Briefly and concisely from the working group for Adventure therapy of the Federal Association of Individual and Experiential Education e.V.:
Adventure therapy is a holistic, action-, and experience-oriented approach that, through adventure and nature-pedagogical methods, supports, supplements or creates therapeutic settings.
The aim of adventure therapy is to initiate development and self-healing processes. The therapeutic context and the depth of the process are crucial features that distinguish adventure therapy measures from purely pedagogically oriented interventions. The needs (determined abnormality, disorder or behavior, diagnosis) of the client determines the type and intensity of the therapeutic intervention. This is individually challenging and addresses the intrinsic motivation of the client.
In contrast to experiential education, in adventure therapy the stress level of the client is dealt with more sensitively. On the basis of the therapeutic assignment and need, adventure therapy works on an alternative emotional approach to stressful situations; and patterns of action and behavior or resources and strengths are developed.
This is achieved by designing external, action-oriented fields of experience that fit in with internal goals and change processes. In nature or in designed situations, clients can experience themselves in action. This experience becomes a (self)experience through raising awareness or reflecting on the inner processes.
Extracted from: Bous, B., Thiesen, C. (2022): Erlebnistherapie. e&l - Erleben & Lernen, Issue 5. Based on the self-image of the Adventure therapy group from the Federal Association of Individual and Experiential Education e.V. (Lakemann 2018, Gilsdorf 2004, Michl 2018).
What are the areas of application for adventure therapy worldwide?
At the international level, the use of adventure therapy is very well established in some cases. Adventure therapy is mainly used in medical and psychosocial professional fields. The most important areas of application are singled out to show the diverse possibilities:
On which theories & basic assumptions has ATI based its training programs?
The following core theories and basic assumptions are taken into account in the practical and theoretical courses of the training for "Adventure & Nature Therapist" and "Adventure & Nature Therapy Practitioner":
The german association of experiential education "Bundesverband Individual- und Erlebnispädagogik e.V." is working hard to define and describe Adventure Therapy for their members, health assurances, clinics and universities.