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Adventure Based Counseling (ABC) is a therapeutic tool that can be adapted to almost any setting and is a mixture of experiential learning, outdoor education, group counseling (Schoel, Prouty, & Radcliffe, 1988), and intrapersonal exploration. Although obviously not a panacea, the conceptual framework of ABC is based on several counseling theories including behavioral and cognitive theories, experiential learning, an affective perspective (Priest & Gass, 1997; Schoel et al., 1988), as well as a process of events that promotes positive change. ABC involves activities in which clients are essentially learning by doing (Gass, 1993a). Galagan's (1987) adventure-based learning by doing program was positively associated with personal growth, accountability, support, trust, and a sense of personal energy. Similarly, Vester (1987) has presented a framework of leisure that focuses on adventure as a form of counseling. Descriptively, a counselor using ABC typically chooses an experiential activity that possesses strong metaphoric relationships to the goals of counseling. The counselor may then give directives for an adventure-based activity and, during the process, make references to metaphors, thereby creating a connection from the adventure activity to real life (Gass, 1995). After this experience, counselors debrief the client to reinforce positive behavior changes, reframe potentially negative interpretations of the experience, and focus on the integration of functional change into the client's lifestyle (Gass, 1995; Hinkle, 1999; Luckner & Nadler, 1992; Priest & Gass, 1997). ABC is developing into a significant area of counseling intervention. The efficacy of ABC has been minimally supported in the research literature; however, methodological flaws in research designs may actually minimize reported effectiveness rates (see Nassar-McMillan & Cashwell, 1997). Continued theory development and empirical research are obviously needed, particularly on the long-term effects of ABC.
Conceptual Framework Of ABC: Although ABC uses traditional psychosocial and educational theories involving individual, group, and family counseling, ABC differs from traditional counseling. These differences include the setting, the use of real and perceived risk, additional required skills, additional ethical considerations, an emphasis on processing and metaphor, and transfer of learning to psychological, educational, sociological, physical, and spiritual benefits. ABC can be used as a primary treatment or as an adjunct to more traditional types bf counseling. Although traditional counseling usually takes place indoors or in an office setting, ABC often takes place in the outdoors. There is also the perception of risk or real risk in ABC that is not found in typical counseling settings. ABC requires traditional counseling skills (i.e., what experiential educators refer to as "soft" skills) as well as additional physical skills (i.e., what adventure based counselors refer to as "hard" skills, such as challenge ropes course management, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and kayaking). Facilitation of activities includes programming, or selecting appropriate activities, and macroprocessing, which includes six facilitation styles. These styles, described more fully in this article, are as follows: no loading, front loading, back loading, or front- and backloading, and the use of metaphor and paradox. Finally, the adventure-based experience is transferred to real life through processing. Because ABC originated from experiential education and outdoor education, a model is needed for the counseling profession to transfer the traditional practices from outdoor and experiential education to a more therapeutic realm. To do so, counselors, counselor educators, and counselors-in-training need to develop an understanding of how the entire process works. Finally, ABC is relatively new to the counseling field, and a model helps to organize the relative information so that it is easier to comprehend, teach, and apply.
Theory Application: ABC is derived from individual, group, and family counseling models, as well as from educational theories. The primary individual counseling theories or therapies that combine to contribute to ABC are cognitive (Beck, 1963), rational emotive behavioral (Ellis, 1962), reality (Glasser, 1965), behavioral (Bandura, 1969; Skinner, 1953), gestalt (Zinker, 1977), narrative (Bruner, 1985), and constructivist (Fosnot, 1989). Cognitive theory is used in ABC to help clients understand the association between their adventure experience and their cognitive processes and how thought processes may affect relationships with others as well as with the self. Rational emotive behavioral theory can be effectively used when assessing risk or perceived risk. For example, if a person is in a low-risk situation but perceives the situation as high risk, irrational thoughts of risk can be challenged so the client is able to confront and differentiate between real and perceived risks (Priest & Gass, 1997). Of course, having a client differentiate between real and perceived risks is consistent with current behavior therapy that relies heavily on a cognitive base. Also, ABC uses reinforcement theory as a basic component of its approach. Reality theory is incorporated into ABC by the highlighting of natural consequences, taking responsibility for one's own actions, and working in the present toward the future (Clagett, 1992).
Gestalt therapy is relevant to the adventure experience in that individuals process events while they are occurring. This happens in microprocessing as new skills or insights from the experience are applied to real life. Furthermore, the "in the moment" focus of ABC is consistent with gestalt therapy. Narrative therapy, a technique used to write and rewrite a person's "story," is similarly used in ABC. The adventure experience can be used as a metaphor to rewrite a person's past. Finally, constructivist theory is based on the individual creating his or her own reality. ABC can assist with this process by adding another dimension to a person's reality through the insight gained from the adventure experience (Luckner & Nadler, 1992).
ABC can be used intentionally to address individual needs, but many ABC activities emphasize work in groups. The application of group counseling models is important for understanding group development and group dynamics (Gazda, Ginter, & Horne, 2001). Luckner and Nadler (1992) have identified a model of group development that is specific to ABC. These stages include acquaintance, goal ambiguity, diffusing anxiety, members' search for position, focus on affect and confrontation, sharpened interactions (growth), norm crystallization, distributive leadership, decreased defensiveness and increased experimentation, group potency, and termination.
Adjunct and Primary Treatment: The aforementioned theories have been identified to provide a better understanding of how ABC is grounded and supported. ABC can be used as an adjunct to treatment or as the primary treatment (Gass, 1995). In counseling, it will most likely be used as an adjunctive treatment intervention (Bandaroff & Parrish, 1997). For example, a day hike may be used adjunctively with breast cancer survivors to help them relax, engage in a peaceful environment, and have success with something that requires healthy, physical exertion. In contrast, an adolescent residential treatment facility may use longer trips using an outdoor setting with ABC as the primary treatment, and clients are expected to make behavioral changes as a result.
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In this article, we introduce a special section focused on the application of advanced methodologies to specific research questions in counseling psychology. The articles include applications of natural language processing, dynamic systems, mediation analyses in single studies and meta-analysis, and synthesis of qualitative research. We provide a brief overview of each article. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
Historical trends in a scientific field should be apparent in the changing content of journal articles over time. Using a topic modeling approach, a statistical method for quantifying the thematic content of text, 70 topics were extracted from the abstracts of 3,603 articles published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology from 1963 to 2015. After examining interpretability of 70 topics derived from the model, 64 meaningful topics and their trends were named. In addition, the authors also classified some of the related topics into 4 categories—counseling process and outcome, multiculturalism, research methodology, and vocational psychology. Counseling process and outcome related topics have decreased recently, while topics relating to multiculturalism and diversity have shown increasing trends. The authors also discussed trends that were observed and tried to account for the changing frequencies of some important research topics within these categories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
The dynamics of the give and take between therapist and client(s) is frequently of interest to therapy process researchers. Characterizing the ways that therapists respond to clients and clients respond to therapists can be challenging in therapeutic encounters involving a single therapist and a single client. The complexity of this challenge increases as the number of people involved in a therapeutic encounter increases not only because there are more people responding to one another but also because the patterns of responding can become more complex. This manuscript demonstrates how dyadic cross-lagged panel models can be extended to psychotherapeutic encounters involving 3 people and used to test processes that exist between dyadic subsets of the larger group as well as the group as one cohesive unit. Three hundred seventy-nine talk turns of fundamental frequency from a couple therapy session were modeled using 3 dyadic cross-lagged panel models, and each individual’s respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was treated as a moderator. Although the regression coefficients for each dyadic subset (e.g., therapist–husband) were nonsignificant, an eigenvalue/eigenvector decomposition of the regression coefficients from the 3 dyadic cross-lagged panel models suggests that interdependence exists at the level of the whole group (i.e., therapist–husband–wife) rather than between pairs of individuals within the group (e.g., husband–wife). Further, an interaction involving husband’s RSA suggested that interdependence involving the husband ceased when the husband displayed greater regulatory effort. This combination of statistical methods allows for clearly distinguishing between dyadic therapeutic processes and group-level therapeutic processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
A metamethod study is a qualitative meta-analysis focused upon the methods and procedures used in a given research domain. These studies are rare in psychological research. They permit both the documentation of the informal standards within a field of research and recommendations for future work in that area. This paper presents a metamethod analysis of a substantial body of qualitative research that focused on clients’ experiences in psychotherapy (109 studies). This review examined the ways that methodological integrity has been established across qualitative research methods. It identified the numbers of participants recruited and the form of data collection used (e.g., semistructured interviews, diaries). As well, it examined the types of checks employed to increase methodological integrity, such as participant counts, saturation, reflexivity techniques, participant feedback, or consensus and auditing processes. Central findings indicated that the researchers quite flexibly integrated procedures associated with one method into studies using other methods in order to strengthen their rigor. It appeared normative to adjust procedures to advance methodological integrity. These findings encourage manuscript reviewers to assess the function of procedures within a study rather than to require researchers to adhere to the set of procedures associated with a method. In addition, when epistemological approaches were mentioned they were overwhelmingly constructivist in nature, despite the increasing use of procedures traditionally associated with objectivist perspectives. It is recommended that future researchers do more to explicitly describe the functions of their procedures so that they are coherently situated within the epistemological approaches in use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
Self-efficacy beliefs are strong predictors of academic pursuits, performance, and persistence, and in theory are developed and maintained by 4 classes of experiences Bandura (1986) referred to as sources: performance accomplishments (PA), vicarious learning (VL), social persuasion (SP), and affective arousal (AA). The effects of sources on self-efficacy vary by performance domain and individual difference factors. In this meta-analysis (k = 61 studies of academic self-efficacy; N = 8,965), we employed B. J. Becker’s (2009) model-based approach to examine cumulative effects of the sources as a set and unique effects of each source, controlling for the others. Following Becker’s recommendations, we used available data to create a correlation matrix for the 4 sources and self-efficacy, then used these meta-analytically derived correlations to test our path model. We further examined moderation of these associations by subject area (STEM vs. non-STEM), grade, sex, and ethnicity. PA showed by far the strongest unique association with self-efficacy beliefs. Subject area was a significant moderator, with sources collectively predicting self-efficacy more strongly in non-STEM (k = 14) compared with STEM (k = 47) subjects (R2 = .37 and .22, respectively). Within studies of STEM subjects, grade level was a significant moderator of the coefficients in our path model, as were 2 continuous study characteristics (percent non-White and percent female). Practical implications of the findings and future research directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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