Advertisement

Child and Youth Care Forum

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 415–437 | Cite as

Perspectives on the Wilderness Therapy Process and Its Relation to Outcome

  • Keith C. Russell
  • Dianne Phillips-Miller
Article

Abstract

This study examined the wilderness therapy process in order to better understand how the intervention effects change in problem behavior of adolescent clients. A review of literature reveals multiple definitions of wilderness therapy, numerous studies evaluating treatment outcomes, and a need to focus research on how the process facilitates change. This study investigated four established wilderness therapy programs using a multisite case study approach and a variety of qualitative data collection methods to carefully examine the wilderness therapy experience of 12 clients in four wilderness therapy programs. Findings indicate that physical exercise and hiking, primitive wilderness living, peer feedback facilitated by group counseling sessions, and the therapeutic relationship established with wilderness guides and therapists were key change agents for adolescents. These factors helped adolescents come to terms with their behavior and facilitated a desire to want to change for the better.

adolescent substance abuse innovative treatment peer relations problem behaviors wilderness therapy 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adler, P. A., & Adler, P. (1994). Observational techniques. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Bandoroff, S. (1989). Wilderness therapy for delinquent and pre-delinquent youth: A review of the literature. (ERIC ED377428): University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.Google Scholar
  3. Bordin, E. S. (1979). The generalizability of psychoanalytic concept of the working alliance. Psychotherapy, 16, 252–260.Google Scholar
  4. Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five traditions.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Erlandson, D. A., Harris, E. L., Skipper, B. L., & Allen, S. D. (1993). Doing naturalistic inquiry—A guide to methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Ewert, A., & Heywood, J. (1991). Group development in the natural environment: Expectations, outcomes and techniques. Journal of Environment and Behavior, 23(5), 592–615.Google Scholar
  7. Fontana, A., & Frey, J. H. (1994). Interviewing: The art of science. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Gass, M. (1993). Adventure Therapy: Therapeutic applications of adventure programming. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.Google Scholar
  9. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine.Google Scholar
  10. Guba, E., & Lincoln, Y. (1993). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  11. Hattie, J., Marsh, H. W., Neill, J. T., & Richards, G. E. (1997). Adventure education and Outward Bound: Out-of-class experiences that make a lasting difference. Review of Educational Research, 67(1), 43–87.Google Scholar
  12. Hoag, M., & Burlingame, G. (1997). Child and adolescent group psychotherapy: a narra-tive review of effectiveness and the case for meta-analysis. Journal of Child and Adolescent Group Therapy, 7(2), 51–68.Google Scholar
  13. Horowitz, M. J., Marmar, G., Weiss, D., Dweitt, K. N., & Rosenbaum, R. (1984). Brief psychotherapy of bereavement reactions: The relationship of process to outcome. Archives of General Psychotherapy, 41, 438–448.Google Scholar
  14. Howard, T. A. (1984). Outward Bound in alcohol treatment in mental health. A compilation of literature. Greenwich, CT: Outward Bound, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. Kimball, R. (1983). The wilderness as therapy. Journal of Experiential Education, 6(3), 7–16.Google Scholar
  16. Kokotovic, A. M., & Tracey, T. J. (1990). Working alliance in the early phase of counselor. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 37, 16–12.Google Scholar
  17. Loughmiller, C. (1965). Wilderness road. Austin, TX: Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.Google Scholar
  18. Marsh, H., Richards, G., & Barnes, J. (1984). Multi-dimensional self concepts: The effects of participation in an Outward Bound program. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(1), 195–204.Google Scholar
  19. Marsh, H. W., Richards, G. E., & Barnes, J. (1986). Multi-dimensional self concepts: A long term follow-up of the effect of participation in an Outward Bound program. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 12, 475–492.Google Scholar
  20. Mulvey, E., Arthur, M., & Repucci, N. (1993). The preventment and treatment of juvenile delinquency: A review of the research. Clinical Psychology Review, 13, 133–167.Google Scholar
  21. Raue, P., Goldfried, M. G., & Barkham, M. (1997). The therapeutic alliance in psychody-namic— interpersonal and cognitive—behavioral therapy. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 65(4), 582–587.Google Scholar
  22. Richards, T., & Richards, L. (1994). Using computers in qualitative analysis. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative researc h. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Saunders, S. M. (2000). Examining the relationship between the therapeutic bond and the phases of treatment outcome. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 37(3), 206–218.Google Scholar
  24. Van Gennep, A. (1960). The rites of passage.Chicago IL: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Winterdyk, J., & Griffiths, C. (1984). Wilderness experience programs: reforming delin-quents or beating around the bush? Juvenile and Family Court Journal, Fall, 35–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith C. Russell
    • 1
  • Dianne Phillips-Miller
    • 2
  1. 1.Resource Recreation and TourismUniversity of IdahoMoscow
  2. 2.University of MontanaUSA

Personalised recommendations