ERIC Number: ED424071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Reflections on Wilderness Therapy.
Eggleston, Erin J.
Te Whakapakari Youth Programme on Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, is a Maori initiative initially designed to help young Maori, particularly those involved in drug abuse. The program now accepts adjudicated youth, aged 13-18, from many cultures who experience drug, physical, or sexual abuse and exhibit antisocial or violent tendencies. The wilderness therapy program operates under Maori principles of life, in which participants work together as a whaanau (extended family) for 1 month in order to survive on an island far from the mainland. Eighteen months after a wilderness experience, 10 youths were interviewed to determine which program elements were important in their lives. Participants' descriptions of program benefits refer to relationship-based themes derived from the whaanau experience--helping, talking, listening, trusting, respecting, and disciplined working. The continued application of program benefits back home was problematic, and followup was inadequate. Recommendations for improvement include integrating life at home with life on the program; planning for participants' return; following up with interviews by someone who can relate to the participants' experience of the program; having postprogram support in the form of communication and coordination with other programs; and obtaining acceptance by the "pakeha" (New Zealanders of European heritage) dominated mental health care and youth justice systems of the value of Maori knowledge, accompanied by financial support for Maori-operated mental health services. (Contains 39 references and a glossary of Maori terms.) (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand