Sometimes it is easier to chat when you're walking side by side in nature. We'll focus on mindfulness as well as other nature-based therapy approaches. We also have the option to do some outdoor photography. Get outside, get moving, or find a bench near the water and talk about life.
What is this all about?
Instead of sitting in a counselling office, we're going to walk in the park. During our time together, we'll mix talking with different life skills exercises and practices. We will also spend time just enjoying being outside and in nature. What we talk about and what the session looks like is really up to you. We will work on your individual and family goals while paying attention to the feelings and stuff that is coming up for you during our time together.
Brandon has developed this form of Adventure Therapy based on Nature Assisted Therapy techniques, emerging science around the benefits of natural settings, exercise, and conversation and mental health, mindfulness practices, and his background in guiding, leading hikes, and counselling outdoors. Brandon is a Certified Ontario Hike Leader and Wilderness First Responder.
How do I sign up?
You can email to schedule a time that works with your schedule. Please offer a few different days and time frames that could work for you. Your therapist will do their very best to find one that works!
Sessions available Monday-Saturday and tend to book up quite quickly after 3pm.
Once you've signed up, keep on reading below to find answers to (hopefully) all of your questions.
What do I need to do before going?
The two forms you will need to complete for Get Out Adventure Therapy are:
1) Informed Consent Form (know what you’re signing up for)
2) Intake Form (help me get to know you)
These will be emailed to you after you book online. Please fill these forms out at least 24 hours before your session. By filling these forms ahead of time, you ensure that we use our time together meaningfully and not just doing paperwork. It also allows us to plan ahead to make sure that you get what you want out of counselling
Where do I go?
There is a parking lot and public washroom building at the corner of Jubilee Drive and David Street in Kitchener. We will meet there in front of the washroom building and begin our walk from there. Check out this map for exact location.
How do I get I there?
There's parking in Victoria Park if you come by car. If the David Street parking lot is full, there is street parking on David Street nearby.
The nearest ION stop is Victoria Station and there bus stops on Queen/Courtland and Victoria/Bramm. There are also bike racks to lock up your bike.
Please note, most of the trails in Victoria Park are paved or crushed gravel. If you have accessibility requirements please email Brandon with any accessibility questions.
What do I do when I arrive?
Please arrive Victoria park 10 minutes before your session begins - use this time to make sure you are dressed for the weather and use the washroom. We will meet in front of the washroom building, which is open from 9am to dusk.
What should I wear and bring?
Please dress for the weather - as our session will take place no matter what the weather, as long as it is safe. It is generally recommended to dress in layers, as then you will have options as we walk. Wear your lightest layer closest to your skin and then add heavier layers. Please wear something water-resistant as your outermost layer. Please wear sturdy shoes (preferably water-resistant) if you have them (or boots if winter). Your therapist will have some shoe-covers in a few sizes, ponchos, and umbrellas if you need.
Please make sure you have a snack and water with you in a backpack if possible, as it is nice (and safer) to have hands free for our walk. Your therapist will have a backpack if you’d like to put small items inside.
Depending on the time of year, please bring bug-spray, and sunscreen depending on your needs.
You are required to bring all medications you may need, and to inform your therapist of what meds you require, and how they are administered in case of emergency.
Is it safe?
Brandon is a Wilderness First Responder, certified in First Aid and CPR, and a Certified Hike Leader in Ontario. Your safety though is still first your responsibility. Please familiarize yourself with our Informed Consent, and bring up any concerns or accommodations you require to ensure your own safety. Our Informed Consent Form, amongst other items, outlines the unique risks of Adventure Therapy including physical risks, interactions with wildlife and the public, and no guarantee of confidentiality in this form of therapy given the public spaces we use. You will be emailed the online links to these forms to be completed prior to your first session.
Unless it is unsafe, our session together will go ahead in all forms of weather! Ponchos, boot covers, and umbrellas available upon request. The reason we hike in all weather is that challenging and uncomfortable situations are often the moments where breakthroughs can happen. This is the time to practice life skills and conversations that can make a difference.
It is important for you to speak with your healthcare provider to determine if walking outside is safe for
you to participate in. Please let your therapist know of any concerns you have, or accommodations we can take to make our time safer. In case of emergency, your therapist will determine the safest actions given the circumstances.
What will the session be like?
That’s up to us! Each client determines the pace of hiking, and is often given options as to what route they would like to take. There are multiple trails and paths for us to choose from. Some of our sessions
will have some structure to it, and some will feel more like a talk between friends. We will work on practices such as mindfulness, communication, breathing, decision making, and more. Being outside gives us the chance to spend time in nature and even take a few moments of silence on the trails. There is also the opportunity to develop outdoor nature photography skills.
During our walk, there are lots of benches or spots where we can stop to have a drink, eat a snack, or just talk. We will try to return to the parking lot 5-10 minutes before the end of your session to debrief and take payment in the pavilion.
What about my parents/caregivers?
Parents/Caregivers are asked to allow this one-on-one time with Brandon to build trust and create space to talk about life with someone outside of the family unit. Parents are welcome to walk separately in the park or to leave and return 5 minutes before the end of the session.
There are also optional caregiver written reflections, to write a letter to the youth during our sessions regarding the theme of the day (for example: reflecting on the youth’s strengths and abilities, etc). This can be a powerful experience for caregivers and youth alike.
What does it cost and how do I pay?
A 60 minute session costs $115 and a 90 minute session costs $145. The cost of your adventure therapy session may be covered under group insurance plans. Please talk to Brandon for more information. Brandon is also connected with WSIB, the Victim Quick Response Program, and PROPEL amongst other third party groups.
Payment is required at the end of your session through a number of means. An E-transfer can be sent to email@example.com. Credit or debit cards can be presented in person, and you will only need to present your card once. All future sessions will be automatically and securely billed.
What if I can't make it?
Our cancellation policy is to give a full refund if the cancellation is done 48 hours or more in advance. Cancellations less than 48 hours prior to your session will be charged 50% of your fee. Cancellations less than 24 hours prior to your session will be charged 100% of your fee. Life happens, we know, so let us know if you need to reschedule and we will always try and work with you.
What do I need to do after my session?
Depending on if our physical activity is different than your normal physical exercise, you may feel sore the following day. Make sure to consult with your health care provider if you have any concerns, or have
experienced an injury during your session. Please inform me if you have hurt yourself in any way during your session.
You are welcome to continue booking Adventure Therapy sessions at your convenience, and pending our availability. Please email your therapist to set up your next session or email admin at firstname.lastname@example.org