Steps to attend THRIVE Wellness Workshops:
- Fill out SCREENING FORM to be placed on our PARTICIPANT LIST
- Once approved to join, pay deposit to approve your spot ($25 non-refundable to ensure commitment) Use the DONATION/PAYMENT LINK @ Bottom of page
- Complete the INFO and PERMISSION PACKET (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.
What kind of workshop is it?
Thrive Wellness Workshop is an outdoor program focused on cultivating our connection to ourselves, each other and our natural world. Our groups exploring a variety of topics like self-care, anxiety, healthy coping skills, feelings, social struggles and shared experiences, all while moving through a combination of nature hikes, group discussions, mindful awareness practices, and lessons in basic safety and respect for nature.We hold several different workshops throughout the year, varying in format, age group, gender, focus and location. 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!
In-town workshop: A series of 4 weekly sessions held at various outdoor and hiking locations in and near Ojai. Each week we focus on a topic that relates to the location we are exploring and expand on previous discussions.
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. Weekend trips take us to various locations such as Channel Islands National Park, Los Padres National Forest, and California State Beaches.
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.
Anxiety & Related Topics Workshop– This workshop explores the relationship with stress, pressure and discomfort that we all experience in our daily lives. We will engage in outdoor activities and group discussions that will help us learn about our anxiety and develop coping strategies to better manage arising stresses.
Preteen Topics– This workshop provides an exploration of the shared experiences during the transitions of early adolescence. We will engage in outdoor activities and learn about nature as we develop a deeper understanding of our struggles and strategies for managing them.
Hiking & Nature Awareness– This workshop will provide an opportunity for more extended time on the hiking trail and education on various aspects of nature. We will engage in group discussions about the role that nature plays in our lives, strategies for increased awareness and understanding of ourselves and others.
What makes it therapy?
Our time spent out in nature provides countless therapeutic lessons and much of our workshops are focused on hiking, activities and the natural discussions that arise during these times. However, our workshops also provide some structured aspects of group therapy, such as group discussions around a specific prompt, addressing interpersonal dynamics, psychoeducation and lessons on manage stressors or difficult emotions. We welcome individuals from every walk of life and no mental health condition or concern is needed to benefit from the experience, although this can be a great place for someone with such concerns.(* Screening is required for each interested participant to ensure goodness-of-fit and safety for each workshop) Our belief is that everyone deals 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 fears, which we can all help each other learn about and work through.
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 what 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’t 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.