Adventure Therapy Forum

by Nettie Stow



Whenua Iti Outdoors are excited to be hosting the “Adventure Therapy Aotearoa (ATA) 2018 Forum”. Adventure Therapy is a growing field in New Zealand and around the world. Adventure Therapy is a research based approach where experiential is therapy coupled with adventurous activities. By creating a safe, supportive environment and opportunity for calculated risk,  trained facilitators  can then provide the guidance and support needed to enable an individual’s growth and development. Increasingly, WIO are designing programmes with AT at their heart.

The Forum, which runs from May 25-27, has a fantastic blend of keynote speakers, outdoor activities, workshops and time to network. ATA are organising the event with support from Otago Polytechnic, Adventure Specialties Trust and WIO. The Keynote speech is to be given by AT ‘guru’ Dr Mike Gass, who is coming over from the USA – Mike will reflect on lessons learned over 4 decades of Adventure Therapy in the US and how we can put this learning into practice as we develop the subject in Aotearoa. He will also run 2 workshops ensuring people have new skills and knowledge to use in their own work.

Another well respected and knowledgeable keynote speaker is Anita Pryor – the director of Adventure Works in Australia. Anita has been involved in bush adventure therapy since the mid-nineties and has since become a keen practitioner, trainer and researcher; she will also run a practical workshop. Other workshops will be run by prominent Adventure Therapists offering a range of subjects designed introduce beginners and challenge experts in this field alike. The subjects cover theory, practical advice, activities – all designed to help participants use aspects of Adventure Therapy in their every day work.

So who might this appeal to? The appeal and scope of AT is wide ranging and can be applied to so many fields – it is used by Outdoor Instructors, Occupational Therapists, mental health workers, youth workers, counsellors, teachers – the list is unlimited – if you work to help other people you can use aspects of Adventure Therapy!

If you would like to join us, there is more information on the ATA Forum on their Facebook page or visit


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