Gregor V. Sarkisian, Kristien H. Walter, Giovanni Martinez, & Philip B. Ward
This Special Issue on Surf Therapy Around the Globe in the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice is devoted to advancing the science and practice of surf therapy for diverse populations around the world. This introductory article provides a framework for this Special Issue.Read more...
Elizabeth Benninger, Chloe Curtis, Gregor V. Sarkisian, Carly M. Rogers, Kailey Bender, & Megan Comer
This research provides a scoping review of academic literature focused on surf therapy. The objectives of the research are; (1) to gain a better understanding of the global use of surf therapy and its physical, psychological and social benefits, (2) to identify intervention and research gaps related to surf therapy, (3) to provide recommendations for future surf therapy research, (4) to use the evidence to inform best practices in the field.Read more...
This article explores the experience of the surf therapy sector developing a coalition using the collective impact framework. Several dozen surf therapy programs and sector supporters now meet annually to discuss progress and collaborate on shared sector goals after years of programs working independently and even viewing one another as competitors.Read more...
Jamie Marshall, Brendon Ferrier, Philip B. Ward, & Russell Martindale
The current study utilized a pragmatic qualitative approach to explore theoretical mediators of the outcomes of Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation (JMMF) surf therapy intervention. JMMF is a California (USA)-based program supporting military veterans facing mental and physical health challenges.Read more...
Easkey Britton, Gesche Kindermann, & Caitriona Carlin
This paper introduces the ways in which embodied and creative work in nature can empower young people with mental health difficulties, in particular Autism. The study explores embodied experiences and the use of a creative, participatory approach to evaluating a surf therapy intervention.Read more...
Nicholas P. Otis, Kristen H. Walter, Lisa H. Glassman, Travis N. Ray, Betty Michalewicz-Kragh, & Cynthia J. Thomsen
This study compared changes in depression/anxiety and positive affect during surf therapy sessions between active duty service members with comorbid PTSD and MDD and those with either disorder alone. The study applied DSM-5 criteria to baseline self-report measures to assign probable disorder status, and used a longitudinal design involving repeated measurements to assess outcomes within 6 weekly sessions.Read more...
Gregor V. Sarkisian, Chloe Curtis, & Carly M. Rogers
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of participation in a one-day surf therapy program among youth at-promise. Participants (N=152) were predominantly Hispanic or Latino (71%), followed by Black or African American (18%), 57% were Female, and age ranged from 6 to 19 years. Participant drawings were rated to evaluate program process. The program outcome was evaluated through an observational one-group pretest-posttest follow-up design using the Children’s Hope Scale.Read more...
Paulo Gomes, Nuno Fazenda, Diego Gomez-Baya, Mary Elizabeth Rauktis, & Grace Provost
This manuscript reports the implementation and the six-year outcomes of the SURF.ART program, a youth development intervention developed by Pressley Ridge Portugal. The program has multiple components including a “life project”, support for crises, psychoeducational workshops, engagement with parents and surfing instruction and practice for youth.Read more...
Hannah Devine-Wright & Cath Godfrey
The Wave Project is a UK-wide surf therapy charity which provides vulnerable young people aged 8-21 with an opportunity to surf once a week for six weeks. At The Wave Project, clients ‘do’ surfing with the one-to-one assistance of a volunteer overseen by a surf coordinator. After completing The Wave Project clients are invited to become members of a follow-on Surf Club staffed by volunteers or become a Wave Project volunteer themselves.Read more...
Hanneke van Ewijk, Marjolein Wansink-Lokerman, Andreas Lamerz, & Suzanne van den Broek
Children with developmental disorders or disabilities often experience a wide range of difficulties and reduced quality of life. Surfing is gaining popularity as a sport that can promote psychological well-being, but research is still scarce. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of surfing on the quality of life of children with developmental difficulties.Read more...
Nicci van der Merwe & Paula Yarrow
The article provides the results, as well as policy and practice implications of an exploratory study on the feasibility and unique (unintended) benefits of surf therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in a developing world context. The main aim of the study was to understand if and how Waves for Change (W4C), a South-African-based non-government organisation’s existing surf therapy programme for neuro-typical children can be adapted to be more inclusive and meet the needs of neuro-diverse children.Read more...
Lisa Olive, Rachael Parker, Madeleine Dober, Cameron Drake, Michael Keith, & Rohan Telford
This study aims to describe the intervention mapping protocol and apply it to the development and refinement of a novel surf therapy intervention, Ocean Mind. The Ocean Mind program combines psychoeducation, water safety and learn-to-surf activities with the overall program objective to improve mental health among child and adolescent participants.Read more...
Kristen H. Walter, Gregor V. Sarkisian, Giovanni Martinez, & Philip B. Ward
Articles in this Special Issue of the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice on Surf Therapy Around the Globe have focused on theory development, practice considerations, empirical research, and coalition building in order to advance the field of surf therapy. In this concluding article, the Guest Editors highlight the ways in which the collective work in this Special Issue expands on the current literature in terms of theory, as well as processes and outcomes for different programs across a variety of populations across the globe.Read more...
The Global Journal is very pleased to present this special issue on Surf Therapy under the leadership of our guest editors: Gregor Sarkisian, Kristen Walter, Giovanni Martinez, and Philip Ward.
A mini-documentary describing the Warrior Surf Foundation
We believe in the healing power of the ocean, and the benefits of Surf Therapy for Veterans. This short film is meant to shine a light on the many benefits that surfing provides to the Veterans we serve.Watch the video
The video is called Autism is my Superpower as this is a slogan the children in the program relate to and use to celebrate their unique talents and interests, and to celebrate the lens they have on the world. The video follows the stories of two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), one boy and one girl, at home, in school and at the beach attending surf therapy. It depicts the isolation that many children on the spectrum experience in under-served communities that we work with.Watch the video
The Surf Project is a Dutch non-profit organisation, which provides structured surfing lessons for children with Down syndrome, ASD and ADHD. In this video, we introduce the Surf Project and give a short overview of the setup and key aspects of the program.Watch the video
Directed by Hélio Valentim, the SURF.ART film - No Mar Somos Todos Iguais - is a celebration of the journey taken by the 14 small surfers (from Bairro da Cruz Vermelha, Cascais municipality, for 6 months with the surfing mentors of the project, Nuno Fazenda and Paulo Canas, and a group of exceptional people and entities (team, partners, volunteers, families and teachers) who believe that all children have potential.Watch the video