Promoting resilience in college students through group-based adventure therapy

Academic Article


  • In response to the need for engaging and innovative group therapy approaches to increase social supports and interpersonal relationships among college students, an adventure therapy (AT) program was implemented in a college counseling center. Using the Resiliency Scale for Young Adults and the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS), this mixed-methods, pilot study gathered preliminary data to examine the impact of group-based adventure therapy on personal resilience and distress among college students who participated in the adventure therapy program compared to those in the traditional counseling group and those who received no treatment at all. Findings showed increased treatment completion rates among college students who participated in the adventure therapy program, and well as changes in resilience, depression, anxiety, and distress based on large effect sizes for AT participants. Qualitative findings showed increased distress tolerance, trust and relationshipbuilding skills, stress reduction, and reduced stigma. These finding support adventure therapy as an alternative treatment modality that may help address the growing number of unmet mental health needs among college students.
  • Authors

  • Denny, Susan
  • Norton, Christine
  • Tucker, Anita
  • Publication Date

  • February 1, 2023
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 1
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 1