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A brief survey of the evidence

A strong body of research evidence supports the use of Bush Adventure Therapy for healing, restoration, growth, learning and development. We have found that the following effects are supported by anecdotal, theoretical and empirical evidence:

Being socially connected 

  • Reduces stress, anxiety and depression 
  • Improves recovery and rehabilitation
  • Promotes feelings of value and worth
  • Increases mental health and wellbeing.[i]

Spending time in nature

  • Promotes restoration of mind and body, and inspiration for change.
  • Supports recovery and healing from adverse experiences
  • Improves concentration, focus and attention
  • Increases cognitive functioning.[ii]

Experiencing a sense of adventure

  • Builds self esteem and confidence
  • Strengthens assertiveness and independence
  • Raises self awareness and understanding
  • Increases internal control and motivation
  • Enhances physical and mental wellbeing.[iii]

Wilderness therapy and Adventure therapy (known in Australia as Bush Adventure Therapy) can promote a sense of:

  • Physical wellbeing
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Social wellbeing
  • Behavioural wellbeing
  • Cultural wellbeing
  • Spiritual wellbeing
  • Environmental wellbeing
  • Economic wellbeing.[iv]

[i] Wilkinson & Marmot 2003; Cohen 2004; Victorian Health Promotion Foundation 2005; 2010, etc.

[ii] Kaplan & Kaplan 1989; Kaplan 1992; Maller et. al. 2005; 2006; 2009, etc.

[iii] Cason 1993; 1994; Hattie, Marsh, Neill & Richards 1997; Laidlaw 2000, etc.

[iv] Pryor, 2009; Bowen & Neill 2011; 2012; 2013, etc.