International Adventure Therapy

Adventure therapy is a therapeutic approach to enhance and maintain mental, physical and social health, which commonly implements natural environments into the practice.



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Adventure therapy is applied around the globe, which gives rise to a great variety of practices and makes it challenging to define adventure therapy.

As indicated by the name, there are two core elements of adventure therapy (1) engagement in adventurous (physical) activities and (2) therapeutic intent.

Beyond this, we must consider the social, cultural, environmental, political and fiscal contexts that influence the development of local adventure therapy practices.

The 9th International Adventure Therapy Conference


The International Adventure Therapy Conference (IATC) is held triennially and provides gatherings for adventure therapy practitioners, academics, researchers, politicians, allied professionals, and students within various fields. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 9IATC was postponed one year, making this year’s conference the 25th anniversary of IATC. In addition, we merged the international conference with the 3rd Gathering for Adventure Therapy in Europe (3GATE), and the 3GATE conference team is a highly valued co-organiser of the 2022 conference.

The 9th IATC is held in the south of Norway and offers an engaging forum for the growth and development of adventure therapy worldwide. More than 100 practitioners and academics from 24 countries will present the latest research and share their experience-based knowledge in practical workshops during this five-day conference.

Photo credit header “about-adventure-therapy” to  Jodie Naismith – Pepperjo Photography

Presentation formats

The 9IATC conference offers a great variety of presentations and workshops divided into three categories: HEAD, HEART and HAND.

The latest scientific work is presented in the parallel sessions HEAD, as well as through our HEAD Poster presentations.

Conference attendees are also invited to engage in conceptual and theoretical discussions through our HEART parallel sessions, where presenters share a topic that they are particularly passionate about from their practice or scientific work.

This year we also include HEART Storytelling, where presenters share stories in a more personal and narrative style.

Finally, in our experiential HAND format, attendees are invited to experience and explore elements of adventure therapy practice in a direct manner outdoors.

Look for our HEAD, HEART and HAND symbols in the conference program to identify these various workshop formats.

In the two KEYNOTE presentations, we focus on the development of adventure therapy as a therapeutic field and explore the philosophical roots and pedagogical potentials of Nordic friluftsliv.

Finally, current challenges in our field will be addressed in an engaging and thought-provoking PANEL DEBATE.

Conference activities

Mid-conference is our ADVENTUROUS WEDNESDAY. We offer a selection of activities to choose from as we depart the coastal town of Kristiansand and journey through the Setesdal Valley towards the mountain village of Hovden.

Additional activities are offered through our PRE- and POST-CONFERENCE programme and the GO EXPLORE on your own suggestions.

Of course, we will also have our early morning RISE & SHINE activities, a FAMILY program for our partners and children, and a GET TOGETHER social program that includes parties, concerts, cultural walks, Midsummer night celebrations by the Otra river.

On the final night we will all gather at the Mountain top Nos, close to the stars.

Photos by Jodie Naismith – Pepperjo Photography from 8IATC.”