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Pruning At Our Latest Pathfinder

Experiential Therapy is a therapeutic approach that marries evidenced based practices with adventure therapy, music therapy, art therapy, or a variety of recreational activities to aid in changing one’s perception of reality. Experiential therapy also helps the veteran to identify obstacles, facilitate feelings of success, claim ownership and responsibility of their actions, and increase self-worth and self-esteem. Here at Fort Freedom we have created “Pathfinder”, an experiential program geared towards synergistically treating PTSD while helping our veterans connect their mind, body, and spirit. The goal of Pathfinder is to process the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that arise during and after the activities which will create a platform for the clinician to offer feedback and guide the veteran towards a newfound perspective and purpose. 

In our latest Pathfinder expedition, we embraced the tranquil art of Bonsai. This unique outing led our veterans to a local Bonsai tree club, offering them an immersive experience into the meticulous world of Bonsai cultivation. Here, amidst the serene presence of these miniature marvels, they learned the delicate skill of pruning and the deep-rooted philosophy behind Bonsai care.

The benefits of this activity were profound and multifaceted. Engaging in this ancient art provided our veterans with a peaceful, meditative outlet, allowing for moments of quiet reflection and a deepened connection with nature. This hands-on experience fostered a sense of accomplishment and control, vital feelings that combat the chaos often associated with PTSD. Moreover, the communal aspect of the club fostered social connections, helping our veterans feel part of a supportive, understanding community. Through the careful nurturing of Bonsai, our veterans also cultivated patience, focus, and a renewed appreciation for the smaller, intricate aspects of life, contributing to their holistic healing journey.


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