User:Jtneill/Presentations/Outdoor Therapy as mental health intervention

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Title: Outdoor Therapy as mental health intervention: Results from a mixed methods evaluation of how such programs meet desired intervention objectives

Conference: 17th National Outdoor Education Conference, 16-18 Jan, 2012, University of Canberra, Australia

Presenters: Tom Mulvaney, James Neill, University of Canberra

Bio: Tom is an experienced outdoor education instructor and LaTrobe OE/psychology graduate who is currently studying 4th year Honours in Psychology student. James is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Canberra.

Bio images:

Abstract: Outdoor Therapy has received significant coverage in the latter half of the twentieth century with the incidence of such programs continuing to emerge as intervention for adolescents. A number of studies have outlined the clinical therapeutic outcomes of such programs as specific and ancillary mental health interventions. Despite this, intervention has typically focused on adolescent males and has been empirically driven; with a paucity in research focused on Australian participants and on female participants. This presentation will review current literature on Outdoor Therapy and present results from a recent study of Evolve’s Young Woman's Program. A mixed methods design was used to quantitatively validate life skill and mental health changes in participants and to qualitatively explore how such change came about. Analysis of key themes and case studies will be used to point towards future directions in outdoor therapy programs for young women in Australia.

Session type: Theory-based, indoor

Space and equipment type: Tutorial room with data projector or Lecture theatre

Optimum number of participants: any (up to room size)

Optimum duration: 60 minutes (min. 45 - max. 90)