Developing therapeutic outdoor practice

Adventure therapy

Authored by: Kaye Richards

Routledge International Handbook of Outdoor Studies

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138782884
eBook ISBN: 9781315768465
Adobe ISBN: 9781317666523


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Outdoor education has a long tradition of addressing the personal and social development needs of individuals, which has been core to the value and rationale of its provision for decades. Not surprising in understanding these related developmental processes, questions of how outdoor provisions can address psychological issues has become a driver in understanding the potential application of outdoor practices. This agenda has been central to the emergence of what is commonly termed adventure therapy. The psychological dimensions of change and opportunities afforded by outdoor and adventure experiences for initiating psychological growth have led to working with mental health and psychological wellbeing agendas, as can be seen in interventions addressing psychological difficulties. Examples include emotional and behavioural disorders in young people (Tucker, Javorski, Tracy & Beale, 2013), post-traumatic stress disorder (Gelkopf, Hasson-Ohayon, Bikman & Kravetz, 2013), traumatic brain injury (Shanahan, McAllister & Curtin, 2009) and depression (Kyriakopoulos, 2011).

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