VISTAS Counselor Professional and Career Development

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Finding Common Ground Through Adventure Based Counseling: Race and Perceptions of Group Cohesion

J. Scott Glass


Over the past three decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of adventure based counseling (ABC) programs (Nassar-McMillan & Cashwell, 1997) as interventions among adolescents with behavioral and social problems (Johnson, 1992) and as a method of building teams (Springett, 1987). ABC has emerged as an innovative approach to traditional group counseling, and uses the elements of adventure and risk to promote growth and change among participants. Facilitators of these outdoor challenge course programs often testify that these experiences bring about positive change, however, research findings to substantiate these claims remain rare (Braverman, Brenner, Fretz, & Desmond, 1990; Gillis, Bandoroff, Clapp, Gass, Rudolph & Nadler, 1991; Johnson, 1992). Therefore, there is a need for researchers to examine potential uses of challenge course programs and determine possible outcomes of their implementation (Davis, Ray, & Sayles, 1995). In addition, with an increased emphasis on diversity issues within the counseling profession, it is critical that the role and usage of low-element challenge course programs in multicultural counseling be addressed.

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