Outdoor Adventure Therapy
Run by School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences
10.000 Credits or 5.000 ECTS Credits
Overall aims and purpose
The COVID pandemic has highlighted our need for contact with others and nature, and the vital role blue and green spaces play in maintaining our mental and physical wellbeing. Through integrating adventurous experiences outdoors with ‘walk and talk’ therapies, one distinguishes outdoor adventure therapy from other outdoor activity programmes, by working purposefully in an outdoor setting with a clear intent of supporting people and tackling issues they may have. The aim of this module is to provide an overview of outdoor adventure therapy: its history, models of delivery, research and basic competencies.
During this module you will be given unique opportunities to experience first hand work of instructors, counsellors and psychotherapists integrating outdoor adventurous activity with therapy. Through visits to local organisations and case study work on one of them, you will be able to explore how these organisations incorporate outdoor adventure and therapy into their programmes, to improve the mental and physical well-being of their clients. This module ensures that you are equipped with a solid platform from which you can further develop as an academic or practitioner in the field of outdoor adventure therapy. The course content is made up of a number of core themes providing you with a basic understanding of principles and practice within outdoor adventure therapy, these include: the history and foundations of outdoor adventure therapy, models of adventure therapy, the role of nature in adventure therapy, adventure therapy practices, risk management, and key competencies.
Demonstration of a basic awareness and understanding associated with outdoor adventure therapy, its history, models of delivery and basic competencies. You have also provided some evidence of how adventure therapy is employed within the local community. Finally, you have shown a basic level of understanding of the influences from a variety of learning and psychological theories that underpin outdoor adventure therapy.
Demonstration of a good awareness and understanding associated with outdoor adventure therapy, its history, models of delivery and basic competencies. You have also provided evidence of how adventure therapy is employed within the local community and evaluated how well it is used and how effective it is. Finally, you have shown a good level of understanding of the influences from a variety of learning and psychological theories that underpin outdoor adventure therapy.
Demonstration of a high degree of awareness and understanding associated with outdoor adventure therapy, its history, models of delivery and basic competencies. You have also provided evidence of how adventure therapy is employed within the local community and evaluated how well it is used and how effective it is. Finally, you have shown a significant level of understanding of the influences from a variety of learning and psychological theories that underpin outdoor adventure therapy.
Identify, understand, and critically evaluate the competencies and skills that underpin safe and effective practice of therapy in an outdoor environment
Demonstrate a deep understanding of the variety of influences and psychological theories that underpin outdoor adventure therapy models.
Critically evaluate the use of outdoor adventure therapy within a local community group/organisation
|ESSAY||Outdoor Adventure Therapy - It’s history, development, benefits, and underpinning theories||
This assessment asks students to demonstrate their understanding of the variety of influences from learning and psychological theories that underpin outdoor adventure therapy models.
|ORAL||This assessment requires the students to present findings from their research of a local organisation’s use of outdoor activities within its therapy or behaviour change programme.||
This assessment asks the students to give a presentation case studying a local organisation that employs outdoor activities within their therapy programme.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
One final timetabled session will be set aside for the oral presentations
You will receive 4 x 2-hour lectures covering the history, development and the skills required in adventure therapy.
|Practical classes and workshops||
You will receive a further 5 x 4-hour practical sessions in which you will have the opportunity to practice your therapy skills. A minimum of two of these sessions will comprise visits to local organisations who use outdoor therapy within their programmes.
Private study devoted to reading research papers identified by the course and preparing for / completing course assessments. This will include up to 10 hours preparation time (e.g., writing) for each assessment
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving problems
- describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context
- plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent intellectual work, which provides evidence of critical engagement with, and interpretation of, appropriate data
- apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems
- demonstrate effective written and/or oral communication and presentation skills
- work effectively independently and with others
- take and demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and continuing personal and professional development
- self-appraise and reflect on practice
- plan and design practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures whilst demonstrating high levels of relevant skills
- recognise and respond to moral, ethical, sustainability and safety issues that directly pertain to the context of study including relevant legislation and professional codes of conduct
- undertake fieldwork with continuous regard for safety and risk assessment.
- demonstrate an understanding of the philosophical basis of scientific paradigms
- communicate succinctly at a level appropriate to different audiences.
- develop justifiable and/or evidence-based interventions
- demonstrate effective robust data collection methods
Resource implications for students
Students will need to take a set of waterproofs, hat, gloves, small rucksack, food, water and a small personal first aid kit with them on practical sessions. These items will not be provided by the University.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/jxh-3085.html
Talis Reading list
Gass, M. A., Gillis, H. L. and Russell, K. C. 2012. Adventure therapy: Theory, practice, & research, New York, NY: Routledge Press.
Donnelly, A.A. and MacIntyre, T.E. (Ed) (2019) Physical Activity in Natural Settings Green and Blue Exercise London, Routledge Press. DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315180144
Bird K. (2015). Research evaluation of an Australian peer outdoor support therapy program for contemporary veterans’ wellbeing. Int J Ment Health, 44, 46–79
Bowen, D. J., & Neill, J. T. (2013). A meta-analysis of adventure therapy outcomes and moderators. The Open Psychology Journal, 6, 28-53. doi:10.2174/1874350120130802001
Gass, MA (Ed.). (1993). Adventure Therapy: Therapeutic applications of adventure programming. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.
Karoff, Maggie, Tucker, Anita R, Alvarez, Tony, & Kovacs, Patricia. (2017). Infusing a Peer-to-Peer Support Program with Adventure Therapy for Adolescent Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Journal of Experiential Education, 40(4), 394-408.
Mutz, Michael, & Müller, Johannes. (2016). Mental health benefits of outdoor adventures: Results from two pilot studies. Journal of Adolescence (London, England.), 49(June), 105-114.
Teaff, J., & Kablach, J. (1987). Psychological Benefits of Outdoor Adventure Activities. Journal of Experiential Education, 10(2), 43–46.
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- R2C6: BA German and Sports Science year 4 (BA/GSPS)
- CR6H: BA Italian/Sports Science year 4 (BA/ITSSC)
- CR61: BA Sports Science/French year 4 (BA/SPSFR)
- CR62: BA Sports Science/German year 4 (BA/SPSG)
- CR6K: BA Spanish/Sports Science year 4 (BA/SPSSC)
- CQ65: BA Cymraeg/Sports Science year 3 (BA/SPSW)
- C611: BSc Adventure Sport Science year 3 (BSC/ASS)
- C61P: BSc Adventure Sport Science with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/ASSP)
- C883: BSc Clinical Sports Science year 3 (BSC/CLSPS)
- C681: BSc Sport & Exercise Psychology w International Experience year 3 (BSC/SEPIE)
- C61F: BSc Sport & Exercise Science with Foundation Year year 3 (BSC/SESF)
- C680: BSc Sport and Exercise Psychology year 3 (BSC/SEXP)
- CB69: BSC Sport, Health & Exercise Sci. year 3 (BSC/SHES)
- C651: BSC Sport- Health & Physical Educ year 3 (BSC/SHPE)
- CB70: BSc Sport, Health & Exercise Science with International Exp year 4 (BSC/SHSIE)
- C615: BSc Sport Science (Outdoor Recreation) year 3 (BSC/SOAC)
- C600: BSC Sports Science year 3 (BSC/SPS)
- C603: BSc Sports Science year 3 (BSC/SPSC)
- C60P: BSc Sport Science with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/SPSP)
- C6N1: BSc Sport Science & Business Management year 3 (BSC/SSB)
- C604: BSc Sports Science (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/SSIE)
- C6N5: BSc Sport Science & Marketing year 3 (BSC/SSM)
- CN5P: Sport Science and Marketing with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/SSMP)
- C602: BSC Sport Science (ODA) year 3 (BSC/SSOA)
- C612: MSci Adventure Sport Science year 3 (MSCI/ASS)
- C608: MSci Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences year 3 (MSCI/SHS)
- C607: MSci Sport Science year 3 (MSCI/SS)
- C613: MSci Sport Science with International Experience year 4 (MSCI/SSIE)
- C609: MSci Sport Science (Outdoor Activities) year 3 (MSCI/SSOA)