This appendix contains copies of official documents submitted to the Department of Psychology and the Graduate Department at Sonoma State University. There are also copies of actual questionnaires used to try to get information about peak experiences and wilderness from students at Sonoma State. All documents appear as submitted.
The first document is a questionnaire, followed by selected quotes from the 10 or so respondents who actually returned the questionnaires or agreed to be interviewed. As agreed, all identities are held in confidence.
Appendix One Table of Contents
l-Questionnaire #1 (10 questions, 2 pages)................................371
2-Selected Quotes from Respondents and Interviews...........374
3-Master of Psychology Thesis Prospectus Form
(1/24/89 Draft, photocopy)......................................380
4-Sonoma State Thesis Prospectus Approval Form
(2 pages, photocopy)....................................................381
5-Sonoma State University Human Rights Protocol
Sheet (2 pages, photocopy)........................................383
6-Answers to Protocol Summary Questions(photocopy)......385
7-Questionnaire #2 (1 question, 1 page, photocopy).............386
8-Interview Question Guide Sheet (3 pages, photocopy).....387
Please return to- Post Wilderness Peak Experience
Bill Sadler (QUESTIONNAIRE # 1)
308 Vallejo St Sex/Gender:
Petaluma, CA, 94952 Occupation:
(707) 763-6558 Age:
1- Would you please describe your wilderness peak-experience and the context in which it occurred in your life?
2- How do you feel about the experience now? If you told anyone about it, did their responses to your experience affect your current feelings? How?
3- Did you experience difficulty making sense of your experience when you came back from the wilderness? What factors contributed to this difficulty?
4- If you experienced any negative emotions (depression, anxiety, frustration or grief) after you "came down" from the "peak experience," please discuss these and how you dealt with them. Try to give an example or two.
5- How did you integrate the peak-awareness from your wilderness experience into your non-peak, non-wilderness life? Please describe some of the challenges and changes you faced and how you dealt with them in light of your peak-wilderness experience.
6- If you practice any centering exercises, or do anything that helps you put it all together, please discuss whether or not these influenced your post-wilderness-peak experience integration process outlined above. (optional)
7- Was there any community involvement in your wilderness-peak-integration process, and if so, how did this affect your post-wilderness human relationships? (If you have had both solo and group experiences, please discuss any similarities and/or differences between the two.)
8- If you could "do it all again," what would be your "wisdoms of hindsight," i.e., what would you do the same/differently?
9- Overall, what has been your most significant constellation of learnings with regard to your experience(s) (before, during, and after) of wilderness? How did your experience of wilderness change your sense of yourself in relation to your environments?
10- Has this interview/questionnaire helped you to understand your experience better? If not, how could this tool be improved? (Please use this space and the other side to reflect on this process. Thanks a lot. Have Fun !!)
Selected Quotes from Respondents to Questionnaires and Interviews:
Female: Age 31-- Questionnaire # 1, Question 5: (on integrating peak experiences into non-peak life) "Before 'leaving' organize and 'clean' up life. Leave with intention and readiness. When I return, life has semblance of order making it easier for me if there is confusion, chaos. I have many peak experiences outside of the wilderness environment. Breathing, singing, sweating, communicating, within my safe and supportive (sometimes) community.
Female: Age 35--Questionnaire # 1, Question 2: (on feelings about peak experiences and reactions of people told, if any) "It is still hard to get back to the 'feel' of the experience. I still think of it often and re-work the experience for new information and use. It is very special to me.
"I did not tell anyone about the experience for a long time. Then only a special one. I have found that in telling most people my experience is ruined. They either don't believe and make fun or push it off and say no such thing could happen. It rips apart my joy and love for what has happened to me. This reaction has also occurred since I was little. So... I guard my 'peak-experiences' to keep them special."
Same Respondent: Question 5: (on integration) "I integrated my experience awareness by writing it down, looking at it in different ways, and then seeing how to fit it into my life. As my life is now [changed] the difference in my non-peak:peak life is very small. They mix together nicely. One thing I found is I like being around fewer and fewer people--I hate large groups."
Female: Age 48-- Questionnaire # 1, Question 4: (on post-peak wilderness "blues" and strategies to deal with them) "I experienced all of these (depression, anxiety, frustration, grief) every time I came home. I had no way to deal with them except to go back to the woods."
Female: Age 28-- Questionnaire # 1, Question 9: (on the most significant constellation of learnings to be derived from wilderness or other nature-oriented peak experiences) "I have difficulty with words for this-- my experiences in the mountains-- Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and the Canadian Rockies-- leave me fuller and more awed by life.... Somehow in touch with deep nature, primal beauty, and cruelty and pain-- no, something that transcends my range of emotions and feelings and expression."
Male: Age 27-- Questionnaire # 1, all ten (10) questions: (The entire contents of this person's questionnaire responses have been reproduced below--pages 377-379. Because of the depth of detail, writing skill and understanding evidenced by this respondent,.no attempt has been made to alter, edit or change any of the facts reported herein. Also, the exact photo-copying of the following pages, as well as of the forms that follow, may not conform to the specifications of the Graduate Studies Office at Sonoma State University or with the American Psychological Association's Editorial Style Manual. Inclusion of these forms is required, however, and any attempt to alter them is censorship, and is a violation of the civil and academic rights of the author.)