BUSH ADVENTURE THERAPY
It turns out the typical Aussie camping adventure can be an opportunity for personal growth. This unique therapy involves small groups led by a team of specially trained counsellors or social workers heading into the bush to learn about life.
Experiences can range from day trips to overnight expeditions, and might involve bushwalking, canoeing or abseiling.
“Bushwalking is used a lot,” Anita Pryor, a bush adventure practitioner at Adventure Works, says. “The route can be used to draw out lessons and provide a ‘peak moment’ for people. And canoeing is a great one for metaphors around the river of life.”
The connection with nature and physical movement bring their own benefits, but Pryor says the greatest impact is this therapy’s effect on self-esteem.
“A typical bush adventure therapy experience has people feeling they’re worthwhile,” she explains. “The light-bulb moment is often, ‘Oh, I’m OK’ and ‘I can do stuff.’ It sounds simple but it’s so foundational.”
The therapy is commonly used to help young people transition into adulthood, but research shows it’s also effective for a range of age groups.
Prices vary depending on the number of participants and what activities are included, but expect to pay a little more than a tourist version of the same activity.
Head to aabat.org.au to find qualified practitioners and programs in your area.