Denmark is the southernmost of the Nordic countries. What it doesn’t have in tall, snow capped mountains, wild untamed rivers, or deep mysterious forests, it compensates with a vast coastline, which has shaped the Danish culture and history for hundreds of years. No one in Denmark lives more than 52 km from the coast, thereby fishing, sailing and sunsets at the beach are popular activities for many.
Because of the mild climate and fertile soil, agriculture takes over half of the area of Denmark. Hence there are little space for great forests to roam around in the search of solitude. On that account Denmark, unlike its Nordic neighbours, does not have the ”allemansretten” (Everyman’s right)
Due to the lack of wilderness in Denmark, outdoor life is practiced in short intervals instead of long “expeditions”. By upbringing the Danes get close to the nature though. During their childhood, many go to a “forest kindergarten” or may join the Scouts. In their daily life, Danish people have lots of possibilities to take part activities organized by several outdoor-oriented associations.
In regard to using outdoors in therapy, there are several people who use the outdoors in their practice, both in private and public sector. Yet, there is a lack of a tertiary education in outdoor therapy.
It appears that there has not been an association for outdoor therapy until 2018, when the association ”Udendørsterapi – Danish outdoor therapy network” was founded. First, the association started as a network in 2015 and since it have had three weekend-long network meetings. Now, this has led to establishing the association.
I am a trained socialworker, who has worked for Kolding municipiality, in the department of child protection and family counselling. Here I worked with coordinating the support for youngsters-at-risk, and their families. . I am currently studying a Masters in “International Development Studies & Global Studies” at Roskilde University.
Apart from that, I am one of Denmark’s representatives to the Adventure Therapy International Comitee (ATIC).
I were by random chance introduced to the world of Adventure Therapy by Blair Gilbert in New Zealand, while working on the pilot project “Youth In Emergency Services” (YES). I hope that Denmark, in collaboration with the Nordic countries, can facilitate a process where outdoor therapy becomes a more commonly used approach for capacity building on both an individual level, as well as for the community and society as a whole.
I work as a psychologist at the municipality with children, adolescents and their families at “Vesthimmerlands Kommune, Center for psykologi og pædagogik”. I am the founder and network-coordinator for “Udendørsterapi / Danish Outdoor Therapy Network”. Apart from that I am one of the Danish representatives to the Adventure Therapy International Commitee (ATIC).
I was hiking with my old dad on the Camino de Santiago in Spain when I suddenly thought “How can I mix psychology with what I love; being outside, feeling how nature affects me and meeting new people? Google told me this was “Adventure Therapy”, and so it all started”.