Counseling based adventure is a type of counseling therapy which involves various experiential activities in the form of traveling or adventure. Most of these activities are done outdoors which may include camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain trekking, sailing, and other cooperative activities. The exercises will benefit the participants in various ways. It will help them to explore their personal matters in a safe and encouraging environment with the help of mental health experts.
What is Adventure Based Counseling?
Adventure-based counseling is an activity-based type of psychotherapy. It has other different names such as therapeutic excursions, wilderness therapy, and travel healing. Having fun is the second objective of the activities involved in the therapy. The first objective is to gain valuable life lessons, which include cooperating with people, learning teamwork, understanding differences, and realizing the effects of their poor decisions to others, which has therapeutic benefits to its participants.
Adventure-based counseling can touch the deep and painful issues of those in the activity. It brings these issues into the light to give the participants the chance to face and solve them. This action is necessary for their personal healing and growth.
What Should Participants Expect?
Participants will gain skills in understanding different individuals and how to be effective as a person in a group.
They will also learn to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their members and use these to everybody’s advantage. As a result, it will promote intrapersonal learning and growth.
The therapists will encourage the participants to be active and be responsive to the whole activity and not become passive participants in the adventure therapy. It is through the use of ideal strategies and practices.
The participants will learn how to use questioning techniques and debriefing methods to aid other members to promote their awareness and motivation in reaching their objectives.
The activities and discussion during the counseling based adventure will promote the trust between each member of the group. It will also help in solving the disagreement between members as they advance through the activities.
They will also learn to accept feedback from other members as positive criticism and vice versa.
The participants will do a detailed written journal about their experiences in the adventure therapy. However, these journals are for their private viewing and use. The therapist will read it, but it will serve as a tool to record their feelings, experiences, thoughts and then use it as a self-reference. It is also useful in future therapy sessions to help them see their progress over time. This procedure is also beneficial to teenagers that have difficulty in expressing what they honestly feel. The contents of their journal may be a private thing. However, it will reduce their tendencies to isolate their thoughts and feelings.
Here are the ways on how journaling can help:
- “There’s a lot of science grounding expressive language writing and journaling as being an extremely helpful piece for maintaining mental wellness.” – Deborah Serani, PsyD
- “Giving people a space to explore their feelings related to suicide often helps them process their feelings.” – Daniel Reidenberg, PsyD
- “Create two columns: On the left side of the paper, vent your negative, self-loathing statements. Then read each statement as if your child or loved one is reading them to you. Write a self-compassionate response to each negative statement.” – Karin Lawson, PsyD
Counseling based adventure is a promising alternative to regular counseling. It has many advantages both mentally and physically. It is advisable to inform individuals close to you about this type of counseling if they need one.