A nature based, therapeutic experience
What kind of a workshop is it?
Thrive Wellness Workshop is a nature-based therapy group where we gather a group of children, adolescents or adults outdoors and work together to deepen our connection to nature and ourselves. Through the de-stressing power that nature brings us, we focus on teaching self-care, healthy coping skills and deeper well-being as we engage in nature hikes, group discussions, mindful activities, and lessons in basic safety and respect for nature. We aim for each participant to learn the joys of being in and caring for nature, and to leave the workshop feeling more connected, empowered and wild! We hold several different workshops throughout the year, varying in format, age group and location. Workshops are announced on our website and throughout our social media platforms.
What makes this therapy?
Within the structure of our workshops, we identify shared and individual challenges and stressors, which we address from a psychological standpoint (i.e. discussion, teaching coping skills, expression). Not every participant is required to have a mental health condition or even a significant concern in their life, however this is a place for someone with such concerns*.
Our belief is that everyone walks through life with some conflict, ailment or stress, and our structure allows for working through and learning how to cope better with whatever you bring along with you. In addition, the vast majority of participants share common experiences, stresses and fear, thus we can all help each other learn and work through.
(* Screening is required for each interested participant to ensure goodness-of-fit and safety for each workshop)
DEVELOPED & FACILITATED BY:
Tessa Magill, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wilderness First-Aid & CPR Certified
Cheney Caldwell, Wilderness Enthusiast, Wilderness First Responder & CPR Certified
Steps to get signed up:
- Fill out SCREENING FORM and return to us to be placed on our PARTICIPANT LIST (be sure to provide email and phone # so we can contact you)
- Once we review this form and determine fit for the workshop, we will ask you to complete the INFO & PERMISSION PACKET below (and DEPOSIT to hold your spot)
- Information & Permission Packets – be sure to choose the correct In-Town or Retreat Packet: DOWNLOAD THRIVE INFORMATION & PERMISSIONS PACKET (IN-TOWN) OR DOWNLOAD THRIVE INFORMATION & PERMISSIONS PACKET (RETREAT)
- Attend the INFORMATION MEETING for all parents/caregivers and participants on the date announced via website or email.
In-Ojai workshop: A series of 4 weekly sessions held at various outdoor and hiking locations in and near Ojai. Each week focuses on a different topic and connects to our location.
Youth Weekend Retreat: A weekend getaway where we camp in a beautiful location explore natural and cultural history, embark on nature walks and therapeutic conversations related to nature’s healing capacity. Regular trips are to Channel Islands National Park, with future trips aimed for other locations such as Los Padres National Forest.
Women’s Retreat: A backpacking or retreat style weekend focused on using nature’s healing capacity to de-stress, unplug, connect to nature, and develop new skills for self-care. *registration fees and donations from our Women’s Retreats help to fund our teen scholarships.
TESSA MAGILL, Therapeutic Wilderness Programs
Tessa is an Ojai native and licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working in the field since 2012. She currently provides therapy for students of Ojai Unified School District and clients of Maple Counseling Center in Ojai and Ventura. Tessa is passionate about working with individuals in need and helping guide teens with skills in facing life’s challenges, becoming well-rounded individuals and having integrity in their actions. She spends her free time with friends and family, hiking, walking her dog and being outdoors as much as possible. She is enthusiastic about getting people outdoors to reduce stress and learn in the process of connecting back to nature. These passions and professional experience are hat led Tessa to TGEW to develop wilderness based therapeutic workshops for teens.
CHENEY CALDWELL, Wilderness Advocate and Trip Leader
Cheney was born and raised in Ojai fostering an early connection to Nature. In her early twenties she helped charter a young humanitarian service organization, Ventura Rotaract Club, and served as president for two years. The role enlightened her to the innate power and agency of youth, and sparked a desire to learn more. She returned to college and studied Sociology with an emphasis in Institutions; after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree, she was disillusioned with the precarious health of the Commons: water, land and air. Her adventurous spirit and curiosity about South American wilderness led her to spend 9 months over 2 ½ years traveling in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Perú; recently, she lived and worked on a reserve in Argentine rainforest for five weeks. The kindness and hospitality that Latino strangers extended positively overwhelmed her, and reminded her of all the people who said: “You can travel to South America alone— you’re a woman!”. Having chaperoned several TGEW campouts, it became clear to her that youth are generally lacking contact with the natural world. She hopes that by creating a safe space to explore Nature and self, young women will be inspired to be wild, become stewards of the Commons, and follow their true north.