A THERAPEUTIC ENVIRONMENT
The mature natural environment of the outdoor therapy space is complemented by carefully-considered additions like the treehouse, trampoline, wibbly wobbly walkway and Nest, which together provide an enriching therapeutic environment.
Rooms within Rooms
Bounded by mature trees, the outdoor therapy space has been carefully designed to provide an enriching and exciting therapeutic environment. The large expanse is divided into a series of spaces, ensuring that children feel safe and contained. Each of these 'rooms within rooms' offers different benefits, energies and potential, be it pausing quietly to notice creepy crawlies or running and jumping excitedly. A balance is provided between smaller contained spaces and wider expanses of grass for running, rolling or laying on. Children can pick which paths to take, be it the straight direct paths or meandering woodland and grassy walks. The sun dappled woodland nest and outdoors base, draped with fabric provide safe spaces for contemplation, while the wibbly wobbly walk, tree house and elevated treetop walk give children an important opportunity to experience a sense of 'bigness' and command a view of the outdoors therapy space.
Activity and Energy Zones
With different spaces and structures suggesting different energies and actions, children can choose how best to use the outdoors space to meet their needs, whether this is burning off energy and expressing anger as they run and roar down the grassy slopes; feeling the satisfaction and elation of scaling the treetop walk; quiet wildlife spotting from the treehouse or pondside decking; bouncing on the trampoline; or mastering crossing the wibbly wobbly walkway!
Secure attachments are central to our wellbeing, self-esteem and sense of belonging. They determine how secure we feel and whether we feel listened to, noticed and can trust that our needs will be met. Attachments can be provided by close family members, carers, friends, therapists and teachers. Strong and positive attachments are characterised by two ingredients:
A Safe Haven dimension which is caring, attentive, dependable, safe and able to provide the reassuring structure of warm but consistent boundaries, stability and routines. (see Circles of Security).
A Secure Base dimension which involves the carer watching over, delighting in, helping and enjoying with the child (see Circles of Security). This enables them to feel safe and secure enough to explore their surrounding environment and discover more about themself.
The Stables outdoors therapy space has been designed with these two dimensions of secure attachment at its heart. With the therapist on hand to provide safety, reassurance, reflection, insight and challenge as needed, the Stables outdoors therapy space will benefit children across the ages.