The Backcountry of the Female Mind: Young Women’s Voices from the Wilderness

  • Sara Boilen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)


This chapter explores the psychological and relational implications of participation in an intentionally unfamiliar, relationship-based, five-day excursion through the backcountry of Glacier National Park. Narrative accounts, provided by several participants, serve as a backdrop to explore themes of shame, maturation, female socialization, competence, and body image. The objectives, obstacles, and outcomes of such a journey are revealed through the participants’ voices as well as a clinical lens. A therapeutic relationship with the wilderness environment can be healing and can foster growth in the psyches of young women wrestling with issues of body image, insecurity, and relational distress.


Women Female Body image Shame Competence Maturation Socialization Relationships Wilderness Nature relationship Nature connection 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Boilen
    • 1
  1. 1.WhitefishUSA

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