"Life is an awfully big Adventure!" - Winnie the Pooh
The post Christmas period. New Year is here. Fitness Classes. Plans. Goals.
All good things that bring you nearer to the idea you have of yourself. Whether those goals are extrinsic (I need to look good for the beach) or intrinsic (I need to stop smoking) doesn't really matter. What counts is having an objective, a plan and a time line.
I noticed that I didn't post any blog entries on this topic here for a number of months.
Strangely, its actually due to posting More articles on other channels about other topics. This is one of my New Year's resolutions this year... to make our blog a little bit more user specific, meaning articles that actually teach you about adventure therapy.
Making the content more appropriate to those looking for insight or a fresh perspective on adventure therapy and wilderness therapy.
There is a reason for this actually...
When I looked on Google.ie the most searched item on the topic was "Adventure Therapy Training," meaning that there is an interest in developing specific skills in the area.
We've also got quite a number of applications from people interested in working more specifically in this sector, so it's becoming a more viable career option.
When we started off the response rate to the term "adventure therapy" was not high. In fact most financial advisors and lending institutions couldn't really "get it."
I think activeconnections.ie got some grant aid, brand recognition and exposure, so they were able to develop as a result. There is also theadventureproject.ie in Dublin. They've been going for years now, focused on inner city youth. We were more likely to be lumped in between cycling tours, walking holidays, retreat centers and youth offender programs - which is quite a wide spread when you think about it.
The tricky part is that the job has a couple of different skills - you need a counselling/psychology/social work background and an outdoor leadership skill-set, otherwise it is neither one thing nor the other.
It's perfectly ok for an outdoor center to run adventure therapy courses. To my mind, it gets people in the outdoors, builds different skills and you have access to the right equipment.
By the same token, there is no issue for counselors, social workers or psychologists to use the outdoors as a medium. It takes someone outside, lets them be more physical and removes the "ownership of space" issue. Nothing wrong with a walk and a talk, it's brilliant. Physical exercise is a key tenet.
Where the issue lies is in the end product - a walk and talk misses the element of "challenge" and the normal outdoor centre experience is geared to "adrenaline" activities, so the point on the curve where we want to be is somewhere in the middle of that duality. It must have some challenge, but at the same time the purpose is to address the whole person, their needs and develop a new social interaction and communicative construct.
See, what happens... It starts out as a really general topic and then quickly ends up in granular specifics.
So, this year I will write a series of articles that develop a more rounded view of adventure therapy. This in turn will address the training element and the skills people should have to go working with groups in the outdoors - with this intent.
Consider too that adventure therapy deals with things as different as soil erosion and solar panels all the way across to cell phones and cellophane... a mixed bag (pun intended).
So Happy New Year to all - check our web links section too...there are lots of people worldwide with deep domain knowledge - it's just one step at a time.
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