Adventure therapy programs tend to be solution-focused and humanistic in
their orientation. Many programs also have important behavioral
principles, particularly for programs involving delinquent or incarcerated
youth. Also evident is theory based on the therapeutic value of
challenging participants and helping them learn about their reactions. Psychological theorists of particular importance
include Carl Rogers, Milton Erikson and William Glasser. Also of particular
significance is the ABC-model (Adventure-based Counseling) developed by
Schoel, Prouty and Radcliffe and the work by Project Adventure.
Iím on the ĎNetí. Iím discussing the inís and outís of metaphor and simile, of
analogic frames, of . . . . . . , Iím reading clever sentences and long words.
And Iím confused. Adventure Therapy? It just doesnít make sense. Adventure is
adventure. Whereís the therapy in that? It is an experience of risk, of fear,
of failure and success. Anyone part of such an experience is affected. But is
that therapy? Adventure is unguided. Therapy is manipulated. This is where my
confusion lies. I read and I listen within this discussion for the means by
which this manipulation can occur, and I find few satisfying answers. My
conclusion - adventure is adventure and therapy is therapy. To enmesh the words
together, the qualities of each must be better understood, and their marriage
carefully planned. Until some prenuptial counselling is achieved the term
Adventure Therapy lacks definition - a catchy slogan for adventure based
educators or recreationalists to use when they want a broader client base or a
- Ray Handley, 1996,
therapy: I'm confused"
Although a small field of inquiry and endeavor, adventure therapy has produced a reasonable amount
of written material that warrants reviewing (see
References). Closely related fields, such
as therapeutic recreation, also have notable bodies of literature.
Adventure therapy has second and third cousins in outdoor education (see
Research), group therapy, and
The two books by
(1993) and Davis-Berman and Berman (1994)
provide major overviews of history, concept, methods, types of programs, scope, and
directions of the adventure therapy field, at least in North America (where
adventure therapy was, arguably, born and has flourished).
The most well
developed adventure-based model for describing the adventure therapy process is
the ABC model (adventure-based counselling) by Schoel, Prouty and Radcliffe.
Also it is important
to read about the psychological theorists whose work most adventure therapy
programs are in some way based:
To read more, it is
recommended that you visit the Theories of Outdoor &
Adventure Education page.