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It is the dream of every counselor, instructor or facilitator to come up with an effective method of handling situations in the best way possible that recognizes the efforts of every participant in an activity. Adventure based counseling tries to improve cooperation, interpersonal skills together with self esteem especially among the young people. It tries to foster the importance of setting group goals, consolidating efforts towards reaching those goals and encouraging every participant in the group to appreciate their personal contributions. It uses different activities which are meant to help the members of the group discover the importance of working together, encouraging each other and build self esteem. It also helps promote the virtue of proper listening skills, improve cohesiveness, build trust with others and propagate good risk taking behaviors.
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According to the writers, adventure based counseling is done in a sequence of exercises referred to as elements. Each element has specific lessons but the main one is improving unity or pulling together. The group moves from one exercise to the next after successful completion, evaluation and finding the lesson behind it. A school counselor facilitates the program by initiating some activities which he lets the group handle on their own. Using the processing, action, relationships and self model, the members learn to appreciate the good aspects of the group as well as the strengths of each member and not just the completion of the task. The main purpose of the exercises is to help the group learn skills and apply them outside the school.
In my opinion, adventure based counseling can be used in many other occasions apart from just schools. These include the work place where it can be used to manifest the significance of team work, appreciating and encouraging each other as well as proper ways of communication. It could be used to build self confidence to the members of the staff who could be feeling inferior or insignificant through various activities such as moon ball and group juggling. Most people in the work place underperform because of lack of self drive. If such a person could be encouraged by showing them that their contribution towards achieving the company’s goals is as important as any other person’s, they could be motivated which in turn means that much more could be achieved.
Adventure counseling can also be used in a family setup where for instance twins or just siblings are competing for attention from the parents. There are some children who feel like they are better than the rest and will always want to show that at every opportunity. This could hurt family relationships which if left unresolved could lead to serious issues later on in life. The parent should come in as the facilitator and lead the children to an activity that requires them to work together, communicate or even protect each other from possible harm. At the end of it, the parent can ask them some questions on how they felt about the whole exercise and how they can put the same effort in fostering good relations and meeting family goals. This will help the children learn their own individual strengths and appreciate them thus improving their self esteem. It will also help them understand that when things are done in unity, better results are achieved and thus improve cohesion and reduce any form of dislike that could have developed. Since adventure based counseling is not expensive, any person can make use of it because readily available recourses is all that is needed.
In conclusion adventure counseling is one of the best counseling methods that can be used to foster cohesion in the society. It comes with immense potential that could be used in different scenarios with overwhelming results. Through the use of different activities, people can be educated on the need of working together and appreciating each others ability and contributions. This technique can also be used to improve listening skills, crisis management skills, encourage people to work together in reaching their set goals as well as building self value. Another important aspect is that the development of the technique is not only inexpensive to develop but also very workable in different environments ranging from schools, homes and even at the work place.