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April 19, 2013

By Chris McConnell, Program Supervisor Reeds Bay

Pacific Quest Wilderness Therapy ProgramAloha, my name is Chris and I have worked with Pacific Quest for a little over two years. During this time, I have seen this company go through enormous transformation, and have watched it grow into one of the most progressive therapy programs in the country. I am deeply grateful for the knowledge and personal growth I have gained. Because of my experience at Pacific Quest, I will be moving on to an MSW program in the fall. Reflecting back on my experience in Hawaii, I can honestly say that each year of my life has been better than the last and that Pacific Quest has been a big part of that growth and self-awareness.

Working at the Reeds Bay Young Adult program, it is hard not to have a sense of calmness due to our blessed location among cold ponds along Hilo Bay. In the melee of chaos that sometimes consumes our day, one may find peace by taking a few breaths and gazing into the streams and ocean. This can have very calming effects for students who respond to visual stimuli. While writing this I asked some students andPacific Quest Wilderness Therapy Program staff their thoughts on our location and what they think while they are at the waterfront. Here are some responses:

Home, stillness, problems melt away, beauty, peaceful, sit with own mind and be present, serenity, insignificance in the best way, space away from it all, cool with fish, a game-changer and a shift in the mind space

This is just one of the tools we can utilize in our quest to help these students grow. I will end with a quote by Loren Eiseley:

“If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in water.”

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