When first looking at Pokemon GO and Wilderness Therapy you may not see a relationship at all. Delve a little deeper however, and similarities begin to present themselves. Pokemon trainers, like wilderness field staff, are tasked with developing the creatures they find in the wilderness.

When pokemon trainers come across pokemon in the wild, they capture a sometimes resistant pokemon, learn about that pokemon, then work on “powering up” and strengthening their pokemon. Field staff too, are tasked with catching the student’s initially resistant thoughts, feelings and behaviors. After creating the relationship, field staff and students work together to help students grow. Through shared experiences, conversation, and an increased understanding of the students’ unique strengths, students are powered up and readied for battle.

Unlike pokemon however, the students are not in the ring with each other, but with their past; with old patterns and tempting environments. The more the student grows, or the more powered up the pokemon, the more likely he or she will emerge from battle successful.

Given the right resources, whether pokeballs, potions, stardust, survival skills, experiential teaching moments, group therapy, or pokemon metaphor, combining these in the right way can lead to the evolution of pokemon and wilderness therapy students alike, allowing them to spread their wings and take flight in a way never before possible.

This article written by Megan Franz, MS, ACMHC, NCC

Megan Franz, MS, ACMHC, NCC
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WinGate Therapy
WinGate Therapy

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