In this presentation Mike will deconstruct the Reflect, Refocus, Rebuild, model of psychosocial cancer recovery that he has developed over the past 5 years facilitating adventure therapy trips with 114 young adult cancer survivors and supporters. He will give examples of specific experiential education activities and discussion topics that can be useful for exploring the idea of living with, through and beyond cancer while in an wilderness environment. Finally, two case studies with be presented describing how combining adventure activities with experiential education, in-depth reflection and a structured refocusing and rebuilding process can lead to profound life change in young adults with cancer.
AYA cancer care professionals will leave with new ideas about how to facilitate post-traumatic growth in young adults with cancer in an informal way. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of the theory behind adventure therapy leading to a clearer picture about how and why adventure actives can lead to positive life change in young adult cancer survivors.
Many people believe that the adventure activity itself is what causes positive life change in young adults with cancer. However, the adventure activity itself is primarily a tool to help develop an close, supportive community in a very short timeframe so that the deeper levels of sharing that lead to post-traumatic growth can occur. Therefore, the facilitation of the adventure activity, and not the activity itself, is the most important aspect of an adventure therapy experience.