Nature is just around us! Development of an educational program for implementation of nature-based activities at a crisis shelter for women and children exposed to domestic violence

Dorthe Varning Poulsen*, Victoria Linn Lygum, Hanne Gro Djernis, Ulrika K. Stigsdotter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Being in nature and doing nature-based activities has been shown to reduce stress-related illnesses such as trauma and post-traumatic stress disorders. In 2016, the crisis shelter Danner in Denmark decided to implement a programme based on the therapeutic use of nature as a recovery method for their residents: women and children exposed to domestic violence. This was done in collaboration with the research group of University of Copenhagen. This paper describes the objectives of the project, the development of an educational programme and the implementation of nature-based therapy. The Danish model for qualifications in education developed by the Danish Ministry of Education was the overall structural framework for the programme. The education programme contained four overall elements: (1) a theoretical part on the nature–health relationship; (2) performance and development of practical nature activities in collaboration with staff; (3) case stories about the challenges of implementing nature-based therapy for the residents in the crisis shelter; and (4) the implementation phase of nature-based therapy at Danner. Developing qualifications related to the use of nature-activities and the use of nature-environment might be useful for social workers and strengthen their competences in their work with battered women and children
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social Work Practice
Volume35
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)159-175
Number of pages17
ISSN0265-0533
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Crises center
  • domestic violence
  • education for staff
  • nature-based therapy

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