Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Toman, Sarah

Subject Headings

Gestalt, Rite of Passage, Adventure Based Counseling, Adventure therapy for teenagers, Phenomenological Research, Gestalt therapy, Adventure therapy, Environmental psychology, Qualitative research, Participant observation, Teenagers, Adolescent -- Development, Gestalt, Gestalt Therapy, Rites of Passage, Wilderness Therapy, Ecopsychology, Adventure Based Counseling, Qualitative Research, Phenomenological Research, Participatory Research, Adolescents, Adolescent Development


This dissertation, addresses intervention and phenomenological and participatory research methodology, through a lens of Gestalt Therapy Theory. The intervention, a wilderness-centered rites of passage, included experiential components of: (1) emersion in nature, (2) nature-based activities and challenges, (3) alone time in wilderness, (4) exposure to nature-based archetypes, elementals, and folklore, and (5) participation in community that supports connection through in ritual, ceremony, dialogue, and reflection. The participants included three early adolescent males and one adult male, a parent-participant. Data collection methods included participant observation, journal entries, photo documentation, photo elicited interviews, processing groups, and field notes. A multiple case narrative format, each focusing on a program activity component, was utilized to present data and findings representing the transformative process of the participants

Included in

Psychology Commons