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ERIC Number: ED424064
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Sustaining the Wilderness Therapist.
Bunce, Jenny
During a workshop at the 1997 International Conference on Adventure Therapy, small groups shared and recorded their experience of personal challenges and impacts of wilderness work. This report summarizes those findings, reviews the literature on stresses and personal difficulties experienced by adventure therapists and other wilderness practitioners, and suggests some strategies to help such practitioners look after themselves and support each other. One of the strengths, but also a weakness, of outdoor professionals is "lifestyle investment"--a work situation in which boundaries between work and leisure are blurred. The work is intrinsically rewarding and consistent with personal values, but is also very draining and potentially destructive to other aspects of life. Therapists experience similar stresses and interpersonal impacts, and therapeutic work in wilderness settings could be expected to demonstrate substantially higher levels of both these effects. However, there is little relevant research on the short- or long-term effects of being a wilderness therapist. Workshop responses generated lists of intrapersonal and interpersonal difficulties experienced within and outside the work setting, as well as benefits experienced through wilderness work. Eight reasons are offered for why wilderness practitioners do not address these personal issues, and 10 individual and program strategies are suggested for sustaining the wilderness therapist. (Contains 12 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A