ERIC Number: ED448011
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Therapeutic Uses of Outdoor Education. ERIC Digest.
Berman, Dene S.; Davis-Berman, Jennifer
This digest examines the positive effects on emotional well-being of several types of outdoor education programs. Although many outdoor education and experiential programs enhance emotional growth, such "therapeutic" outcomes may be considered incidental to program goals. In contrast, programs aimed primarily at "therapy" usually involve a process of assessment, treatment planning, counseling, and documentation of change. Adventure therapy programs often take place in the wilderness and usually are geared toward troubled youth with mental health problems. Adventure may be the sole treatment modality or an adjunct to more traditional therapy approaches. Outdoor personal growth programs are not designed as therapy but are intended to have a positive impact on general psychological well-being. College orientation programs and other college adventure programs have therapeutic effects in that they facilitate the emotional and social development of students experiencing a challenging and stressful period in life. Outdoor recreation programs do not attempt to facilitate emotional growth, but skill development and moral and social development may be secondary outcomes. Camping programs have a long history of facilitating the emotional well-being of campers. As with recreation programs, even camps that are not therapeutic in intent often work to facilitate personal growth in participants. (Contains 22 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Adventure Education, Camping, College Programs, Emotional Development, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, Individual Development, Outdoor Education, Therapeutic Recreation, Therapy, Youth Programs
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348; Tel: 800-624-9120 (Toll Free). Full text at Web site: http://www.ael.org/eric/digests/edorc005.htm.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.