This research was conducted by Dr Kaye Richards and was presented at the 5th International Adventure Therapy Conference. It examined practical ways of working therapeutically outdoors with women who suffer from eating disorders.
The study explored realistic ways in which women suffering from eating disorders could work therapeutically outside. It also looked at how women experiencing this intervention benefited on a psychological level.
After completing the intervention most participants exhibited increased motivation for change and generally had rejected any negative thought’s they might have. They also made progress with thinking patterns related to eating and achieved a more positive body image, greater self-confidence and self-awareness.
Dr Richards said: “This is the first adventure therapy research project and intervention to have been designed specifically for the treatment of women with eating disorders in the UK. It illustrates how working therapeutically outdoors can be used as an intervention and the role it plays in addressing the psychological issues related to disordered eating. It also highlights some of the practical and ethical issues of working in this setting and offers a platform for the future development of research and practice in adventure therapy.”