Reading the headline on the front cover of this journal, I’m sure now you’ll be humming along to a familiar song from a popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. This track and, in fact, most of the others from the show, have been swirling around my head while editing this journal. That’s the power of music for you.
But it’s not just music that has the power to stimulate, motivate and invigorate. During COVID lockdowns, many of us sought sanctuary in the outdoors, getting exercise, fresh air and a bit of grounding, literally. It made us realise that when we were stuck indoors under pandemic-imposed restrictions, we missed something fundamental to our soul and to who we are.
"During COVID lockdowns, many of us sought sanctuary in the outdoors, getting exercise, fresh air and a bit of grounding, literally".
I’m delighted to introduce Heidi Shingler, from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), in Fort William. Heidi, a lecturer and researcher in outdoor and adventure therapy, and also a counsellor, maps out the evolutionary path of adventure therapy and provides some insightful considerations for therapists interested in embarking on this form of therapy.
I offer my appreciation also to Ruth Whittle, who shares with us her ongoing research into student learning. People come to college and university to be educated and, hopefully, pick up some qualifications along the way. But the act of learning doesn’t come easily to everyone. The struggles involved may invariably trigger visits to student support and counselling services. It’s helpful, from our side, to understand how learning impacts the overall student experience.
Grateful thanks also to Jane Darougar. Many of our international students studying in the UK have come from countries experiencing armed conflict. Jane reflects on the work at her university to support these students, including those from Ukraine and Russia.
Finally, a welcome back to Susan Dale, coincidentally also from UHI, but this time from its Inverness campus. Susan shares a therapeutic experience with a client who had been struggling with a past trauma. By tapping into the power of imagery, the client was able to articulate in a way that words could not.
This issue taps into the power of the outdoors, the power of imagery, the power of learning, and the power of the therapeutic community. The meaningful work we do collectively unleashes a lot of power.