I have amazing news! I was just notified yesterday that I received an American Alpine Club Research Grant!!
What do I need a grant for, you may ask? This summer as my capstone project for my masters degree in Adventure Therapy, I will be running a Women's Trauma Informed Rock Climbing program. Awesome? Yes. More than I can handle? No - but I do need some help...
As of right now the program needs a few things to get off the ground. Specifically, one female climbing facilitator in the Denver or Colorado Springs are who has Saturdays in June and July free, climbing shoes and helmets for the participants (my shoe/helmet plans fell through..), and snacks - cause you can't climb and rewire your brain without enough glucose and protein.
Why Trauma Informed?
This is a topic I am passionate about, and will most likely specialize in after I graduate. As the field of mental health progresses, we are learning that trauma may be at the core of the majority of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, personality disorders - all have roots in the physiological effects of trauma. This means that we need to re think how we facilitate and structure our programming. The typical guide lingo and climbing 101 class won't do. Trauma-informed means creating programming with the effect of trauma in mind. Trauma strips us of our sense of self, of safety and of the ability to regulate emotions. Trauma-informed care strives to replace, or at least be aware of, those thing.
Why Rock Climbing?
Rock climbing presents the unique opportunity to combine peak experience, group support, somatic (movement) therapy and rich metaphor. It also has the potential to be done in an amazingly beautiful environment, capitalizing on the inherent healing power of nature. And finally - initiation into the culture of climbing has the potential to positively influence all aspects of life: healthy living/eating, community support (Heyo-twitter climbers!), world view (increased travel), and a values shift toward conservation and environmental responsibility (thank you Access Fund!). It changed my life, and this is my chance to pass it along.
So I am reaching out to my wonderful twitter outdoors community. Anyone who is interested in sponsoring should email me right away, aleya dot littleton @ gmail.com. Your name will go in the finished paper and in any presentations or other publications I do. Also, if you'd like info or training on trauma-informed care, I'm your girl!
Thanks in advance,