Date Significant Events in Adventure Therapy additions in Yellow  ** Source/Reference
Pre 1800 Friends Hospital opens in Philadelphia. A major component of treatment is based on idea that natural environment is healing for the "mentally ill"  cited in Davis-Berman, & Berman, (1994)
1901 "Tent therapy" - on the hospital grounds Manhattan State Hospital East to isolate TB patients from other patients.  cited in Davis-Berman, & Berman, (1994)
1929 Camp Ahmek, beginning of a "therapeutic approach" to camping  cited in Davis-Berman, & Berman, (1994)
1946 Salesmanship Club of Dallas (Campbell Loughmiller) – beginning of therapeutic camping movement
1968 Kelly & Baer found delinquents who participated in an Outward Bound program experienced lower recidivism  Gillis, H. L. (1992)
1979 Term adventure based counseling termed  Project Adventure, Inc
1979 Whakapakari begins in New Zealand  
1980 AEE’s Professional Group: Adventure Alternatives in Corrections, Mental Health, and Special Populations
1982 'Western Venture' (a Therapeutic Wilderness-Adventure Program) commences in Perth, Western Australia by Dawn Belcher (Psych), which runs for 13 successful years until closed in 1995. Program model and name changes to 'WYLD Camps Project' in 1995. Stuart, A. (1996) Wilderness-Adventure Therapy Programming: Taking-de-youfs-into-de-wilderness! (unpublished project description).
1983 Publication of the Conscious Use of Metaphor in Outward Bound  
1984 Colorado Outward Bound begins treatment program  
1988 Publication of Adventure Based Counseling  Project Adventure
1989 First wilderness- enhanced behavior managers program piloted in Australia  
1990 Michelle Sutton dies during the first desert trek - Summit Quest  Morgenstern, J. (1995)
1990 Kristen Chase dies in Challenger Foundation wilderness therapy program  Morgenstern, J. (1995)
1991 Ethical Code adopted by AEE’s Adventure Alternatives
1992 First therapeutic program in Quebec State for drug addictive teens, based on fully Ourdoor Experiential Pursuits - Pavillons du Nouveau Point de Vue, Lanoraie, Qc, Ca. Charbonneau, P. (2001). ). Le modèle plein air Outward Bound : sortir des sentiers battus. L’Intervenant, 17,3, 15-17.
1992 Fist AUSTRALIAN Wilderness Adventure Therapy program commences in a clinical service - Brief Intervention Program (BIP), Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service Austin Hospital, Melbourne Crisp, S.J.R. & O’Donnell, M.J. (1998). Wilderness-adventure therapy in Adolescent Mental Health.

Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 3, (1), 47-57.
1992 Wilderness enhanced programs similar to the Ray Handley model extended to Sydney and further in Australia.  
1992 AEE’s Adventure Alternatives becomes Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group
1992 AEELIST (listserv) started  
1993 Inaugural Wilderness Intervention Program (WIP) targeting students in Western Australian state high schools Itin, C.M. (1998).
1993 Publication of Adventure Therapy: Therapeutic Applications of Adventure Programming
1994 Publication of Wilderness Therapy  Davis-Berman, & Berman, (1994)
1994 Aaron Bacon dies at North Star Expeditions in Utah  Morgenstern, J. (1995)
1994 Child and adolescent psychiatry - Heinbcittersport: Start of adventure therapy programs.  
1995 Certificate in Social Work (Adventure Therapy)
1995 Adventure therapy Listserv started
1995 Pilot project with youth people with mental problems/ diseases (psychosis, individual crisis) from our youth psychiatric hospital (Ravensburg) Todays 'with life' following other projects with different themes.  
1996 Founding of Adventure therapy program for children with cancer in Canada; related to development of experimental cancer therapy program.  
1996 Bachelor in Outdoor adventure therapy at the University in Quebec  
1996 First adventure therapy conference in Berlin  
1996-1997 First attempt to develop principles of Best Practice in Wilderness & Adventure therapy based on 3 month on-site investigation of 14 programs in USA, UK and NZ Crisp, S.J.R. (1998) International Models of Best Practice in Wilderness and Adventure Therapy:

Implications for Australia. In C.M. Itin, Exploring the Boundaries of Adventure Therapy: International Perspectives, Boulder, CO: Assoc. for Experiential Education.

1997 1st International Adventure Therapy Conference, Perth W.A.   Itin, C.M. (1998).
1998 Child adolescent psychiatry- Heinbrcittersdorf; Symposium: "Unconventional therapy treatment settings in child and adolescent psychiatry."  
2000 Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Adventure Therapy)
2000 beginning of Bachelor of Applied Social Science in Adventure Therapy, at the Waiariki Institute of Technology, Rotorua, New Zealand Specific major related directly to the Professional Practice and Theory of Adventure Therapy.  Presentation at 2nd International conference
2000 Wilderness Therapy Program On-line Rating and information system developed by Mentor Research Institute www.Wilderness-Programs.Org
2000 2nd International Adventure Therapy Conference, Augsburg Germany  
2002-2003 TAP - Therapeutic Adventure Project running as a pilot  prior to the establishment of a permanent programme. This pilot uses outdoor experiential development and cognitive behavioral therapy to help treat children and young people with ADHD

The Residential Phase was Easter 2003 and the community phase begins May 2003. This project is subject to rigorous academic research and has ethical approval from the BMA.
Lakeside YMCA

TAP 2003

Ref Steve Taylor CEO
2002 14 year old dies while participating in a forced 3 mile hike in mountains outside of Delta, Utah.   Salt Lake Tribune July 16, 2002
2003 3rd International Adventure Therapy Conference, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
2003 4 teens die in wilderness therapy programs in 2003
2004 Outdoor Therapy Institute offers Continuing Education training in Outdoor therapy approved by American Psychological Association
2006 4th International Adventure Therapy Conference Rotorua
New Zealand

Note: References increase the reliability and validity of any "factual" data.  Just because an item is in the list does not necessarily make it true

We invite you  to add to this list:

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Reference List

Davis-Berman, J & Berman, D.S.(1994) Chapter 3: Early Wilderness Programs in  Wilderness Therapy: Foundations, Theory & Research  Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing

Gass, Michael A., (January 1993) Adventure Therapy : Therapeutic Applications of Adventure Programming.  Dubuque Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

Gillis, H. L. (1992). Therapeutic Uses of Adventure-Challenge-Outdoor-Wilderness: Theory and Research. Paper presented at the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors Research Symposium Proceedings, Bradford Woods, Indiana.

Gillis, H.L (1998).  The journey in Oz: From activity-based psychotherapy to adventure therapy.  In C.M. Itin (Ed) Exploring the Boundaries of Adventure Therapy International Perspectives: Proceedings of the 1st International Adventure Therapy Conference, Perth Australia.   Boulder, Colorado: Association for Experiential Education.

Gillis, H.L.  & Thomsen, D.  (1996).  A Research Update (1992 - 1995) of Adventure Therapy: Challenge Activities and Ropes Courses, Wilderness Expeditions, & Residential Camping Programs. Martinsville, IN:  Bradford Woods, Indiana University:  Coalition for Education in the Outdoors Symposium Proceedings

 Itin, C.M. (1998).  (Ed) Exploring the Boundaries of Adventure Therapy International Perspectives: Proceedings of the 1st International Adventure Therapy Conference, Perth Australia.  Boulder, Colorado: Association for Experiential Education.

Miles, J.C. & Priest, S.  (1999). Adventure Programming.  Venture Publishing.

Morgenstern, J. (1995) A Death in the Desert .  Los Angeles Times Magazine January 15, 1995

Priest, S. & Gass, M. (1999) Effective Leadership in Adventure Programming.  Human Kinetics Publishing.

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