Recommended Reading: Adventure Therapy – Using Adventurous Activities As Occupational Therapy

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By February 28, 2018 No Comments

Authors: Helen Jeffery

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Adventure Therapy - Using Adventurous Activities As Occupational Therapy

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Award state: QLD

Abstract: Whilst there is no one definition of adventure therapy, it commonly utilises adventure based activities, experiential learning theory and outdoor environments to facilitate a therapeutic effect. Adventure therapy is an emerging intervention utilised by mental health clinicians, often within services for youth. This qualitative descriptive study explored the fit between occupational therapy and adventure therapy. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to examine the practice and use of theory with seven New Zealand occupational therapists who use adventure therapy. There are practice and philosophical elements of adventure therapy that are compatible with occupational therapy, including therapeutic use of activity. Differences occur in that adventure therapy purposefully utilises novel activities and environments, and that these activities are often prescribed. This paper presents the findings with a particular emphasis on the value of activity as therapy. Whilst not the whole of occupational therapy, adventure therapy can be utilised as an approach to practice. Adventure based activities are not usual every-day activities for most clients, or usual occupational therapy practice. However as an intervention it is attractive to youth. It is argued that adventure therapy is a powerful example of the use of activity as a means to an end. Occupational therapists are well positioned to use adventure therapy as a component of their overall occupational therapy practice.

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