Pure Life Adventure is a unique version of adventure therapy. We feel it’s our calling to facilitate meaningful therapeutic experiences that provide young adults and adolescents with the tools to thrive and flourish. We achieve this by combining traditional group and individual therapy with outdoor experiential learning and adventure. By emphasizing fitness, mindfulness, life skills, and cultural immersion, our program can help young adults that struggle with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or lack of motivation create lasting change.
While there are many benefits to adventure therapy, as with any form of adventure, there are calculated risks. We know that no one person cannot force another person to change or learn. Each person must decide for themselves to take the first steps towards lasting change. And informed consent is a large part of this process. We take informed consent seriously. In fact, it’s so important to us that we don’t take any young adults or adolescents into our program unless we have first spoken to them to obtain their consent.
What Is Informed Consent
Informed consent is based on the idea that adolescents should understand the inherent benefits, goals, and risks of any therapy or health trial program so that they are able to consent to participate.
Typically, children under the age of 17 cannot provide informed consent, and parents must provide consent on their behalf. Be that as it may, we make sure that every young adult that enrolls in the program has a clear understanding of what the program provides and requires, along with their verbal consent.
For example, in terms of Pure Life, if your young adult is considering the program, during our intake interview, we take the opportunity to explain what a typical day might look like. We also explain what we hope to accomplish and if there are any risks to participation. It is only at this point that a young adult can agree to participate as they now understand the basic tenets of the program–what is expected of them, what that looks like on a daily basis, and what they will hope to gain by participating.
This process of sharing information and obtaining permission is called “informed consent,” or in the case of a child under 17, “informed permission.” When researching programs, look for providers that use simple and clear language that is easy to understand.
The safety and well-being of each person is our highest priority. Each adventure activity is developed by experts in the field and overseen by risk management personnel. All of our guides are trained in Wilderness First Aid, therapeutic de-escalation, and many have other technical rescue certifications. Pure Life Adventure therapists are licensed or masters level and experienced in dealing with the unique challenges facing our students. We are also accredited members of the AEE and accredited with Association for Experiential Education (AEE).
Common Misconceptions About Informed Consent
Informed consent sometimes gets a bad rap due to some common misconceptions, along with some common ethical concerns. See how well you can spot myth from fact in this short quiz:
True Or False?
1. Informed consent is meaningless because most people don’t want to be informed.
False–most people are very concerned about their mental health and want to be included in the decision-making process.
2. You have the right to refuse intervention before it has begun but not once the intervention has started.
False–you always have the right to stop intervention or therapy, regardless of where you are in the process.
3. It is up to the health care professional to decide if you are able to make decisions regarding your mental health.
False–regardless of how powerful the medical field may be, it is always up to the parent and the youth to determine what the best intervention of therapy might be. Always listen to professionals in the field, but ultimately, you know your child best, and what you say goes.
4. Minors can give informed consent under limited circumstances.
True–if your child is under 18 and married, serving in the military, able to prove financial independence, or emancipated, he or she can give informed consent. However, state law governs this area and may be different within each state.
5. It is the obligation of the health care provider to make it clear that the young adult has a choice.
True–the health care provider must make every effort to include the young adult in the decision-making process.
How Pure Life Approaches Informed Consent
We believe in strengthening the relationships within families. We also believe that children are capable of being partners with us and their parents as they work towards a brighter future. In fact, we feel this is absolutely essential.
Young adults and adolescents have the right to receive information, to be listened to, have their wishes and feelings taken into account. As such, we consider it our duty to interview each child to help them feel comfortable with the program so that they can give their informed permission. We feel that difficulty arises when parents give their consent while a child refuses to assent.
Pure Life adventure therapy treatment can help young adults struggling with depression or anxiety get back on track. That sounds great in theory, but can surfing and rafting really help treat depression and anxiety? The short answer is yes. In addition to the restorative powers of nature, wilderness therapy has many tangible benefits.
Outdoor adventures like rafting and surfing help young adults develop self-efficacy and grit. Self-efficacy–our belief in our own ability to persevere and succeed–translates to a happier and healthier life. Research shows that skills and coping methods learned through adventure therapy transfer to post-program success. Each novel experience has the potential to become a profound, therapeutic moment that becomes a sacred learning experience.
It’s important to get to know the adventure therapy program well before you commit to the program. We want you to feel comfortable entrusting your child into our care. Visit our Pure Life FAQ to get answers or learn more about our program.
Free Resources From Pure Life To Help
We want to be your trusted partner. We love helping parents like you find the help you are so desperately seeking. If you are parenting a struggling young adult, we have created many free resources just for you.
Spend a little time perusing the whitepaper section of our website to arm yourself with knowledge that can help you navigate the rough waters ahead. To get you started, check out these amazing free resources:
Millennial Identity is a unique white paper that was written BY a millennial FOR other millennials and for anyone else who is interested in our generation’s triumphs and struggles.
In this white paper about Lasting Change, we provide an overview of some of the issues today’s young adults face and how adventure therapy helps to address these issues. It’s written for young adults, parents, or anyone else considering wilderness treatment to help themselves create lasting change for a loved one.
This white paper, Self Medication, provides an overview of what self medication in young adults looks like, including the dangers of self medication, the reasons young adults self medicate, safe and effective treatment options, and ways parents can help their children. This white paper is written for young adults, parents, or anyone else needing advice on helping themselves or a loved one who is self medicating.
This white paper titled, Depression, discusses what depression in young adults looks like including the causes, signs, challenges, and treatment options associated with depression in young adults.
Independence will provide you with an overview of the difficulties that can arise during the transition into adulthood and what options are available if you or a loved one needs help with this transition.
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in adults today. Seven out of ten say they experience daily stress and anxiety. This white paper is written for young adults struggling with anxiety, parents trying to help their young adult manage anxiety, or for anyone else needing advice on the topic.
If you have more questions about how Pure Life Adventure can help you or your loved one, please contact us today.