Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stories from the Elders: Chronicles and Narratives of the Early Years of Wilderness Therapy
by White, N. William, D.A., Franklin Pierce University, 2011, 207; 3505069
Abstract (Summary)

Wilderness therapy for adolescence has been in existence, in some form, for over a hundred and twenty years but no comprehensive history has existed of the many influences that shaped its growth. Much of what has been written about the history of wilderness therapy is incomplete, biased, or exclusionary, and no account includes narratives from significant pioneers in the field. This study constructs a comprehensive history of wilderness therapy through a thorough review of the historical literature and the use of narrative accounts.

This study began with a qualitative historical review of organizations, leaders, and individuals that made significant impact on the development of the field. The literature review identified gaps in the documented history of the field, which this project has attempted to overcome. The most significant missing historical information was how the primitive skills model of wilderness therapy first developed in the Western United States. The second section of this study presents oral histories from major figures, some largely unrecognized, who factored greatly in the growth of the primitive skills model. The final chapter is a reflection by the researcher about key themes in history of the field.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lacey, James, Abel, Richard
Commitee: Abel, Richard, Lacey, James, Russell, Keith
School: Franklin Pierce University
Department: Leadership
School Location: United States -- New Hampshire
Source: DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Modern history, Science history, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Adventure therapy, Experiential education, Outdoor behavioral healthcare, Outdoor education, Summer camps, Wilderness therapy
Publication Number: 3505069
ISBN: 978-1-267-28968-1
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