Adventure therapy

For young people who can see something about their life that can be different or better than it is now.

Helping you find a path towards growth

Research on vulnerable young people indicates that adventuring activities are highly effective in achieving positive health and social outcomes. Our 20 years of professional experience in the field confirms this evidence. We would like to invite you to join us in an adventure towards your growth and development.

Adventure therapy is not about ‘fixing’ you or telling you what to do, but about paying attention to the things that matter to you as an individual. In all of our work, we pay attention to what participants say they need and want, and we work with you to provide opportunities for growth and change.

Students often don’t know what they need or want, and adventures can help clarify this. We intentionally choose subjective and relational therapeutic approaches over clinical approaches. Our aim is not to ‘fix problems’, but to grow stronger and more resilient young people. Young people can become more sure of their strengths, and add new ones, when they:

  1. Become a valued part of a positive peer group with shared experience
  2. Give and receive support in hard times
  3. Choose to take on challenges and achieve goals significant to the individual.

Adventure therapyWho is it for?

A diverse range of young people gain a lot from an approach that is active, physical, experiential, social, reflective—and stretching. There are no spectators: each one comes to participate and needs to be open to new ways of thinking and doing and being—without being judged. Each group will be of the same gender (facilitators may not be) and of similar age. Most participants are in Year 10, but other groups run according to the needs of a school.

What it involves?

After an initial two-way selection process in conjunction with your school, a group of 8-10 young people and two facilitators embark on a series of Adventures, one full day each week throughout a whole school term. This could include environments of ocean and coast, bush and mountains, caves and canyons, and rivers and cliffs. Canoeing, caving, tramping, coasteering, abseiling, mountain-biking —all provide opportunities for personal growth, supported by times of reflection, writing, discussion and conversation.

Outcomes we work towards with you

  1. Stronger relationships, and skills to build new ones
  2. Greater understanding and experience of making good choices
  3. Increased belief in one’s own ability
  4. Bigger respect for self, others and environment
  5. Physical, social, mental and spiritual challenge to go beyond the comfort zone and extend your possibilities
  6. An increased sense of hope.

How to join

School Counsellors or Deans are the main starting point to join our programme. Anyone can refer to us, but we will go back to your school to discuss the individual referral. Each group may be drawn from one or more schools. There is no minimum level of fitness or need to buy gear—we have resources available for all activities.

More information

Tel: (03) 386 2159 
Email: enquiries.waipuna@sjog.org.nz