My research question asks if veterans with PTSD transitioning to civilian life who participate in up to one week of adventure therapy versus support groups improve emotional stability throughout the community reintegration process. Adventure therapy is a therapeutic initiative that combines outdoor adventure activities (e.g., hiking, canoeing, etc.) with facilitated therapeutic group process sessions that engage participants cognitively, effectively, and behaviorally. PTSD is a mental health condition that many veterans may experience after service. These symptoms can last for an extended period and may include flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Due to the military stigma against mental health, most cases of PTSD tend to go untreated, leading to an unsuccessful reintegration process. Adventure therapy is a nontraditional therapy that appeals to veteran’s interests while helping reduce their PTSD symptoms and meet others with PTSD who are experiencing the same thing. The results of getting veterans involved in adventure therapy included improvements in social functioning, life outlook, self-confidence, & well-being. As well as a reduction in mental health symptomatology & emotional suppression.
Routzahn, Samantha, "Effects of Adventure Therapy versus Support Groups on Emotional Stability for Veterans with PTSD Transitioning into Civilian Life" (2019). Spring Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry. 1.