Evaluating the Individual and Group Outcomes of Individuals Who Participated in Experiential Therapy Activities at a Challenge Course

Julie Anne Laser


Experiential therapy activities are events that the individual participates in that usually push them out of their comfort zone and into a place of self-discovery, confidence-building, self-awareness, and new insights of how to cope with issues in their lives (Laser & Nicotera, 2021; Laser-Maira & Nicotera, 2019). The experiential therapy activity can be a game, an activity, a mental puzzle, time in nature, or a physical challenge (Laser & Nicotera, 2021; Nicotera & Laser-Maira, 2017). Often experiential therapy activities are done as group activities (or sometimes family or couple activities), which take strategy, planning, and cohesion to make them successful (Laser & Nicotera, 2021; Laser-Maira, 2016; Laser-Maira & Nicotera, 2019). Experiential therapy activities transform into experiential therapy during the debrief of the clinical segues of the experiential therapy activity. The clinical segues shifts the understanding from what just happened to what insights can be learned from the experiential activity about themselves, their lives, their thoughts, and their behaviors. In this research, experiential therapy activities were activities groups participated in at an all-day (8 hour) Challenge Course. The results underscore the profound influence Challenge Courses have on its individual participants and group dynamics. In each outcome: problem solving skills, decision-making skills, cooperation skills, communication skills, self-awareness, enjoyment of the activities and the participant’s likelihood to return to the Challenge Course and to recommend it to others, participants overwhelmingly found positive changes in multiple aspects of their lives.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijsw.v9i1.19308


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