Taking the next Breath: Veteran Readjustment, Nature, and Mental Wellness at Operation Scuba

Date

2018

Authors

Supik, Kristen A.

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Abstract

This thesis explores how the human relationship with the natural environment influences nature-based therapeutic interventions. Through an ethnographic approach, I examine how veterans' immersion in the natural environment through scuba diving forms a personal conceptualization of nature, and how that conception elicits a physical and emotional response that impacts their therapeutic experience and enables processes that heal trauma and ease the readjustment period to civilian society. My research shows that the setting and physical landscape impact the efficacy of healing practices. Ecotherapeutic interventions bring in nature as an active participant in the healing process, allowing participants to reconnect with the environment and acknowledge their indivisible place within the ecosystem. Scuba diving and other nature-based therapeutic activities provide a platform for veterans to have unique, personally meaningful, healing experiences.

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Keywords

Anthropology, CAM, Ecotherapy, Environmental, Nature, Veterans

Citation

Department

Anthropology