Spotlight-Nevin Harper

At the Core – Adventure Therapy Research and Practice

Nevin Harper

How Long: 60 Mins


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. 

Dr. Nevin Harper will take us to the core of adventure therapy and research. He has more than twenty years leadership experience in outdoor adventure education and therapy. His professional employment and previous positions reflect the diversity of Nevin’s exploration in areas of human development and environmental influences across educational and therapeutic fields. He has been Associate Professor in the School of Child & Youth Care (University of Victoria), National Research Coordinator (Outward Bound Canada), Founder of the Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium, and Co-founder of the Child & Nature Alliance of Canada. As a practitioner, his approach is relational, client-centered and grounded in an eco-psychological frame and an ethic of care. He is currently co-chair of the Adventure Therapy International Committee and is one of the Canadian representatives.

Nevin completed a Ph.D. thesis in Education (Recreation, Parks & Leisure) at the University of Minnesota in 2007 entitled ‘A mixed-methods examination of family involvement in adolescent wilderness therapy’, and M.A. thesis in Leadership & Training at Royal Roads University in 2004 entitled ‘Risk management: A model for outdoor adventure curriculum’ along with a B.A. in Leisure Studies & Services at the University of Oregon in 1993. His major areas of interest include outdoor & experiential education, child & youth development, adventure programming, leadership, eco-psychology, human-nature relationships and place-based learning. Nevin maintains field qualifications and trainer status with the Outdoor Council of Canada and Paddle Canada.