Hills and Gul­lies of In­ter­na­tio­nal Ad­ven­ture The­ra­py: Ex­plo­ring com­mon prac­ti­ce ele­ments towards an In­ter­na­tio­nal Po­si­ti­on State­ment


Authors: Anita Pryor, Kaye Richards, Simon Priest, Steve Javorksi and Keith Russell


Of all the fea­tures of a gi­ven land­scape, per­haps it is tho­se that ever­yo­ne can see – the ‘ri­sing hill coun­try’ – that enable dis­cus­sions from wide-ran­ging per­spec­ti­ves. Five re­se­ar­cher-prac­ti­tio­ners ex­plo­red the land­scape of In­ter­na­tio­nal Ad­ven­ture The­ra­py to iden­ti­fy com­mon fea­tures and ad­dress the ques­ti­on: ‘Can we co-de­ve­lop a shared po­si­ti­on state­ment on in­ter­na­tio­nal ad­ven­ture the­ra­py that will hold up across di­ver­se cul­tu­ral con­texts?’. Gi­ven that ad­ven­ture the­ra­py has been used as an um­brel­la term to re­flect a ran­ge of in­ten­tio­nal the­ra­peu­tic ex­pe­ri­en­ces fa­ci­li­ta­ted out­doors (e.g., wil­der­ness the­ra­py, bush ad­ven­ture the­ra­py, fri­luft­sliv, out­door the­ra­py, out­door ad­ven­ture in­ter­ven­ti­ons, na­tu­re the­ra­py, etc.) this pa­per en­com­pas­ses di­ver­se per­spec­ti­ves. An ex­plo­ra­ti­on of com­mon ground led the aut­hors to iden­ti­fy five sets of com­mon prac­ti­ce ele­ments (‘hill­tops’) that that the aut­hors felt may be re­le­vant across di­ver­se in­ter­na­tio­nal ad­ven­ture the­ra­py con­texts: 1. Bio­lo­gi­cal, 2. Psy­cho­lo­gi­cal, 3. So­cial 4. Eco­lo­gi­cal, and 5. Ethi­cal. Bet­ween each author’s ‘home­land’ and the shared ‘hill­tops’, many gul­lies, ri­vers, and chasms were iden­ti­fied – fea­tures which both hal­ted, and en­ri­ched, the group’s shared aspi­ra­ti­on of co-de­ve­lo­ping an in­clu­si­ve po­si­ti­on state­ment. With per­sis­tence, a preli­mi­na­ry set of de­fi­ni­ti­ons, me­cha­nisms of ch­an­ge, and in­ten­ded out­co­mes were co-de­ve­lo­ped for each of the five sets of com­mon prac­ti­ce ele­ments. Ra­ther than ar­ri­ving at a de­fi­ni­ti­ve ‘po­si­ti­on state­ment’, the col­la­bo­ra­ti­on led to a set of preli­mi­na­ry ‘po­si­tio­ning state­ments’, in need of fur­ther cri­ti­cal re­flec­tion and wi­der dis­cus­sion wi­thin the In­ter­na­tio­nal Ad­ven­ture The­ra­py com­mu­ni­ty. This pa­per in­vi­tes rea­ders to con­sider if an in­ter­na­tio­nal ad­ven­ture the­ra­py po­si­ti­on state­ment is de­si­ra­ble or not, and pos­si­ble or not, and worth the ef­fort or not. If seen as wort­hwhile, rea­ders are in­vi­ted to sug­gest how this aspi­ra­ti­on may be pro­gres­sed in in­clu­si­ve and col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve ways.

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