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The tables have turned. As part of a three-day immersion workshop, our therapists in central Ohio will participate in therapy sessions rather than lead them. The workshop, which is part of a new adventure therapy program taking place in Licking, Knox and Morrow Counties, will teach therapists the curriculum in an experiential setting.

“Our therapists will learn as the client. They’ll undergo the therapy as a way of learning the therapy,” said Central Regional Director Sandy Sims. Therapists will be taught by Bobbi Beale, senior research associate at Case Western Reserve and creator of the program.

Beale specializes in designing non-traditional therapy programs for at-risk youth and youth with a history of trauma. Her research has resulted in the validation of adventure therapy as Trauma Informed Day Treatment and she is working to expand that validation to both home-based and multi-family group settings.

The Village Network will be part of a statewide initiative to practice Beale’s programming. By joining her and her program, The Village Network will also be involved in Beale’s research as she works to establish adventure therapy as an evidence-based practice.

“I think it’ll be an exceptional opportunity to impact youth and it’s right in line with NMT,” Sims said. “Her therapies are similar to the therapies we’re already implementing.”

The therapy will be open to all age groups and each child will be involved in two and a half hours of therapy. The groups will be open-ended, meaning that youth can come and go as they master different skillsets. The program is still in its beginning stages, but Sims said she is confident that as time passes, this program could grow to serve more than just central Ohio’s youth.

“It’s a pretty straight forward curriculum. It’ll be an easy yet effective to implement in other locations,” Sims said.

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