How we do it

Adventure Works

Because of our training and professional experiences, we’ve learnt to trust in what works. In short, we’ve found that the unique combination of small groups, adventures and natural environments meets all sorts of aims. Whether a person needs deep healing from trauma, time out from the everyday, a chance to build confidence and independence, or an opportunity to refocus on what they want out of life, we’ve found that intentional adventures are effective. A whole mountain of research supports these approaches for health, wellbeing, personal development and therapy. For more information on the benefits of Bush Adventure Therapy, see our Research Summary.

What do we mean by the terms ‘therapy’ and ‘counselling’?

We offer Bush Adventure Therapy programs and Bush Counselling, and are used to people asking ‘What the heck is that?’

Our understanding of the term therapy is based on the ancient Greek definition ‘to attend to’. We intentionally choose subjective and relational therapeutic approaches over clinical and objective approaches.

In all of our work, we pay attention to what participants say they need and want, and we work with them to provide opportunities for growth and change. Our aim is to support participants to create useful solutions for their own dilemmas or struggles. We work towards ‘listening participants into their own discoveries’ through unconditional positive regard, genuine curiosity, and careful questioning. Our approach to therapy doesn’t mean we try to ‘fix’ people and our approach to counselling doesn’t mean we give advice.

Our therapeutic practice is family-sensitive, meaning that we take account of people’s families and social systems. It is also integrative, meaning that we work with participants to ensure that lessons learned are able to be applied in ‘normal’ life. In both Bush Adventure Therapy and Bush Counselling, shared experiences are physical, adventurous and enjoyable, as well as seriously good.

For a basic overview of Bush Adventure Therapy, check out this paper.

Do no harm

Adventure Works policies, procedures and practices are based on the fundamental principle of  ‘do no harm’, including to self, others and natural environments. Like other therapy and counselling professionals we maintain a duty of care, which means we will report risks of harm.

Ethical approach

Adventure Works follows the ethical principles outlined by the Australian Association of Bush Adventure Therapy (AABAT), meaning that staff work towards:

1. Positive regard for all people

2. Respect for differences in culture, gender, age and identity

3. Strong family and community connections

4. Transparency, Informed consent, and Confidentiality

5. Voluntary participation

6. Selection for readiness to participate

7. Attention to individual and group needs and hopes

8. Supportive physical, psychological and social environments

9. Tailored adventure experiences

10. Provision of options and choices (including supported exits)

11. Respect for cultural custodianship of country

12. Increasing self awareness and reflexive practice.

Collaboration

Adventure Works staff have a strong ethos of collaborating with people to co-create solutions. Although we bring a wealth of experience to our services, we don’t claim to know it all. We continue to learn from everyone we work with. We go to great lengths to share power and responsibility in our relationships. As a staff team, we aim for consensus in decision-making, and to understand the hidden assumptions and tacit beliefs we carry day to day in the hope that we operate in transparent and healthy ways. We have an organisational culture where all staff reflect on and discuss our work in reflexive ways and undertake the adventure of ongoing personal and professional development.

Practice frameworks

Our staff have a range of training, qualifications and professional experiences. For more information on how we practice the art and science of Bush Adventure Therapy, see our summary of common Foundational premises. Because we value ongoing learning, these practice frameworks are a continual ‘work in progress’.