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BAT Course Overview

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Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) is a holistic approach to human health and wellbeing for individuals, families and groups at all ages and stages of life who are experiencing difficulty or hardship.

This course guides practitioners in how to develop, deliver, supervise, and evaluate safe and effective BAT experiences. Specifically, the course prepares practitioners to combine an intentional use of nature contact, physical activity and group work towards client-directed therapeutic outcomes within a comprehensive psychological safety net.

Course structure

The course runs over two years. The first year amounts to approximately 0.4 FTE and is quite demanding in terms of the structured content delivery and assessment requirements. The second year is considered to be more flexible in terms of the time commitment with the intention that students are engaging in rigorous practice development within their workplace or field placement*. Content is delivered through a range of mediums including online Sessions, hands-on Intensives, mentored field placements and one to one professional supervision. Students are matched to a BAT supervisor who will provide supported professional reflection throughout the course.

The course is delivered by an independent organisation (Adventure Works Pty. Ltd.) not affiliated with a specific University or Registered Training Provider. Content and structure have been developed in consultation with members of the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy Inc. For more information about the training team visit our website.

The course is aligned within the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) and is pitched at a Masters levels of tertiary education (AQF Levels 8 and 9) but is not a tertiary qualification.

This training program is designed to be flexible so that students may maintain work commitments and family life alongside completion of the course.

* Students can choose to exit at the completion of year one achieving the equivalent of a Graduate Diploma and would receive a certificate and transcript indicating successful participation and results.

Year One – Semester One

1.1: BAT Theories and Practices

This subject offers an overview of contemporary BAT theories and practices, philosophies and program examples.

1.2: Socio-ecological Systems

This subject explores a systems approach to locating BAT practices within social, cultural and ecological systems and includes three service site field placements.

1.3: Reflective Practice

This subject establishes and develops students’ capacity for personal reflection ensuring that therapeutic relationships in professional contexts are safe, clear and effective (includes establishment of a professional alliance with a trained BAT supervisor).

Year One – Semester Two

2.1: Intentional BAT Programming

This subject offers design principles for tailoring intentional BAT services for the specified needs of a chosen target group and includes designing an integrative BAT program experience.

2.2: Risk and Resilience

From a social determinants approach to health, this subject requires successful completion of a choice of two external short courses and two field placements in BAT settings.

2.3: Professional BAT Practice 1

This subject extends students’ capacity for reflective and collaborative practice in areas of ethics, counselling, group work, collaborative teams and supervision (includes continuation of a professional alliance developed with a BAT supervisor).

Year Two

3.1: Research and Evaluation

This subject involves program-based project resulting in a program evaluation or other applicable research outcome.

3.2: Independent Literature Review

This subject requires a detailed investigation into an area of student interest within the field of BAT, towards a published outcome.

3.3: Professional BAT Practice 2

This subject extends students’ professional practice through completion of an extended period of logged supervised practice (includes continuation of a professional alliance developed with a BAT supervisor).

Course intensives

Year One – Semester One

Eight day residential including 3-day journey.

Year One – Semester Two

Ten day remote journey focusing on depth of experience.

Year Two

Five day cultural experience focusing on complexity and synthesis.

Field placements

Year One – Semester One

Minimum of 150 hours (3-5 weeks) at three human/social service sites

Year One – Semester Two

Minimum of 150 hours (3-5 weeks) in two BAT service settings

Year Two

Minimum of 450 hours in BAT service settings