Many terms have been used to describe this field of work, including: adventure therapy; wilderness therapy; outdoor therapy; and outdoor adventure interventions. Over the last decade, there has been a movement towards a more culturally appropriate term for these practices within the South Pacific region.
“The new terminology recognises that ‘wilderness’ may be seen as a colonising term (implying ‘people-free’) that ignores the Indigenous presence in the land. The new title of Bush Adventure Therapy emphasises relationships with the natural environment in our work and practice.
The word ‘bush’ is relevant in the South Pacific region because it encompasses the whole range of natural environments, from local urban parks to vast remote natural environments (including coastal areas, mountains, rivers and deserts).
Our understanding of the term ‘adventure’ includes activities in mind, body and spirit, for people of all ages and stages.
Our understanding of the term ‘therapy’ is inclusive of general therapeutic outcomes and the specific intent of therapy.”
[Adapted form a meeting of practitioners from Australia and New Zealand, 2004]