Adventure Therapy Experience Scale [ATES]

As Developed by Keith C. Russell, PhD and H. L. (Lee) Gillis, PhD.

Adventure therapy (AT) is defined as “the prescriptive use of adventure experiences provided by mental health professionals, often conducted in natural settings, that kinesthetically engage clients on cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels” (Gass, Gillis & Russell, 2012).


Despite an increase in research and evaluation in recent years examining the relative effectiveness of AT for youth and young adults, little is known about the AT process.

The article cited below and downloaded with the scale highlights the development and psychometric properties of the Adventure Therapy Experience Scale (ATES) for its potential use in identifying unique factors that are theoretically reasoned to be inherent in an AT experience.

The results suggest the ATES is an appropriate instrument to use to assess how these factors effectuate outcome, especially when used in conjunction with the routine outcome monitoring of treatment progress. The ATES is available at https://atescale.info/

Russell, K., & Gillis, H. L. (2017). The adventure therapy experience scale: The psychometric properties of a scale to measure the unique factors moderating an adventure therapy experience. Journal of Experiential Education, 40(2), 135-152

Gass, M. A., Gillis, H. L. & Russell, K. C. (2020). Adventure therapy: Theory, research, and practice. 2nd ed. Routledge.