Since 2005, The Aspiro Group has been conducting research in the area of wilderness adventure therapy. It has been our mission to implement innovative solutions for families that create meaningful, lasting change. The Aspiro Group was created to help adolescents, young adults, and their families through challenges that can occur when various behavioral, psychological, or developmental issues are present. As a result, we operate our program from a clinically sophisticated and research-based model. Our emphasis on research is important to us because everything we do is intentionally designed to assist students and their families in creating lasting changes and it is important to us to ensure that the work we are doing is indeed creating those changes.
From the beginning, Aspiro has sought out experts to help us improve our program and analyze effectiveness. We are active members of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, organizations that uphold professional best practices and ethical, researched-based standards. Aspiro also formed a partnership with Dr. Mark Widmer, a tenured professor of therapeutic recreation at Brigham Young University, in 2006. Dr. Widmer has conducted research in the area of Wilderness and Adventure Therapy for 20 years and publishes his findings in multiple peer reviewed journals. He has numerous ongoing research projects with leading therapeutic outdoor programs. Many of these studies were pioneered and funded by Aspiro, a demonstration of our commitment to program development.
Dr. Widmer and Aspiro’s research partnership is producing some of the most important and interesting results in the field of wilderness and adventure therapy. Research produced by this partnership has been foundational in our deeper understanding of the wilderness adventure therapy model and our ability to effectively implement it in treatment. Over the last several years, each of our therapists, field guides, and students have been involved in our research efforts. Through the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data, and through analyzing this, we are able to adjust programming to improve therapeutic interventions and to continually improve our outcomes.
Aspiro, as a member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council, has followed and contributed data to studies that show wilderness therapy indeed works.
Here is one of their latest:
At the link below, you can find more information on research done by OBH
Our own research has also found the efficacy of wilderness therapy, and even beyond that, the powerful impact of Adventure Therapy.
The model we use for change produces lasting impact. Evidence for this as well as many sources we have used over the years for data collection are attached:
In addition, here you can find our own research magazine, that we published after years of data collection from our students and families:
Further research on outdoor behavior healthcare can be found here: