International Models of Best Practice in Wilderness and Adventure Therapy on key terms used within the world of Nature-based Therapy.
Adventure therapy as a term is frequently used to include, more-or-less, the entire field of wilderness, outdoor and adventure interventions. Other times it refers to specifically short-term, non-wilderness based non-residential approaches such as ropes course and initiative activities. This becomes confusing, and tends to hide important differences in practice and assumptions about therapy.
Here, I define adventure therapy as a therapeutic intervention which uses contrived activities of an experiential, risk taking and challenging nature in the treatment of an individual or group. This is done indoors or within an urban environment (i.e. not isolated from other man-made resources), and does not involve living in an environment (e.g. participants do not cook their own meals or sleep overnight). The emphasis is on the selection and design of the activity to match targeted therapeutic issues and the framing and processing of the activity (Gass, 1995).
Examples of such contrived activities include group trust, initiative and problem solving activities (see Rohnke, 1984, 1991; Rohnke &
In practice, adventure therapy typically utilises metaphoric, strategic and solution oriented paradigms (for specific applications see Gass, 1993), and often addressed specified behaviours such as impulsiveness, assertiveness, substance abuse relapse, etc. Theory of change tends to be based around the systemic concept of ‘disequilibrium’ (Nadler & Luckner, 1992).
Simon Crisp 1996. (p.p. 9 - 10).