Adventure Therapy: Moderately Effective

Moderate effectiveness: 0.63

What is Adventure Therapy?

  1. Clients are immersed in wilderness, sleeping in primitive shelters, learning skills pexels-photo-372098such as making a fire, food preparation, and backcountry travel.
  2. Clients are immersed in wilderness, sleeping in primitive shelters, learning skills such as making a fire, food preparation, and backcountry travel.
  3. It works because clients are removed from familiar environments and potentially harmful stimuli in the clients’ lives. (Kimball and Bacon 1993; Russell et al. 2008)
  4. Clients experience the natural consequences of their actions as teaching tools (if they choose not to build a shelter and it rains, they will get wet; or if they choose not to build a fire, they will have to eat their food raw) (Russell et al. 2008)

 

Evidence:

  1. 0.98 large effect: overall effectiveness observed by third-party observer (Gillis, Speelman, Linville, Bailey, Kalle, Oglesbee, & … Jensen, 2016)
  2. 0.80 large effect: overall effectiveness self-reported (Gillis, Speelman, Linville, Bailey, Kalle, Oglesbee, & … Jensen, 2016)
  3. 0.47 small to moderate effect: effectiveness reported right after treatment (Bowen & Neill, 2013)
  4. 0.26 small effect: effectiveness reported right after treatment (Bowen, Neill, & Crisp, 2016)

 


 

Bowen, D. J., & Neill, J. T. (2013). A meta-analysis of adventure therapy outcomes and moderators. The Open Psychology Journal, 6 doi:10.2174/1874350120130802001

Bowen, D. J., Neill, J. T., & Crisp, S. J. (2016). Wilderness adventure therapy effects on the mental health of youth participants. Evaluation And Program Planning, 5849-59. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2016.05.005

Gillis, H. J., Speelman, E., Linville, N., Bailey, E., Kalle, A., Oglesbee, N., & … Jensen, J. (2016). Meta-analysis of treatment outcomes measured by the Y-OQ and Y-OQ-SR comparing wilderness and non-wilderness treatment programs. Child & Youth Care Forum, 45(6), 851-863. doi:10.1007/s10566-016-9360-3

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