Organiser: Experientia Association.
Collaborating organisation: Ramon Molinas Foundation.
Dates of implementation: 25/07/2021 – 31/07/2021.
Aventubers, an Adventure Therapy initiative
The Ramon Molinas Foundation is collaborating with Experientia Association with the aim of developing a therapeutic and educational intervention programme designed to address the psychosocial needs caused by problematic technology use in young people. Aventubers is built on the foundations of Adventure Therapy, an innovative form of treatment in Spain but has been practised and researched for more than sixty years in countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and Scandinavia.
Adventure Therapy creates meaningful experiences through adventure activities in nature, aiming to encourage self-reflection and the personal development of participants. The experiences help young people to boost their self-esteem, develop coping mechanisms, and encourage self-awareness and skills in conflict resolution.
Adventure Therapy for problematic technology use in young people
Aventubers is specifically designed for young people that have a problematic relationship with technology. The aim of the initiative is to identify and strengthen the personal skills and protective factors of the participants in a space away from the internet and mobile phones. To achieve its aim Aventubers has developed three levels of intervention: individual care in which therapy is adapted to the needs of each participant; group care, to create an atmosphere of mutual support and trust and encourage social bonding between the participants; and family care.
Aventubers is an intensive seven-day expedition that follows parts of the Camino de Santiago and the Vía Mariana in Galicia, split into three parts. Firstly, an orientation phase allows the professionals to get to know the young people involved and their families. Once this phase is concluded the participants start the route, walking together in a group and alternating camping in the open air with overnight stays in youth hostels. In this second phase, with the support of Experientia Association staff, the participants are responsible for all the logistics on the project including organising their meals and navigation. Lastly, there is a closing meeting which involves group and individual reflection on the experience. This helps participants to transfer what they learned from the programme to their day-to-day lives.
The initiative will assist ten young people that have a problematic relationship with technology
The participants of Aventubers are ten young people between 15 and 17 years old that have a problematic relationship with technology. The initiative addresses the significant psychosocial impact of technology on psychological and relationship wellbeing specifically during the transition phase from adolescence to adulthood.
Young people with a problematic relationship to technology can suffer from a string of physical and psychological problems. These often have negative knock-on effects on autonomy, social relationships and socio-labour integration, each to a distinct degree depending on the case of the individual. Problems linked to the overuse of technology can also cause difficulties amongst families, and can lead to isolation, difficulties in making friends and maintaining old friendships, and a disinterest in school.
Throughout the programme the young people work on their personal development and self-esteem, their skills and coping strategies, rational and conscious decision-making skills, emotional education, social skills and confidence, individual responsibility, personal autonomy, and stress management. Lastly, they learn to create healthy living habits, and envisage and appreciate other types of leisure activities that don’t involve technology.
The Experientia Association, the forerunner in Adventure Therapy in Spain
The Experientia Association is the leading organisation in Adventure Therapy in Spain. Created in 2015, the association develops therapeutic and personal development programmes that are designed and adapted to provide personalised treatment to people and companies.
The principal focus of the organisation is to promote positive experiences in nature. The Experientia Association creates programmes that take place in the natural world to provide meaningful experiences that help to improve the quality of life and personal wellbeing of participants. Since its creation the association has carried out programmes for people with mental health problems, borderline personality disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and social adaptation problems, among others.
The Experientia Association is made up of a team of professionals trained in mental health and social work. The organisation’s interdisciplinary team also provides training in these methodologies and drives scientific studies in collaboration with universities.
The organisation is a co-founder in the European Network for Adventure Therapy. Made up of more than twenty institutions, the network works towards the recognition of Adventure Therapy and is a channel for knowledge and practical exchange with networks across the world. On a global level, the Experientia Association is part of the Adventure Therapy International Committee.
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