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 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.



Want to go to NEW ZEALAND?!?!?!

Drs. David Christian and Merry Moiseichik will be hosting the first ever Adventure Therapy and Leadership in New Zealand study abroad experience during the 2018 May Intercession. The Adventure Therapy and Leadership in New Zealand study abroad experience is designed toPicture of aramoana beach in Dunedin New Zealand by Chris Stephenson. provide students with the opportunity to compare Adventure Therapy, leadership, and mental health counseling in the United States and New Zealand.  Students will be exposed to Adventure Therapy and Leadership used with at-risk youth in New Zealand as well as an experience specifically designed for use with indigenous (Maori) youth.  Students will 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, and adventure) impact past, current, and future counseling trends.  During the trip students will have 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 click on the link above or email Dr. Christian or Dr. Merry.


Recent Events: 

1. A Big THANKS to all who helped facilitate at the 2017 International Students and Scholars Orientation Day!!

2. First Introduction to Adventure Therapy Seminar 

3.  Presentation of Adventure Therapy in Schools at the 2017 Arkansas School Counselor Association Annual Conference in Hot Springs.

4.  Professional Development for School Counselors and Social Workers in Rogers Public Schools

5.  Professional Development for School Based Counselors at Ozark Guidance.

6. Led Canoe trip down Elk River for Junior Faculty from Egypt.


Recent publications:

Adventures in Supervision: Implications for Supervision of Adventure Based Counseling

        Christian, D. D., & Perryman, K. L. (2017). Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

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:

Adventure Therapy Lab Partners with International Student and Scholars Office in Welcoming StudentsNewswire (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.