AT is 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, and Russell, 2012)
Adventure therapy can occur indoors or outdoors as well as in urban or rural settings. It also uses games, trust activities, initiatives, high and low challenge course, high adventure and wilderness based programming. All are powerful tools, although they may be quite distinct in practice. For example, the healing power of wilderness and the outdoors is well-acknowledged, however, we also recognize that AT can occur effectively without exposure to the outdoors.
Utilizes active (kinesthetic) experiential methodology to engage clients and establish an identical or parallel process between the client's life experience and the client's therapeutic experience and enhances the transfer of learning from the therapeutic context to the client's life.
Focuses on therapeutic goals, possibly including the cognitive, behavioral, affective, physical and spiritual facets of the person. This differentiates adventure therapy from uses of adventure for recreational, education, or physical health purposes.
Linnemann, P. (n.d.). TAPG Best P Defining Adv Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.aee.org/tapg-best-p-defining-adv-therapy