Adventure Therapy Lab

Two students in hammocks at Devil's Den State ParkThe Adventure Therapy Lab (ATL) at the University of Arkansas exists to join faculty and students together to conduct research and provide service in the area of Adventure Therapy. The ATL produces research and publications related to Adventure Therapy in mental health as well as school settings. It provides workshops, trainings, and supervised experiences to promote Adventure Therapy and prepare mental health professionals to work with at-risk populations at various developmental levels. It supports the vision and goals of the Counselor Education and Supervision program, the College of Education and Health Professions and the University of Arkansas by promoting research in a unique and growing field as well as attracting students from around the state, nation, and globe eager to be trained in adventure therapy. Dr. David D. Christian, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education, is the Adventure Therapy Lab's founder and current director. For more information about the ATL, contact Assistant Director Cian Brown or Student Liaison Tyler Quattlebaum.

The ATL Went to New Zealand!

Drs. David Christian and Merry Moiseichik hosted the the second Adventure Therapy and Leadership in New Zealand study abroad experience. It was a another HUGE success and we are already planning to go back soon. We would like to thank Fayettechill and Gearhead Outfitters for their support. The Adventure Therapy and Leadership in New Zealand study abroad experience is designed toPicture of the study abroad students at the top of baldwin street. provide students with the opportunity to compare Adventure Therapy, leadership, and mental health counseling in the United States and New Zealand. Students are exposed to Adventure Therapy and Leadership used with youth at-risk in New Zealand as well as an experience specifically designed for use with indigenous (Maori) youth. Students also have the opportunity to experience New Zealand's educational culture by attending counselor preparation courses at Otago Polytechnic, indigenous Maori culture by staying on a Marae, and adventure culture by visiting Queenstown in order to understand how these three facets of culture (education, indigenous people, and adventure) impact past, current, and future counseling trends. During the trip students had the opportunity to kayak, hike, camp, mt. bike, and participate in a variety of other adventure experiences. No experience is necessary and the trip is open to both undergraduate and graduate students at the U of A. For more information about future trips click on the link above or email Dr. Christian or Dr. Merry.

Recent Events

  1. 2020 SAY HEY! Africa Student Trip to Dakar, Senegal!
  2. 2019 University of Arkansas Office of International Students and Scholars Orientation at Devil's Den State Park.
  3. Elk River Float with Delegation of International Scholars
  4. Second Adventure Therapy and Leadership in New Zealand study abroad experience

Recent Publications

Exploring the Lifestyle Using UBUNTU Cards

McCarty, D. L., & Christian, D. D. (2019). Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

Group Climate and Development in Adventure Therapy: An Exploratory Study

Christian, D. D., Brown, C. L., & Portrie-Bethke, T. L. (2019). Journal of Specialists in Group Work, 44(1), 25-45.

Adventures in Supervision: Implications for Supervision of Adventure Based Counseling

Christian, D. D., & Perryman, K. L. (2017). Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 13(1), 19-30.

Improving the Parent-Adolescent Relationship with Adventure-Based Counseling: An Adlerian Perspective

Christian, D. D., Perryman, K. L., & Portrie-Bethke, T. L. (2017). Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 3(1), 44-58.

News Articles

Soccer Unites Senegalese and American Cultures in NWA. KNWA (ABC) News Story (2019, April)

Senegalese Sports Leaders Visit U of A to Learn About Teaching Youth Sports. Newswire Article (2019, April)

Study Abroad Trip to New Zealand Puts Adventure Therapy Into Action. Newswire (July 26, 2018)

Adventure Therapy Lab Partners with International Student and Scholars Office in Welcoming Students. Newswire (August 25, 2017)

U of A Students Take New Adventure Therapy Focus to Local Schools. Newswire (December 6, 2016).

Adventure Therapy Focus of New University of Arkansas Lab. Newswire (June 7, 2016).

New Professor Brings Adventure-Based Counseling to U of A Program. Newswire (September 15, 2015).

Getting Off the Couch. Counseling Today (December 1, 2011).


Follow us on Twitter Link to Adventure Therapy Lab's twitter page.