Adventure Therapy- A Growing Field in Wilderness Environment

Emerging since 1960’s, adventure therapy is a different and a separate form of psychotherapy and this therapy teaches an individual the ways to blend technical skills with clinical skills and hence bring about a positive change. Also referred as wilderness therapy or outdoor behavioral healthcare, adventure therapy is very closely linked to nature and therapeutic recreations.

For the individuals suffering from interpersonal, social, natural or psychological challenges, adventure therapy has come out with many positive outcomes. Given below are some of the points that sum up the theory behind adventure therapy.

adventure therapy

  • Adventure therapy is known to be used for the healing process. In such a therapy, the psychiatric patients are taken out of the hospital rooms and are kept in the lawns and open tents. Some kind of adventure activities and tasks are then performed with the patients to bring about the efficacy.
  • Considered as a therapeutic intervention, adventure therapy assist people with their behavioral problems which in turn help them to achieve positivity and motivation. This is nothing but a form of habilitation and rehabilitation that aims to improve and satisfy the dysfunctional behavior of a person using adventurous techniques.

There are different types of adventure therapies as listed below:

Wilderness Therapy

In this type of adventure therapy, the main focus lies in naturally occurring challenges and its consequences. This is a kind of a therapeutic experience that is held in a wilderness setting. The duration of such a therapy is known to last for few to many days, depending upon the patient.

Adventure Based Therapy

This therapy involves the use of existing and constructed challenges. Few examples include rope courses, adventure games, initiatives and techniques. The adventure based therapy is generally performed close to the treatment facility of the participants.

Long Term Residential Camping

In such type of adventure therapy, the participants are involved in long term traveling units. The main aim and the focus lie in the daily challenges that a person faces in his or her life. The participants are asked to complete their daily tasks and chores that are influential to the other members of the group.

Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare

Developed by Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry Council, this therapy has been sponsored by more than 12 programs of the United Stated. In this they conduct clinically approved activities for the diagnosed patients and clients.

Some of the innovative ideas and ways to promote adventure therapy are:

  • Initiating fun ways to make people remember each other’s name in the group. This helps in loosening of the inhibitions and hence the patients feel comfort.
  • Starting experimental activities so that the people are able to explore themselves to the mutual trust.
  • Adventure therapy also involved programs in which all the participants were brought together so that they are able to understand each other psychologically.
  • Some of the therapeutic activities are planned and performed which is mainly recreation based.
  • Psychological exercises and self-awareness groups are initiated to promote the basic purpose of the adventure therapy.