ERIC Number: ED431581
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Four Step Model for Experiential Counseling.
Long, Vonda; Scherer, David
As experiential counseling gains wider acceptance, it becomes more important to operate from a structural framework promoting effective and ethical practices. This paper outlines a four-part model of experiential counseling: theoretical foundations, experiential activity and personnel, processing and communication skills, and prerequisites for participant safety. Advantages to using outdoor experiential pursuits as the basis for counseling are discussed. The importance of working from a theoretical base is emphasized, and several theories of psychotherapy are noted that advocate for the use of experience as a therapeutic agent. The experiential activity itself is a catalyst for the counseling process, with the focus and time spent on the activity varying considerably. The multiple professional roles involved in experiential counseling are listed, as are support personnel that may be needed. Processing is the core element in experiential counseling, and various communication skills are needed to provide an effective intervention. These skills include listening, centering (to maintain counselor's emotional balance), empathizing, focusing clients' attention, and providing clients with directional support. Foundations of experiential counseling that safeguard clients' physical and emotional safety include risk assessment and management, informed consent, preparation for potential rescue in either the physical or emotional realm, training in emergency medicine, and attention to ethical concerns. Contains 14 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Adventure Education, Communication Skills, Counseling Techniques, Counselor Client Relationship, Counselor Role, Experiential Learning, Group Counseling, Individual Development, Outdoor Leadership, Theory Practice Relationship
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Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Experiential Education, Boulder, CO.
Note: In: Selected Monographs from the Association for Experiential Education International Conference (26th, Incline Village, Nevada, November 5-9, 1998); see RC 022 022.