Mutual impact: A relational critique of wilderness therapy

James H. Rough (2000)

The goal of this study is to provide an overview and critique of various models of wilderness therapy; to develop a typology of wilderness therapy groups; and to make recommendations for a relational model that draws from intersubjective theories and an understanding of natural history and ecology. A review of the literature examines the range of groups that are offered in wilderness settings. A typology is developed that critiques the three major models in the field on several axes. Finally, a relational model is recommended that integrates certain aspects of the other approaches and draws on relational and intersubjective theories to emphasize the importance of a mutual relationship between the client and the natural environment. I further suggest that deep immersion in nature is an overlooked source of therapeutic change.