Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type



Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Name

Master of Marriage and Family Therapy

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Dale Bertram

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Lisa Merchant

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Lisa Powell


Adventure-Based Therapy (ABT) models have been used for many years in the United States and beyond, primarily in adolescent and young adult populations. This project seeks to explore the experiences of couples on an ABT trip. Couples were asked to share their lived experiences as it pertains to marital intimacy, nature, and Christian spirituality. Seven themes emerged as the interviews were transcribed and confirmed by the couples: appreciation for nature, building community, care shown by partner, connecting with God outdoors, leaving technology, preparation together, and shared activity. These themes form the backbone of potential new outcomes as couples’ work is explored in the backcountry. This thesis concludes by exploring potential areas for future research.



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