Foundations of Adventure Therapy

Foundations of Adventure Therapy are the fundamental influences and principles on which the field of adventure therapy was established. The intent of the Foundations section is to review and discuss the development and creation of the practice of adventure therapy in the United States.

History of Adventure Therapy in the United States

The historical foundations of practice highlight the beginning of AT as an eventual merging of adventure programming and psychotherapy (Gillis & Priest, 2003). This section includes a historical review and timeline of the influences on AT in the United States. The scope of the historical review encompasses influential developments related to AT in the United States and is not intended to include all developments related to experiential education, adventure education, etc.

Defining Adventure Therapy

Defining AT presents many challenges, as the field is quite diverse in how AT is conceptualized and applied. This section explores the varying definitions found in the literature and provides a definition.

Foundational Concepts

There are several foundational concepts that are central to AT. Examples include challenge by choice, negotiating risk and stress, using natural-logical consequences, and experiential learning. Although these concepts are not universally utilized in AT, they exist as prevalent constructs impacting practice. This section explores these concepts and their influence on current practice.

Professional Organizations

This section provides an overview of professional organizations and their current activities and contributions to the AT field. Professional organizations play an important role in developing and maintaining the quality, integrity, and professionalism of AT.