Chip Ponsford (Founder, Therapist and Ecotherapy Consultant) is a person-centred counsellor (MBACP Accred) and supervisor with particular interest in and experience of working therapeutically with men outdoors. He facilitated a group for men convicted of serious offences at Katherine Price Hughes House in 2012 and has worked with male torture survivors at The Refugee Therapy Centre, London, and with people with psychological distress and diagnoses in a number of settings including at Islington MIND, Highbury Counselling Centre and in private practice in London and Northumberland. Chip has trained in outdoor therapy with Rab Erskine, The Wilderness Foundation and in facilitating learning with Forest School and spent the past 18 months or so developing this group idea with the support of Richard Bliss from NDAS (Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service) this included running a short term pilot: ‘survival skills for men’ at Minsteracres in December 2016.
Rab Erskine (Therapist) is a person-centred counsellor, a practitioner member of Cosca (Confederation of Scottish Counselling agencies). He has 32 years’ experience of working therapeutically outdoors. Alongside running a counselling service in primary care for the last twenty two years, from 1995 to 2005 he ran a small company offering short term residential ‘Wilderness Based” therapeutic experiences to individuals and group referred from social work, education and NHS secondary care referrers. From 2005 to 2016 he was commissioned to run the ‘Going Places’ project for the Borders NHS Adult Mental Health Psychiatric rehabilitation Service.