The ocean is a consistent theme of our program and illustrates both the nurturing and demanding aspects of life. In recognition of these parallels, we have teamed up with a program called Saltwater Sessions, which combines the lessons surfing with mindfulness to shift addictive tendencies and combat other mental health challenges. This integration with psychotherapy, frames the challenges and rewards of surfing as metaphors for life on dry land. Encompassing more than just surfing, the unique approach integrates three clinically proven techniques:

  • Green Exercise - physical activity in the presence of nature.

  • Mindfulness Practice - developing moment-by-moment awareness leading to increased emotional intelligence and self-control

  • Positive Reappraisal - a process where challenging events are re-constructed as valuable and beneficial. 

Participants learn how to shift their perception from feelings of frustration and difficulty to an in-the-moment awareness of the ocean environment, their own bodies, and the content of their minds. These experiential acts of mindfulness reduce frustration and reactivity. Attention becomes rooted in the moment, and experience becomes something to cherish rather than escape. With regards to the treatment of addiction, participants are empowered to transform their own emotional response to reality.


Dr. Lena Dicken, Psy. D. 

Mindfullness Facilitator