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ERIC Number: ED353116
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Experiential Therapy with Troubled Youth: The Ropes Course for Adolescent Inpatients.
Blanchard, Charles W.
This paper provides information about conducting adventure-based counseling using a ropes course with adolescent psychiatric inpatients. Active learning in the process of therapy is widely accepted, but it is not clear how the complex nature of that relationship works and how programs should be structured to facilitate change. Theoretical foundations of experiential therapy can be traced to both Gestalt and cognitive therapies. Gestalt therapy stresses the link between behavior and emotion while cognitive therapy involves changing thinking to change behavior. Important considerations in establishing an institutional ropes therapy program include patient selection and contraindications, parent education and consent, staff facilitators and training, and safety. Keys to effective therapy include integrating experiential therapy into treatment and training and addressing the competence of experiential therapy staff. Group session begins with individual goalsetting, a structured exercise in which each patient makes a commitment to a specific personal goal (for the day) and to a group goal. An essential component of experiential group learning is processing the experience of each member and interactions among members to provide an opportunity for personal enrichment and change that otherwise might not take place. Documentation about each person's participation in the ropes group should include a detailed summary of what took place with that individual during the ropes course. Experiential education as a major adjunctive mode of therapy for adolescent patients is gaining increasing acceptance for positive behavior change. (LP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A