration and social skills, filter extraneous stimuli, appropriately channel physical energy, understand ways to manipulate one’s physical and emotional environment to maximize cognitive function, and improve self-esteem.” The Depression/Anxiety Youth Adventure Therapy Program is an 8 day program for 13 to 17 year olds in which participants learn specific behavioral skills to manage depressive and anxious feelings, learn ways to communicate emotional needs so that they may be appropriately be met by others, give and receive support from peers with similar challenges and improve self- esteem. Assessments for future treatment interventions will be provided during both these programs.

The Family Adventure Therapy Program is a 3 to 4 day backcountry program for individual families that begins with two office-based family sessions for assessment and treatment planning. Follow-up includes two family therapy sessions in person or via phone conference, to help participants transfer what they’ve learned back to their home environment. Additional follow-up services are available by request. Some objectives of this program include improving communication, reducing family conflict, addressing problematic behaviors, and identifying individual strengths. It can also serve to help the transition “into our out of therapeutic boarding schools or wilderness programs providing reintegration or assessment for further service.”

Dr. Freedman should be contacted to schedule family programs, which are arranged to fit a family’s summer or vacation schedule. The Youth Adventure Therapy programs are currently being scheduled for July 31-August 6 and August 9 – 16.

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