gassgillisMike Gass, recipient of the AEE’s Distinguished Career Research Award, Lee Gillis who has presented at the last quarter century of AEE conferences, and their esteemed colleagues Christine Norton, Anita Tucker, Keith Russell, and Steve Javorski are coming together in their 2015 AEE International presentation: Current Developments in Adventure Therapy: What Works and Why is this Important. The team will be presenting their research on how the field of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) can and must continue to validate its effectiveness through empirically conducted research and reports.  The team will be engaging with the participants in the workshop to facilitate a dialogue around how those passionate about the purpose, population, and possibilities of OBH programs can use current research to communicate its effectiveness to others including parents and folks in the insurance industry.

When speaking to Mike Gass about the importance of this presentation Mike communicated that we live in a time period where there has been a real push toward evidence based research and a need for more folks in adventure therapy and OBH to be able to communicate these findings in order to advocate for the field.  Mike talked about his excitement around the team’s new website OBHcenter.org which is a hub for folks in OBH and adventure therapy to gain access to the latest research in order to help them validate, substantiate and provide evidence in regards to the effectiveness of their programs.

“There are a lot of gatekeepers to our research and our findings,” Mike noted when speaking to him about the importance of the website, “we want to make access to our publications and research as easy and open as possible.”

The presentation at AEE will feature the research scientists from the OBHcenter.org not only presenting their research and findings but engaging folks who are in the field on how to use this knowledge to its maximum potential.  Mike noted that being able to use this research to communicate to insurance companies the validity of the practices allowed adventure therapy and OBH to become more accessible to more folks.  “It’s exciting to think that because of the research and findings that we have, and our abilities to communicate it, that we can allow more folks and families to access these treatments.”

Mike encourages folks to explore OBHCenter.org and to come on out to the AEE workshop presentation to engage with the team and have what is sure to be a profound and impactful dialogue with the group!  Who doesn’t wanna spend some time with these folks!

Read more about the all the workshops that will be presented and facilitated at the AEE International Conference in Portland, OR (Oct 22nd-24th) this year here!

Author:  Meg Bolger – co-creator of The Safe Zone Project and co-author of the forthcoming Guide to Facilitation

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