The 8th International Adventure Therapy Conference - Archive Site

The 8IATC was held on Wednesday 29th August to Sunday 2nd September 2018, just South of Sydney on the New South Wales Coast, Australia.

The 8IATC celebrated past achievements and inspired future innovations by connecting or re-connecting to this inclusive, vibrant international community. In the 21 years since the inaugural conference held in Australia in 1997, the field of adventure therapy has matured significantly. Upon its return to Australian shores in 2018, delegates from within the existing community and adjacent fields joined us at 'The Tops' to reflect on our cultural and professional origins and re-imagine contemporary adventure therapy knowledge and expertise in the light and landscape of ancient place-based practices.

Previous International Adventure Therapy Conferences have focused on establishing coherence and quality in the international field of adventure therapy. At the 8IATC we reached outwards with a theme of ‘expanding the circles’ to build links with allied fields such as social work, youth justice, programs for and by first peoples, occupational therapy, psychotherapy and of course many more.

If you’re not familiar with adventure therapy, see about international adventure therapy practices for a brief introduction.

Take a look here

Below are a number of resources and highlights from the conference including the presentations from a range of presenters and sessions. In addition to this we are keeping the conversations going on the new site. Join the conversation, share some resources, ask a question.

The draft book of abstracts here will be further refined and published in due course. The draft version remains available here for your interest and use.

Available Session Downloads

A number of session presenters have made the material from their sessions available for the community here. If you presented and would like to add your session here please email and we can include it in this list.

Abriendo Vía Program

Alexander Rose, Natalia Ruiz de Cortázar Gracia, David Fernández Oñate, Iolanda Batalla Llordés

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Adventure and nature based program benefits: how and why?

Virginie Gargano (Ph.D)

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Adventure Therapy Programme for young adults with Asperger Syndrome

Alexander Rose, Natalia Ruiz de Cortázar, Marina Baquero Tomás, Lydia Yusta Bermúdez de Castro and Antoni Sanz

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Complex Trauma Focused Adventure Therapy

Graham Pringle

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Additional information

Linked Presentation

Creative Action Based Research – Ways of seeing, doing, being, thinking

Professor Liz Cameron

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Cultural Issues in Adventure Programming: Applying Hofstede’s Dimensions to Assessment and Practice

Christine Lynn Norton, PhD, LCSW & Steve Javorski

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Integrating Outdoor Experiential Interventions into the Child Protection Welfare Sector

Doug Moczynski and Pete Rae

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Kawa – Where model meets metaphor

Helen Jeffery

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Moving Right Along, You and Me, and All of Cosmology

Nick Hall

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Occupational Therapy and Adventure Therapy – Moving Forward Together

Kathryn Wenham, Christine Hodges and Clara Chan

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Reaching for roots and finding a forest

Lynn Van Hoof, Harpa Ýr Erlendsdóttir and Alexander Rose

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Spotlight – Aboriginal creativity within making and seeing

Professor Liz Cameron and Barbara Allen

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Spotlight – Merging Adventure Therapy with Allied Health Professions

Karen Field

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The Brain, The Unconscious and Adventure Therapy

Martin Ringer

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The Potential Use of Hiking as a Therapeutic Intervention for Adult Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence

Kathryn Wenham

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Thinking Outside the Clinic: The impact of Adventure Therapy programme in the promotion o post-traumatic growth

Matthew Slavin, Dr Leanne Andrews, Dr Jo Barton

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We are not all the same

Helen Jeffery

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What Creates Competent Adventure Therapy Leadership Teams?

Martin Ringer

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When Dewey Invites Jung To Ride Together

Jasper Chien-Hsi Hsu, Chih-Mou Hsieh and Lee-Chuan Tseng

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Whenua Iti Outdoors – The fence at the top of the cliff

Richard Wilkins

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Additional information

Working with At-Risk Youth through Intentional Practice in a Wilderness Therapy Context

Linda White

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Expanding the Circles

Circles are symbolic of communities, of inclusive practices and wholeness: expanding and contracting yet remaining complete and unbroken. Within international adventure therapy, where do our practices intersect or overlap? Where do new and old meet, and what connects us? What contributions can we make to improve living conditions and environments around the globe? This is a field with ample opportunity for innovation and creativity, and we welcome your contribution.

As a part of our commitment to 'expand the circles' this web site encourages engagement from wide-ranging individuals and international communities with associated interests.

‘In the Spotlight’ Presentations

Adventures in Post-Humanism

Associate Professor Gabrielle Fletcher

The global work of bush adventure therapies is in healing, challenging and extending the ‘human’. However, what of the environment itself? This paper will disrupt the adventures ‘within’, and consider strategies of encounter of both human and more-than-human.


Adventure Therapy Research and Practice

Dr. Nevin Harper will take us to the core of adventure therapy and research. 

This theme encourages us to look at what is central or at the core of our work – for some this might be a look at the heart of practice, for others it may mean questioning what works, how and why. 


Merging Adventure Therapy With Allied Professions

This stream emphasises our intersections with other professional fields, approaches and techniques.

Karen Field will take us to the edges of our allied fields of practice. She is Chief Executive Officer of Drummond Street Services and National Chief Executive of Stepfamilies Australia.


At the edge – Exploring the new

Jess Huon will take us to new places within our ourselves and our work while provoking deep understanding on concepts of health and wellbeing. Jess has trained in traditional Buddhist monastic settings, inter-faith contexts of meditative inquiry and has spent long periods of solitary forest practice in India, Australia, Spain and the USA.


Creativity Within Making and Seeing Within an Aboriginal Cultural Place

Professor Liz Cameron and Barbara Allen

Creativity in making and seeing has always played a role within Aboriginal Australian societies as a part of daily life which enhances the relationship between connectivity and belonging within our environment. Our land is not owned, nor is seen as a commodity…



Social Program

Wednesday 29 August 2018

This is an opportunity for us to welcome you to the Conference and for you to meet and mingle with other attendees

Thursday 30 August 2018
Auditorium dinner with guest speakers from Team Norway

Friday 31 August 2018
Dinner and a relaxed opportunity to engage with practitioners from around the globe at the International Booth event

Saturday 1 September 2018
Dinner and Bush Dance to celebrate twenty one years of the IATC

21st Birthday Celebration

Night 4 - Bush Dance and Music with...

Sal Kimber & Tully Sumner

Indigenous Offerings

8IATC hosts are pleased to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the country upon which the conference will be held, and wish to pay our respects to the Dharawal people, also known as Dtharwal, Tarawal and Tharuwal. Read more...

Youth Mental Health

Session Cluster and Forum

We have developed a cluster of sessions on Thursday 30th and a Forum on the 31st August to focus on the topic of youth mental health.

See the Conference Program Day 3 for session details.

Details of forum coming soon!

8IATC Sponsors

We invite you and your organisation to reach towards your vision and purpose by sponsoring some components of the 8IATC. There are many ways you can sponsor this event, to find out more please visit our sponsorship page...