Stories from the field is dedicated to demystifying wilderness therapy and is hosted by Dr. Will White. In this podcast Will interviews various wilderness therapy researchers, program founders, writers, executive directors, guide staff, clinicians, critics and more. He educates the listener to the long history of the field and different trends related to this evolving treatment option.
Will has worked in the wilderness therapy field for over 30 years and co-founded Summit Achievement (a wilderness therapy program) located in Maine in the 1990's. He wrote the book, "Stories from the Field: A History of Wilderness Therapy" and his doctoral dissertation traced the history of the field and is titled, “Stories from the Elders: Chronicles and Narratives from the Early Years of Wilderness Therapy”.
Scott Vee: Parent of a Wilderness Therapy Student
Scott Vee is a parent of a wilderness therapy student. Scott shares the journey of trying to help his teenage son during the beginning of the pandemic. He explains how he heard about wilderness therapy after a residential treatment program director told him that he had to pick up his son as his son was not complying with the program's model. Scott found Evoke in Utah after searching different treatment models. Scott shares he "learned as much" as his son during the wilderness process and advice for parents.
Jennifer Glazer: Parent of a Wilderness Therapy Student
Jennifer Glazer is a parent of a wilderness therapy student from Mass. Jennifer shares her journey of trying to help her teenage son during the beginning of the pandemic. She explains how they had tried different mental health treatments and then a friend suggested wilderness therapy. Jennifer searched the web and found True North in Vermont, which was the beginning of change for the family. Jennifer shares what they learned and the importance of "being gentle with oneself" when everyone is in treatment.
Cynthia Cohen: Parent of a Wilderness Therapy Student and Educational Consultant
Cynthia Cohen is a parent of a wilderness therapy student and educational consultant. Cynthia shares her family's journey of trying to help their teenage son while living in New York City over a decade ago. Cynthia reviews the unsuccessful treatment of her son by well-educated and well-intentioned mental health professionals in NYC until one suggested wilderness therapy. Cynthia shares her personal and professional journey from wilderness therapy parent to educational consultant helping other parents.
Jill Needleman: Parent of a Wilderness Therapy Student
Jill Needleman is an educator and a parent of a wilderness therapy student. Jill shares her family's journey of helping her eighth-grade son get help for emotional struggles that caused him to refuse to go to school. They tried different interventions, but nothing seemed to help. They eventually found an educational consultant who referred them to Summit Achievement as it has a school component. Jill shares how wilderness therapy saved their family and the challenges of finding a good after-care program.
Katie McDevitt: Parent of a Wilderness Therapy Student
Katie McDevitt is a mother of five children in Illinois. Katie shares her family's journey of helping her oldest son get help for overwhelming anxiety and depression that he dealt with by substance using. They tried a different school, intensive outpatient treatment, and then a one-to-one school. Nothing seemed to help. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and things became even more challenging. Katie shares how the family navigated helping their son via wilderness therapy in the spring of 2020 and beyond.
Carolyn Lambert: Parent of a Wilderness Therapy Student and Parent Coach
Carolyn Lambert is the founder of Nathans WayPoint a parent coaching service. Carolyn shares her challenging journey of helping both of her teenagers get help for crippling anxiety and depression. Carolyn helped her son enroll in a residential treatment program and two years later her daughter asked for help and was enrolled in a wilderness therapy program. Carolyn shares the challenges she faced in getting help for her teenager and how it changed the course of her own life to help parents through coachin
Thoughtful, insightful, and a good listen
It is a privilege to have known Will White for many years, and to consider him a mentor and teacher in the field of behavioral health. I so appreciate his willingness to embrace all stories, from different perspectives, and to actively seek out a variety of voices to share in this podcast. It is telling that he interviewed Kenneth Rosen, author of “Troubled,” in such a thoughtful and receptive way as Rosen’s book paints a less flattering picture of behavioral healthcare programs. Truly worth your time to listen to these amazing stories!! Thank you, Will!
What a gift to the field
So appreciative of Will White in his demystifying quest!
He continues to be so inclusive of all aspects of the field including, but not limited to, field staff, owners, therapists, researchers, as well as former students/clients. What is most educational for many, including my students, is how those being interviewed entered the field of adventure/wilderness therapy.
I especially like those interviewed who thought initially that they had discovered the field only to find out they were joining a host of individuals who shared the same passions.
It’s a big tent! Thank you Will for the journey.
I highly recommend this podcast for the novice and the experienced.
Listen and Learn
I am lucky enough to call Will White a friend, mentor and colleague. I learned very early on in getting to know Will (almost 20 years ago!) that the best thing for me to do when I’m in his presence is to just Listen and Learn. Will has always been a teacher to those in his presence in one form or another and this podcast is a culmination of his natural passion to learn and teach others. It is an amazing look into the wilderness therapy field. What a gift and legacy this project is to all of us involved currently and to those that carry wilderness therapy in to the future. Your interview with Jake was perfect! Thank you my friend!