RIGHT FOOT FORWARD WA

Adventure Programs for Adults


MEET YOUR LEADER 

LAURA ENGEL

Laura Engel joins Right Foot Forward WA to facilitate the introduction of adult programs to our current scope of practice.

Her first program is Trail Tracing: a pilot program for bereavement support. This program is driven by principles of Bush Adventure Therapy.

Laura is a qualified Social Worker who has worked primarily in clinical mental health settings. Further to this, she has completed four years of psychology training. As someone who has worked firmly within the boundaries of evidence-based practice and is well versed in the scientific method it has been Laura’s lived experience of loss and recovery on mountain trails that has inspired her curiosity to investigate this approach – this call to tracing.

Future programs will include Hiking Programs for Social Connection - targeting individuals experiencing loneliness, and a Women’s Adventure Camp – empowering women to grow confidence in nature.  


PILOT PROGRAM

SEEKING INDIVIDUALS

Right Foot Forward WA is seeking ten individuals who have an experience of bereavement, change, or adjustment who are willing to work collaboratively with us to develop our first adult program: The Trail Tracing pilot program. Individuals must be 18+ years and have a curiosity for alternative therapy modalities. Read below for more information or click here for expressions of interest.


Pilot Program overview

TRAIL TRACING: Bereavement Hiking Group

What calls you out on to the trails?  Out in to the quiet awakening of nature. Is it the stillness, the reverence, and deep interconnectedness between living systems?  Or is it the rhythm and shape of the path the trail carves out for you?

Trail Tracing is an approach to bereavement support that integrates forest trails, hiking, basic navigation, mindfulness practice and supportive therapy with the intention to both honour one’s experience of bereavement and to collaboratively navigate experiences of grief, loss, change, or adjustment in a unique way.

The purpose of this group is to support individuals experiencing:

  • Bereavement

  • An experience of change or adjustment

 The aim is to provide a safe space for participants to acknowledge and honour who, or what, has been lost; and furthermore, to create an opportunity to actively experience and connect with natural spaces. This pilot program, in essence, is a form of Bush Adventure Therapy which is considered a diverse field of practice that applies therapeutic intentions to adventure activities that primarily utilise natural environments (Australian Association of Bush Adventure Therapy, 2019). 

Trail Tracing is a vision for a therapeutic program that has emerged from facilitator Laura Engel’s professional background and lived experience of bereavement. In September 2017 Laura lost her daughter Anna who was born three months before her time.

She writes “nothing had prepared me for the smallness I felt in the bigness of this experience and how changed life suddenly was”. This call to tracing has slowly grown from Laura’s experience of losing her daughter and driven a deep curiosity for bush adventure therapy and the powerful healing potential in nature.

As this vision moves from an idea in to something more tangible, it is important to note that Laura is again pregnant. This may be important for some to know before acceptance on to the program; in particular, for individuals like Laura who have experienced a pregnancy loss or the loss of a baby. Laura writes “I know this sensitivity and fragility well, as I spent many months aching in the presence of pregnant mothers.”

Right Foot Forward WA launches this program to allow for any form of bereavement that may, or may not, stem form the loss of a person. Bereavement may stem from a loss of relationship, pet, or sudden change in circumstances. We open a space for tracing stories, tracing histories, tracing loved ones, tracing deep connection to who or what has been lost. Expanding, growing, and finding beginnings around who or what has been lost (Tonkin, 1996) – the grief becoming a centre for lift-off, not a place we expect will ever grow smaller.

Tonkin, L. (1996). Growing around grief and recovery, Bereavement Care, 15(1), 10. DOI:10.1080/02682629608657376


PROGRAM DETAILS

Trail Tracing is a full day program that will commence at 7am just after dawn (exact date to be advised).

The location of the first program will be in the Boranup Forest in Margaret River, Southwest WA. 

The program will be conducted by Laura Engel, a Social Worker, and Jocelyn Evans an Outdoor Educator and Outdoor Specialist. Collectively, both facilitators have experience and training in mental health and bush adventure therapy practice.

 

The day’s activities will involve:

  • An introduction and setting of intention

  • Mindfulness hike

  • Basic navigation of forest trails

  • Lunch

  • Opportunity for sharing, acknowledgment and honouring of loss

  • Reflection and closing.

Although following a group format, a significant portion of trail tracing involves private reflection and quiet engagement with the activity and environment. 


How to book

Please make your enquiries through laura.engel@rightfootforwardwa.com.au