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Archive for the ‘Clinical Frame’ Category

Hi there!

Things are picking up for the season here at CAT!  We have 5 new summer interns, we have a Clinical Frame published to our website, we gave away 5 sliced watermelons at the Ravenswood Run on April 29, we’ve worked with 121 young people in April and May (that’s almost twice as many young people as we worked with in all of 2009!), we have more volunteer training planned than we’ve ever had before…  The list goes on and on.  For details, check out our Facebook page.

We handed out 5 sliced watermelons at the Ravenswood Run

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m struck by is the power of ongoing relationships.  I’ll give you a few examples of what I mean.

  • We met “Bob” in the summer of 2007, during a pilot program that, at the time, I thought was a total bust.  We ran into him again in June of 2010 when we started programming with The Night Ministry.  He was on the Youth Parliament with The Night Minsitry, and his area of responsibility was with Adventure Club.  We got to watch his leadership grow for two years.  Now he’s in his mid-20’s, working and going to school.  He’s also in our Leadership Program this year.  It’s really great for us to get to watch his life change, and watch the success he’s wrung from difficult circumstances.
  • We met “Humberto” in late summer of 2010.  Some of you know who he is – he’s the reason we gave out watermelon a few weeks ago.  That was the first year the Chicago Adventure Therapy was a Contributing Charity with the Chicago Marathon.  When we found out “Humberto” was running the Marathon, we offered him the same thing we offered our Charity runners – we asked what he’d like for us to have waiting for him at our cheering station at Mile 14.  He hesitated a minute, and then said quietly, “Well – I like watermelon.”  So began our 2 and half year tradition of handing out watermelon at road races.  In 2011 “Humberto” showed up to a program with bruises on his face.  He’d made the decision to leave the gang he’d been involved with for many years and had been “beat out” by his peers and friends.  In his own words, “Humberto” “messed up” his Freshmen year; since then he’s gone to Saturday School

    Paddling at Jackson Harbor

    and evening classes, and is on track to graduate from High School on time in just a few weeks.  He’s looking for a summer job in order to save for college.  And he’s participating in our Leadership program along with “Bob.”

  • The leadership program that “Bob” and “Humberto” are both a part of has been planned by Stephanie Miller, our Program Coordinator who started with CAT in 2010 as a summer intern from Loyola’s School of Social Work.  We’ve been lucky to have interns from Loyola since 2009; we couldn’t do the programming we do without the amazing students who come to us from Loyola.  We’ve had young people racing in the Chicago Shoreline Marathon since summer 2010, and wouldn’t be able to do it without logistical help from The Northwest Passage.  And the volunteers I told you about earlier? — we wouldn’t be able to have our young people racing the 8-mile course of the Shoreline instead of the relay course, that stays right on the same beach, if it weren’t for a corps of dedicated volunteers willing to train with our youth on a weekly basis, so that our young people and our volunteers can complete this course safely.

Enjoying good weather and good company at the 2010 Chicago Shoreline Marathon

It’s been 5 years since we met “Bob” and started developing the relationships that have allowed for some amazing opportunities for our young people.  Heading into 2012, we can’t wait to see what the next 5 years bring.  We hope you’ll be part of them with us!  If you want to join us, give us a shout atinfo@chicagoadventuretherapy.org or volunteer@chicagoadventuretherapy.org.  Or if  you’re a runner and “Humberto’s” watermelon sounds good, email us at racing@chicagoadventuretherapy.org to learn how you can race with us, raise funds to help us change lives for more Chicago youth, and get some watermelon while you’re at it.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

–Andrea and the CAT team.

Below, Program Coordinator Stephanie tells us about the CAT staff’s conceptualization of the Clinical Frame and how it came to exist over the course of several months. You can read the Clinical Frame by going to our About Us page, and clicking the links that correspond to each section of the Frame.

During a staff meeting, a few months ago, a discussion started on how we tell people about CAT, about what it is and what we do. Questions quickly arose such as, “What are all the components of CAT?”, “How do they relate and interact with one another?”, and “How do we talk about it in a way that makes sense to others not familiar with adventure therapy?” These questions ultimately started us on our path to the creation of CAT’s Clinical Framework. The reason for the creation of the framework quickly expanded beyond how we talk to others about it, but also included making sure we, as a staff, were all on the same page about what it is we really do and how exactly it works. It become a way for us to look at the results we desire to have compared to the actual outcomes we have seen in our program evaluation and ultimately be more intentional in our services.

At times the Framework seemed to take on a life of its own as we began to put the many, many pieces together. The pieces include the Chicago youth we work with, the environments and experiences that surround them, research on risk and protective factors of urban youth in general, clinical interventions traditionally used, the activities CAT uses (navigation, cycling, rock climbing, paddling, winter sports, and camping), research on brain development in relation to trauma, research on adventure therapy, and our own programming outcomes. One by one the staff created each component and every week we put each piece together and decided from there what else needed to be done. There were times when we realized we needed to change parts of it or that we needed to include more. We didn’t want to leave anything out and we wanted to be clear about the intricacies and complex relationships between the different components. Finally, we have completed what we like to call Phase 1 of the Clinical Framework. As both CAT and the field of adventure therapy continue to develop and evolve, so will our Clinical Framework. Until Phase 2…