1st Edition

Outdoor Therapies An Introduction to Practices, Possibilities, and Critical Perspectives

Edited By Nevin J. Harper, Will W. Dobud Copyright 2021
    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    Drawing on the leading voices of international researchers and practitioners, Outdoor Therapies provides readers with an overview of practices for the helping professions.

    Sharing outdoor approaches ranging from garden therapy to wilderness therapy and from equine-assisted therapy to surf therapy, Harper and Dobud have drawn common threads from therapeutic practices that integrate connection with nature and experiential activity to redefine the "person-in-environment" approach to human health and well-being. Readers will learn about the benefits and advantages of helping clients get the treatment, service, and care they need outside of conventional, office-based therapies.

    Providing readers with a range of approaches that can be utilized across a variety of practice settings and populations, this book is essential reading for students, practitioners, theorists, and researchers in counseling, social work, youth work, occupational therapy, and psychology.

    Part I: Foundations 

    1. An Introduction to Outdoor Therapies

    Nevin J. Harper and Thomas J. Doherty

    2. Experiential Facilitation in the Outdoors

    Luk Peeters and Martin Ringer

    3. Ecopsychological Approaches to Therapy

    Megan E. Delaney

    4. Psychological First Aid for Outdoor Programs

    Christine Lynn Norton, Anita R. Tucker, and Scott Bandoroff

    5. Indigenous Land-Based Healing Pedagogies: From the Ground Up

    Nick XEMŦOLTW Claxton

    Part II: Practices 

    6. Wilderness Therapy

    Carina Ribe Fernee and Leiv Einar Gabrielsen

    7. Adventure Therapy

    Cathryn Carpenter and Anita Pryor

    8. Nature-Based Therapy

    David Segal, Nevin J. Harper, and Kathryn Rose

    9. Equine and Animal-Assisted Therapies

    Heather White and Kay Scott

    10. Garden and Horticultural Therapies

    Rebecca L. Haller

    11. Nature, Sensory Integration, and Pediatric Occupational Therapy

    Kaya Lyons

    12. Surf Therapy

    Jess Ponting

    13. Forest Therapy

    Won Sop Shin and Juyoung Lee

    Part III: Critical Perspectives and Conclusions 

    14. Critical Perspectives on Outdoor Therapy Practices

    Denise Mitten

    15. Future Directions for Outdoor Therapies

    Will W. Dobud and Daniel L. Cavanaugh


    Nevin J. Harper, PhD, has been involved in adventure education and outdoor therapy practices for more than 25 years. His research and practice focuses on active, embodied, and ecological approaches for therapy, health, and well-being. 

    Will W. Dobud, PhD, MSW, is a social work lecturer at Charles Sturt University and has been involved in outdoor therapy in the United States, Australia, and Norway. His research is focused on participant experiences in care and improving outcomes in the outdoor therapies.


    "It’s time to open the therapy room door, step outside, and use the great outdoors to help those who seek our counsel. This comprehensive text, written by experts around the world, shows you how". — Scott Miller, PhD, founder of the International Center for Clinical Excellence and coauthor of Better Results: Using Deliberate Practice to Improve your Therapeutic Effectiveness

    "In public health, the importance of human interactions with outdoor and nature-based settings is emerging as critically important to physical and mental well-being. Although focused on therapy, this book’s application and utility for health promotion practitioners and researchers is evident. I will absolutely be recommending this text to my students and colleagues involved in outdoor and nature-based interventions". Patti-Jean Naylor, PhD, professor in the School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education at the University of Victoria, and international expert on children’s physical activity, healthy eating, and applying implementation science

    "Outdoor therapies are fast evolving. We gradually realize that we do not have to confine ourselves to the therapy room; the outside world offers beautiful therapy opportunities. If you are interested in this growing field, this book will provide you with a great variety of topics and insights to enrich your thoughts and work". Itai Ivtzan, PhD, associate professor at Naropa University and author of Awareness is Freedom: The Adventure of Psychology and Spirituality

    "This book recognizes the relationship between humans and nature as fundamental to human experience, and perhaps most important for the practitioner and policy maker alike, this book brings together the many streams of nature-based interventions and shows how underneath the superficial appearance is a fundamental reality that is vital for the future of the planet. This integrated approach is needed to support the field and inform all stakeholders of the possibilities inherent within outdoor therapies". Eric Brymer, PhD, associate professor and author of One Health: The Well-being Impacts of Human-Nature Relationships