Bush Adventure Therapy practices and Experiential Learning are core facets of the experiences Dooloomai provides.
Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) is a theory-informed evidence-based therapeutic modality used with wide-ranging groups towards a range of health and wellbeing aims. A use of BAT in the Australian context combines the benefits of individual counselling, group work, physical challenges, personal choices and natural environments to support participants towards healthy changes. Dooloomai aims to support individuals in a group context using BAT methodologies to maximise participants' motivation for life.
Through the use of outdoor adventures and challenging experiential activities, Dooloomai aims to facilitate development in participants in the domains of psychological, physical, social, behavioural and environmental well-being. Experiential Learning is “holistic” in nature, simultaneously engaging body, mind and emotions to achieve outcomes that usually include improved self-concept and the development of life skills.
Dooloomai programs intentionally support the transition of participants’ learning’s understandings and behavioural changes from their outdoor experience to the participants ‘real’ life environment. Central to this transference taking place is a process of reflection and critical analysis, which may be facilitated through shared conversations, 1:1 counselling, and/or by ensuring participants have opportunities to self initiate reflective processes in the context of the program (for example by ensuring there are times of equilibrium and comfort as well as challenge and adventure).
Outdoor adventure is understood to be a great catalyst for promoting and developing interpersonal relationships between participants. The shared experiences and challenges faced by participants living and travelling in the natural environment allow for the development of close bonding and stronger relationships. The informal and planned therapeutic activities and conversations that form part of the process also help to strengthen these bonds.
Dooloomai’s innovative approach, merging contemporary counselling techniques with holistic experiential outdoor education principles, has a strong preventative and strengths-based focus and is directed primarily towards the achievement of real and relevant life skill outcomes for participants.