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Adventure-Based Counseling. Bringing Enthusiasm to Your Therapy Groups Jim Wilwerding, M.Div., MA, LMHC, CADC, NCC. Group Juggle. Needs . Group Juggle. Needs Values. Group Juggle. Needs Values Goals. Group Juggle. Needs Values Goals Hopes. Group Juggle.

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adventure based counseling

Adventure-Based Counseling

Bringing Enthusiasm to Your Therapy Groups

Jim Wilwerding, M.Div., MA, LMHC, CADC, NCC

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

group juggle
Group Juggle
  • Needs

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

group juggle3
Group Juggle
  • Needs
  • Values

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

group juggle4
Group Juggle
  • Needs Values
  • Goals

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

group juggle5
Group Juggle
  • Needs Values
  • Goals Hopes

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

group juggle6
Group Juggle
  • Needs Values
  • Goals Hopes
  • Dreams

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

group juggle7
Group Juggle
  • Needs Values
  • Goals Hopes

Responsibilities

  • Dreams

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

group juggle8
Group Juggle

DUCK!

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

adventure based counseling9
Adventure-Based Counseling
  • Adventure-Based Counseling (ABC) is a mixture of experiential learning, outdoor education and group counseling (Gillis & Simpson, 1994)
  • Adventure therapy is the use of games, activities, initiatives, and peak experiences to facilitate the development of group process, interpersonal relationships, personal growth and therapeutic gain. (Ashby, Kottman, & DeGraaf, 2008)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

yalom s therapeutic factors 1995
Instillation of hope

Universality

Imparting information

Altruism

The corrective recapitulation of the primary family group

Development of socializing techniques

Imitative behavior

Interpersonal learning

Group cohesiveness

Catharsis

Existential factors

Yalom’s Therapeutic Factors (1995)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

primary goal improvement of self concept
Primary Goal: Improvement of Self-Concept
  • Key elements
    • Trust Building
    • Goal Setting
    • Challenge/Stress
    • Peak Experiences
    • Humor/Fun
    • Problem Solving

(Schoel, Prouty, & Radcliffe, 1988)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

full value contract
Full Value Contract
  • This is the rationale for “buy-in” for the group.
  • Includes expectations of group members to each other as well as personal/group goals
  • Defines safety rules, both emotional and physical
  • “The Good Stuff”

(Schoel, Prouty, & Radcliffe, 1988)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

trust building
Trust Building
  • Trust building begins with the first introduction of a new member to the group
  • Trust is directly related to group cohesion
  • In Adventure-Based groups, there is an inherent rationale for the group to embody trust. Through the practice of learning safety skills necessary for the challenges, the group has an experience of trust. (Schoel, Prouty, & Radcliffe, 1988)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

goal setting
Goal Setting
  • According to Lewin (1944), psychological success will be experienced if:
    • The individual is able to define his/her own goals
    • His/her goals are related to central needs and values
    • S/he is able to define the paths that lead to the accomplishment of these goals
    • The goals represent a realistic level of aspiration, neither too high or too low, but high enough to challenge. (as presented in Schoel, Prouty & Radcliffe, 1988)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

challenge stress
Challenge/Stress
  • Perceived challenge and/or “impossible” tasks, problems, physically demanding situation
  • In this situation, the individual and the group face their own personal doubts/fears
  • Properly sequenced and prepared, the client has is likely to experience success

(Schoel, Prouty, & Radcliffe, 1988)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

peak experience
Peak Experience
  • A culminating event in the Adventure process (i.e., ropes course outing/element, rock climbing excursion, service project, etc.)
  • Peak experiences can place the group in a highly focused state of support and encouragement.

(Schoel, Prouty, & Radcliffe, 1988)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

humor fun
Humor/Fun
  • Humor is great medicine for the addicted mind
  • Humor allows the individual to let go of inhibitions
  • Remember, if treatment does not incorporate fun/humor, what appeal does a sober life have?

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

problem solving
Problem Solving
  • May include simple choices which lead to bigger choices
  • May also include relying on others/the group for success.
  • The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

challenge by choice
Challenge By Choice
  • The facilitator’s role is to present a situation where the physical safety of the participant is never in jeopardy (although it may appear so to the participant)
  • The participant’s role is to determine and act within the boundaries of challenging him or herself to growth while maintaining emotional safety

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

change zones luckner nadler 1997
Change Zones(Luckner & Nadler, 1997)
  • Comfort Zone—Most familiar, maintain old patterns—the “status quo”
  • Groan Zone—Little familiarity, risky and uncomfortable, some anxiety, temptation to return to old ways
  • Growth Zone—Confidence using new knowledge, integration of new skills, feelings of mastery & accomplishment (p. 20)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

process
Process
  • Briefing—establish metaphor, define challenge
  • Activity—from a leadership standpoint, less direction is definitely better than more
  • Debrief—apply the metaphor to the client’s life
  • As in many groups, invite feedback from “teammates” regarding client’s behavior in group.

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

metaphor
Metaphor
  • “The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.” (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980)
  • In ABC, the challenge is presented in a metaphor that engages the participant on both intellectual and affective levels (this ball IS your values, etc.)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

metaphor24
Metaphor
  • Metaphors can connect experience back to home or “real life”
  • Metaphors enhance the transfer of the experience—memories get created more strongly when they are connected with an image or picture

(Luckner & Nadler, 1997)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

metaphor25
Metaphor
  • By engaging the metaphor, the participant is also drawn into self-observation and reflection on an undeniable level
  • Once the metaphorical level of the activity is engaged, the individual can begin recognizing the Self (see Rogers) in situ

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

interpersonal learning
Interpersonal Learning
  • The group is a social microcosm for the client
  • “If the group is so conducted that the members can behave in an unguarded, unself-conscious manner, the will, most vividly, recreate and display their pathology in the group.” (Yalom, 1995, p. 39)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

adventure axiom
Adventure Axiom
  • If how you approach these activities is, generally speaking, how you approach life, what have you learned about yourself today?

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

leadership considerations
Leadership Considerations
  • Safety
  • Distress/Eustress
  • Risk takers/Thrill-seekers
  • Client Boundary Issues

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

leadership considerations29
Leadership Considerations
  • Facilitator’s job is to keep the clients engaged in the challenge
  • Create roles for those who choose to opt out of direct participation in the challenge (“Challenge by Choice” does not equate to disengagement from the group)—examples: “director,” “observer,” etc.

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

leadership considerations30
Leadership Considerations
  • Since many challenges are perceived to be “impossible” the facilitator may need to offer encouragement for near misses, attempts, etc. Before long, the group can also take on this role
  • Again, resist the urge to offer too many “hints” or too much direction or you risk the possibility of disrupting the client’s engagement with the metaphor.

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

but our program has no
But Our Program Has No $$
  • The power is in the metaphor not in the high-tech design
  • Creative minds + powerful metaphors =

Adventure-Based Therapy

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

warm up deinhibitizers goal is to get the group moving
Warm-up/DeinhibitizersGoal is to get the group moving
  • “Giants/Elves/Wizards”—Tag game spin-off from “Rock/Paper/Scissors”
  • Flippin’ Burgers (Cavert & Sikes, 1997)—Use the noodles to be the last remaining group member to “keep your good stuff.”
  • Line up—form a line from “x” to “y” (i.e., shortest to tallest, youngest to oldest, alphabetical by middle name, etc.)—introduction and fun

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

warm up deinhibitizers goal is to get the group moving33
Warm-up/DeinhibitizersGoal is to get the group moving
  • “Flip me the Bird”—Tag-type game with a metaphorical twist—how do you ask for help/respond to requests for help
  • Group Juggle I, II, III
  • Inside out/Outside in (Cain, 2001)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

trust building34
Trust Building
  • “Willow in the Wind”—Trust circle physical trust of others
  • Trust Fall to group or in pairs
  • “Helium Stick”—trust of group members/also a communication exercise

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

trust building35
Trust Building
  • Trust Lift (Cain, 2002)—Rather than trust fall, a cradle is formed from the Raccoon Circle to carry participants across a distance or gently rocked.
  • Friendship Walk (Cavert & Friends, 1999)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

communication activities
Communication Activities
  • Toxic Waste—Blindfolded participants are directed by teammates to guide ropes and bungee to “rescue the good stuff” from the pit of toxic waste
  • Bull Ring—team works together to “bring the good stuff home”
  • Going Nuts (Cavert & Friends, 1999)—work to remove and rethread hexnuts from threaded rods—metaphor of unmanagables, frustration, etc.

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

communication activities37
Communication Activities
  • Traffic Jam
  • Tanks
  • Blind Bat (Cavert & Sikes, 1997)
  • Robots
  • All-Aboard
  • Amazing Maze
  • The Missing Link (Cain, 2004)—Consensus

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

problem solving38
Problem-Solving
  • Immobile Chopsticks (Cavert & Sikes, 1997)
  • Spider Web
  • Meuse
  • Marble Movers (Cavert & Friends, 1999)
  • Stepping Stones

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

problem solving39
Problem-Solving
  • Trolleys (Cavert & Friends, 1999)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

problem solving40
Problem-Solving
  • Windmill (Cavert & Friends, 1999)
  • Electric Fence/Window of Opportunity
  • The Clothes Line (Cain, 2004)
  • The Human Knot (Cain, 2002)
  • Cross Every Line (Cain, 2002)
  • A Knot Between Us (Cain, 2001)
  • Pass the Loop (Cain, 2001)/Pass the Loop II

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

bungee box cavert friends 1999
Bungee Box (Cavert & Friends, 1999)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

amazing maze cavert friends 1999
Amazing Maze (Cavert & Friends, 1999)

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

references
References

Ashby, J.S., Kottman, T, & DeGraaf, D. (2008). Active Interventions for Kids and Teens: Adding Adventure and Fun to Counseling. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Associaton.

Cain, J. (2001, 2002). Raccoon Circles: A Handbook for Facilitators Book I & Book II. Brockport, NY: Teamwork and Teamplay. Available in PDF format for no cost at www.teamworkandteamplay.com

Cavert, C. & Sikes, S. (1997). 50 Ways to Use Your Noodle: Loads of Land Games with Foam Noodle Toys. Tulsa, OK: Learning Unlimited Corporation.

Cavert, C. & Friends (1999). Affordable Portables: A Working Book of Initiative Activities & Problem Solving Elements, Revised & Expanded Ed. Oklahoma City, OK: Wood ‘N’ Barnes Publishing and Distribution.

Gillis, H.L. & Simpson, C.A. (1994) Working with substance abusing adolescents through Project Adventure. Addictions Looseleaf Notebook. Aspen, CO: Love Publishing Co.

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

references46
References

Hagedorn, W.B., & Hirshhorn, M.A. (March, 2009). When Talking Won’t Work: Implementing Experiential Group Activities With Addicted Clients. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, Vol 34 (1) pp. 43-67.

Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Life By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Luckner, J.L., & Nadler, R.S. (1997) Processing the Experience: Strategies to Enhance and Generalize Learning. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Schoel, J., Prouty, D., & Radcliffe, P. (1988). Islands of Healing: A Guide to Adventure Based Counseling. Hamilton, MA: Project Adventure.

Yalom, I.D. (1995). The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, 4th Ed. New York: Basic Books.

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009

contact information
Contact Information

Jim Wilwerding, M.Div., MA, LMHC, CADC

jim@newheightscounseling.org

www.newheightscounseling.org

4910 Urbandale Ave. Ste. 304

Des Moines, IA 50310

P: 515-274-9690

F: 515-274-9680

IMHCA Conference April 30, 2009