ERIC Number: ED387752
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reconnecting with Nature: Educational Self-Esteem Sensory Activities for Reducing Drug Use and Irresponsible Relationships in Students at Risk.
Davies, Kurtland; Cohen, Michael J.
A model of an integrated ecologically-based counseling and recovery program is explored as a means of incorporating educational and psychological nature-connecting methods and materials with traditional recovery activities for people at risk and as a preventative. The first part of the program introduces high-risk high school students, most of whom have low self-esteem, to elements of nature. The second part of the program focuses on reducing chemical use and irresponsible relationships in at risk students. Phase 1 of this part involved 3 weeks of play and creativity in natural settings. Phase 2 involves specially designed nature reconnecting activities to reduce stress and attune participants to nature. Phase 3 consists of a 5-day "ropes course" where students practice teamwork, use problem solving skills, and work on fear and stress reduction skills. The goal is to further reduce stress, and help them experience power, joy, and trust. Results of the project are overwhelmingly positive. Significantly increased scores on the Barksdale Self-Esteem Index are recorded. The results suggest that the project, used in conjunction with daily stress situations instead of artificially programmed stress activities, can serve as an ecologically sound citizenship education preventative for chemical, food, and social and environmental abuse. (KW)
Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Biological Influences, Conservation (Concept), Counseling Services, Counseling Techniques, Depression (Psychology), Desensitization, Drug Addiction, Ecology, Environmental Education, Group Counseling, High Risk Students, High School Students, High Schools, Interaction, Nontraditional Education, Personality Traits, Quality of Life, Self Concept Measures, Self Esteem, Sensitivity Training
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Excerpted from "Reconnecting with Nature," by Michael J. Cohen, see CG 026 589.