Blog: Nahanni Expedition Team - Jo Hoffman - Outward Bound Canada Outward Bound Canada

Reach Beyond Nahanni River

EXPEDITION TEAM: JO HOFFMAN

Greetings to all! Thank you for taking an interest in my August 2018 Outward Bound Canada, Fund Raising expedition down 240 kms of the magnificent Nahanni River, North West Territories.

I am a "Fifty Something" Mother of two young men, aged 20 and 22 who are both successfully launched and living on their own. My partner Pippa and I live in Pemberton, British Columbia on 5 acres with 2 horses, one standard poodle, 12 hens, one rooster named Rodney and 3 goldfish. I am a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice. The focus of my work is using 'talk therapy' to help people, most of whom are having troubles related to past traumas.

Although I aspired to become involved with Outward Bound since my own teenage years, my first contact was through my eldest son’s participation as he spent two summers on OBC’s leadership programs. When I first read the promo material about the Kilimanjaro Fundraising expedition in 2015, my first thought was that my son, would love to have the chance to climb “Kili” some day. But then another, far more dangerous thought came to mind;

"Why not me?" "Why not now?"

I heard Opportunity Knock, and couldn’t come up with a good reason to ignore it, and hence in January of 2015 I found myself, with a group of like-minded fundraising adventurers at the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro! What an amazing experience! Having first- hand experience of this “inspiring and challenging life transforming journey of self-discovery in the natural world”, I was motivated to find a way to contribute. Sarah Wiley and others supported me in being able to use my professional training as a Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst to provide consultation for Outward Bound’s programs. Inspired by the knowledge and skills of the Outward Bound Leaders, I successfully completed the 14 day Outward Bound Rocky Mountain Instructor development course in June of 2017, then went on to the do the nine day First Responders course which enabled me to be an Assistant Instructor for the Monashee Women of Courage Course in August of 2017!

So it seems like my involvement with Outward Bound as a middle age adult, has in a way brought me full circle. As a young adult I led canoe trips for youths, both for 'Junior Rangers' in Northern Ontario and for troubled youths who lived in a facility in Edmonton. As the days passed, they grew more confident and capable, responsible for themselves and more caring for each other. It was a joy to watch them flourish!

As a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, the potential benefits for all peoples’ mental health is clear, but the rewards are especially evident for those who can access OBC’s funded programs for youth, women survivors of trauma and veterans. Indeed, my experience with Outward Bound has sparked my interest in “Eco-Psychology”. The premise of this new field of study is that people can heal emotionally, spiritually and psychologically by deepening their experience of and in the natural environment.

So when the chance for me to partake in the Outward Bound Nahanni Expedition, August 2018 arouse, I jumped on it! I'm committed to do what all I can to enable others to experience these transformational moments by raising money for Outward Bound's funded programs.

Please consider supporting me in this mission and giving me the chance to 'pay forward' all the opportunities I've been fortunate enough to have.

So here's to all people having a chance to grow and heal through challenging and inspiring experiences in our wonderful natural world! What a chance to live out of the best parts of ourselves!

For more information on Reach Beyond expeditions please contact Angus Murray via email or by phone at 1-888-688-9273 ext. 229.