Psychosocial Interventions Situated Within the Natural Environment with Young People Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Scoping Review
Jennifer Boddy, Maddy Slattery, Jianqiang Liang, Hilary Gallagher, Amanda Smith and Kylie Agllias
Abstract: The natural environment is increasingly used in therapeutic psychosocial interventions for young people who have experienced trauma. However, as the research in this area has yet to be synthesised, very little is known about the types and outcomes of interventions. This prevents the optimisation of social work interventions in outdoor settings. Consequently, a scoping review of peer-reviewed research published from 2008 to 2018 was undertaken to examine how nature is being used in psychosocial interventions with young people aged ten to twenty-four years who have experienced trauma and the impact of these interventions on young people’s mental health. The database search identified 5,425 records; however, only ten papers met the inclusion criteria. These papers suggested that positive changes across a range of mental health outcomes for young people were achieved in psychosocial interventions which were situated in, or made use of the natural environment, although it is unclear whether the environment influenced the outcomes. The scoping review also highlighted the need for conducting further research that examines how environmental factors contribute to clinical change for young people who have experienced trauma.