Authors: Nevin J. Harper
The recent 9th International Adventure Therapy Conference (IATC) in Norway (June, 2022) included a facilitated conversation about involuntary youth transport and treatment in some wilderness therapy (WT) programs. This paper is one delegate’s reflection on the topic and critical response to the practices discussed: youth entering treatment against their will. The paper touches on coercion, autonomy, and the ethics of therapy. The WT field is again experiencing public pressure for practices deemed inappropriate relative to child rights, human dignity and relational practices of therapy. The author provides a personal history of a similar scenario two decades ago in which adaptation was needed to protect organizations from closure. The authors intentions in writing this paper are to encourage the IATC community members to understand the practices from a critical perspective to assist in collectively locating and articulating their values and positions on relational dignity for outdoor therapies.