Thanks for your interest in connecting with each other and upskilling in Adventure Therapy! Due to COVID-19 we cancelled our May 2020 gathering. Instead we decided to run a series of online workshops and events. We hope to gather again in May 2021 in Dunedin!

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Online workshops

Members have free access to our programme of workshops and online events – both live and as recordings. Please consider joining us here. For non-members, the workshops cost $10 each – payable in advance into the ATA bank account: ACCOUNT NUMBER 38-9020-0523950-00

Live workshops can be accessed at the advertised time by clicking HERE

Past workshops

October 2020 – Understanding and managing risk from an Adventure Therapy perspective
Mark Johnston – Safety and Training Manager, Adventure Specialties Trust

If risk gets rewards what are the risks? Starting with a look into the Adventure Activities Regulations and getting a handle on what is likely to be covered by them and what is not. Then looking further into some templates to help write safety management systems for activities that you run whether for those covered by the regulations or any other activities.
For the second half we will explore the ‘people’ specific risk that a therapeutic programme might need to consider alongside the activity risks. For this part we will break into some smaller groups and use combined knowledge and experience to help work out the risks and some appropriate management strategies. This topic can seem a bit daunting and perhaps dry, but with the knowledge you already have plus some common sense, I hope that you will leave the session thinking “we can do this”. Because the risks are definitely worth the rewards.

September 2020 – Introduction to understanding and supporting people experiencing mental health challenges
Amy Horn – Adventure Therapy Manager, Adventure Specialties Trust

This workshop introduces some of the mental health challenges you might come across and some of the skills and strategies you could use to support the person in the moment.  We will focus on a few different scenarios of low mood, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, anxiety and stress.  The goal of the session is that people leave feeling more prepared to manage and support people with mental health challenges in their personal or professional lives.
This workshop is designed for those who are coming to the field of Adventure Therapy more from the outdoor leadership side of things.  Everyone is welcome, but people with knowledge in the area of distress and mental health challenges will likely already know the content. 

August 2020 – Working from the Ground Up: The Value of Nature from an Occupational Therapy Lens
Elana Cohen, Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapy (OT) is a very broad practice area. It is considered the bridge between the medical side of healthcare and the social-emotional side of being human. As a field that has just passed its 100th birthday, OT can look vastly different depending on the respective healthcare systems in an area, practice setting, and population served. Participants in this presentation will engage with the foundational tenets of OT as they apply to the richness of nature and experiential learning in the outdoors. Because of the emphasis on common threads that span disciplines, practice areas, and population, participants will find relevance and actionable takeaways from this presentation regardless of profession. Some of these common threads include the perception of disability, compensatory strategies for motor or cognitive challenges, and the impact of sensory processing concerns. Participants will be equipped with a unique lens through which to innovate activities using nature in their work.

July 2020Data: Get hungry, get smart
Graham Pringle and Jaimee Galloway, Youth Flourish Outdoors

After four years of operation and keeping mistakes small, Youth Flourish Outdoors is scaling up and extending. The demand is too great to do otherwise. Our purpose is health promotion and business 2 business, so we exist to help – not to keep secrets. We will share what we have learned to collect and use in terms of data. We will cover intake data, periodic data, session feedback data, and reporting. We collect a lot of data points and data types and have done a lot of work to make the collection simple and painless. We can show each type of data and de-identified examples. It will tell a story.  It is free/open source and youth friendly. The data seeks to position us in the health field, help the health of our young people, to inform and activate their support systems, and to improve our practice. Who doesn’t want all that?

June 2020 – What is Adventure Therapy?
Helen Jeffrey, Kelly O’Hagan, Carolyn Lotawa and Claire Wyatt

Co-facilitated by an expert panel from the Adventure Therapy Aotearoa Leadership Group, this workshop looks at adventure therapy basics:
– Definitions of Adventure Therapy
– Models of practice for adventure therapy
– Location yourself in the spectrum of practice
– Identifying practitioners skills and training
– Considering risk from an adventure and therapeutic perspective
– Conversations about design and delivery of adventure based interventions

Future workshops

We aim to host an online workshop on the last Wednesday of each month. Full details will be announced in our newsletter and via our Facebook page so be sure to connect with us to stay in the loop.

There are also some great training webinars available through The (American) Association for Experiential Education – they have a wide range of things from outdoor based ones to therapeutic ones. usually these are available to members only, but currently available free!