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A powerful therapeutic partnership

Each day we work to reach young people for whom conventional services have fallen short, providing them with engaging mental health programs and building the skills they need to lead joyful, connected, fulfilling lives. This is where a therapeutic partnership comes in handy.

Human Nature’s programs bridge the massive gap between youth work and crisis mental health interventions. Our dynamic team provides therapeutic mentoring, skill building, and nature-based activities that focus on building resilience and lifelong wellbeing skills.

When young people come into our programs, they are partnered with their own pair of mental health professionals, consisting of an Adventure Therapist and a Therapeutic Mentor.

Adventure Therapists are mental health professionals (Psychologists or Social Workers) who support a young person in learning new coping mechanisms and improving their mental wellbeing. The therapist assesses the young person’s needs, helps them identify their life goals, and works with them to address any barriers that they might be experiencing. 

Each session takes place outside in nature, creating a safe and relaxed environment for young people to  build meaningful connections with their therapist, outside of a clinical counselling setting.

Therapeutic Mentors are skilled, qualified and experienced professionals – often with a background in youth work, welfare and/or education qualifications – who provide support for the young person while doing fun, nature-based activities – such as bushwalking, bike-riding, surfing or kayaking. 

As the young person participates in positive recreational activities alongside their Therapeutic Mentor, they begin to feel comfortable engaging in meaningful conversations about their mental health.

The focus of the Therapeutic Mentor is on providing friendly and supportive mentorship, developing life skills, positive role-modelling and supporting young people to navigate new challenges on their journey. Sometimes this means working with them to write a resume and learn how to budget, or practising mindfulness exercises in nature to self-soothe. Each session at Human Nature is unique, because each young person’s circumstances and needs are unique. 

So how does the therapeutic partnership work?

This therapeutic partnership uniquely provides participants with tailored support to address their mental health challenges, while also empowering them to develop positive future pathways. 

By combining the clinical expertise of an Adventure Therapist with the supportive role of a Therapeutic Mentor, young people can safely learn to develop positive coping mechanisms, increase physical activity and time in nature, reconnect to their peers and engage meaningfully in their wider community. 

While engaging young people in fun activities, the mentor receives practical guidance and support from our highly trained psychologists through a secondary-consult model. This high level of practice supervision, debriefing and support, ensures each session is delivered with clear intent, with the young person’s wellbeing and personal goals as the focus. The result is young people engaged in meaningful conversations within safe and positive relationships that are built through fun and playful shared activities.

Beyond the combination of their unique qualifications and skills, this partnership also offers young people access to different perspectives, personalities and interests. For young people who find a clinical indoor therapy room encounter too uncomfortable, this dynamic pairing offers participants a tailored and personalised therapeutic experience that supports them to overcome challenges and fundamentally improve their quality of life.

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