In through the outdoors: exploring the role of facilitated wilderness experiences in shaping my understanding of self and my relations with other people and the other-than-human world
SubjectAnimas Valley Institute
Facilitated wilderness experiences
Outdoor environmental education programs
Personal development & self-knowledge
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I examine the role of facilitated wilderness experiences in shaping my understanding of self in relation to people and the other-than-human world through a critical qualitative approach using auto-ethnography to engage reflexively with my own experiences and to draw out the importance of those experiences in shaping my self-story and way of being. This thesis weaves a critical analysis of the literature with three narratives of my experiences with facilitated wilderness programs, including a vision quest coordinated by Animas Valley Institute. A unifying theme that emerged through the research is my ongoing quest for self-knowledge and the means of finding a more authentic way of being in the world. The thesis concludes with a look at the key elements of transformative facilitated wilderness experiences.