Adventure Therapy Guide Job Description [Updated for 2024]

adventure therapy guide job description

In an era of exploration and personal growth, the emphasis on Adventure Therapy Guides is increasing rapidly.

As society progresses, so does the need for skilled professionals who can create, facilitate and ensure safe and therapeutic outdoor adventures.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an Adventure Therapy Guide?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager crafting the perfect candidate profile,
  • Or simply intrigued by the dynamics of adventure therapy,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we reveal a customizable Adventure Therapy Guide job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Adventure Therapy Guide Duties and Responsibilities

Adventure Therapy Guides utilize therapeutic techniques and outdoor activities to foster personal growth, improve physical health, and enhance interpersonal and social skills.

They have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Plan and conduct adventure therapy sessions, including activities like rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, and camping
  • Assess the physical condition and mental state of clients to ensure their safety and readiness for activities
  • Develop individualized therapy plans according to the needs of each client
  • Lead clients through outdoor activities while providing emotional support and guidance
  • Educate clients on outdoor safety, survival techniques, and environmental conservation
  • Use wilderness experiences as metaphors to help clients understand and overcome personal challenges
  • Maintain regular documentation of each client’s progress and therapy outcomes
  • Facilitate group discussions and debriefing sessions after each activity to encourage reflection and learning
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and national laws related to outdoor activities and public land use
  • Collaborate with other health professionals, social workers, and family members to support the client’s overall well-being


Adventure Therapy Guide Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Adventure Therapy Guide to join our team.

The ideal candidate should be passionate about outdoor activities and have a deep understanding of the therapeutic benefits of adventure therapy.

Adventure Therapy Guide responsibilities include planning and leading adventure therapy sessions, ensuring the safety of participants, and conducting assessments of participants’ needs and progress.

Knowledge in outdoor survival skills, group facilitation, and therapeutic intervention techniques is a must.



  • Plan and lead adventure therapy sessions for individuals and groups
  • Conduct risk assessments and ensure the safety of all participants during activities
  • Monitor participants’ progress and adapt programs as needed
  • Provide emotional support and therapeutic interventions during sessions
  • Work collaboratively with other mental health professionals to develop individualized therapy plans
  • Maintain accurate records and reports of therapy sessions
  • Ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations
  • Attend training and professional development workshops to maintain current knowledge



  • Proven experience as an Adventure Therapy Guide or similar role
  • Knowledge of various outdoor activities and survival skills
  • Strong understanding of therapeutic intervention techniques
  • Ability to handle emergency situations effectively
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills
  • Empathetic and patient with strong problem-solving skills
  • Physical fitness to participate in outdoor activities
  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, outdoor education, or related field
  • First Aid and CPR certification



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Opportunity to work in a dynamic outdoor environment


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Adventure Therapy Guide
  • Work Environment: Outdoor settings in various locations. This position will require frequent travel.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Adventure Therapy Program Director.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $45,000 minimum to $65,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Adventure Therapy Guide Do?

Adventure Therapy Guides primarily work in outdoor settings, utilizing adventure activities and the natural environment to promote mental, emotional, and physical health.

Their main task is to plan and implement therapeutic outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, rafting or camping, for individuals or groups.

These activities are designed to help participants develop confidence, self-esteem, interpersonal skills, and coping mechanisms.

Adventure Therapy Guides work closely with therapists, counselors, and other healthcare professionals to understand the specific needs and goals of each participant.

They then tailor the activities accordingly to ensure a safe, supportive, and beneficial experience.

They are also responsible for ensuring the safety of all participants during the activities.

This includes assessing the risks associated with each activity, teaching participants necessary skills and safety measures, providing first aid when necessary, and managing emergency situations.

Additionally, they debrief participants after each activity to help them reflect on their experiences, process emotions, and make connections to their everyday lives.

This process helps participants to gain insights, learn new coping strategies, and make progress towards their therapeutic goals.

Lastly, Adventure Therapy Guides are also often involved in administrative tasks such as maintaining equipment, documenting participants’ progress, and coordinating with other healthcare professionals.


Adventure Therapy Guide Qualifications and Skills

An Adventure Therapy Guide should possess a range of technical and interpersonal skills to effectively assist clients through therapeutic outdoor activities, such as:

  • Physical fitness and endurance to participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, canoeing, and other adventure sports.
  • Knowledge of therapeutic techniques and their application in an outdoor setting to promote healing and personal growth.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to establish trust and rapport with clients, helping them to feel comfortable and supported throughout the therapy process.
  • Strong communication skills to explain activities, provide clear instructions, and conduct therapeutic discussions with clients.
  • Ability to remain calm and make critical decisions under pressure, particularly in emergency or high-stress situations.
  • Problem-solving skills to adapt therapy programs to suit individual client needs and respond effectively to challenges that arise during activities.
  • Understanding of safety protocols and procedures to ensure the wellbeing of all participants during therapy sessions.
  • Patience and empathy to understand and respond to the emotional needs of clients, particularly those dealing with trauma or other mental health issues.
  • Respect for the natural environment and knowledge of outdoor survival skills, including first aid, navigation, and camp craft.


Adventure Therapy Guide Experience Requirements

Adventure Therapy Guides generally need to have a strong background in outdoor activities and a minimum of 1-2 years of experience in a related field, such as Outdoor Education, Recreation Management, or Adventure Therapy.

They should be proficient in activities like hiking, kayaking, climbing, and have certification in first aid and CPR.

Prior experience working with special groups, such as at-risk youth, veterans, or individuals with mental health issues is also advantageous.

Most Adventure Therapy Guides start their careers as outdoor instructors or guides, gaining the necessary skills and field experience.

It is also beneficial for these professionals to have a background in psychology or social work, as they are often required to provide therapeutic support.

For those interested in a managerial or leadership role within Adventure Therapy, a master’s degree in fields like Social Work, Counseling, or Adventure Therapy, and over 5 years of experience is often required.

Such individuals should have a proven track record of supervising and managing a team, and experience with program development and implementation.


Adventure Therapy Guide Education and Training Requirements

Adventure Therapy Guides typically require a bachelor’s degree in outdoor recreation, psychology, social work, or a related field.

They should have knowledge in outdoor activities like rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, or skiing, and must be certified in First Aid and CPR.

In addition, Adventure Therapy Guides need to have a strong foundation in therapeutic models and counseling techniques, often gained through a master’s degree in counseling or a related field.

They also need to obtain professional credentials, such as the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) certifications.

Some positions may require Adventure Therapy Guides to have additional training or certification in specialized therapeutic modalities, such as wilderness first responder (WFR) or equine-assisted therapy.

Continuing education and professional development are highly encouraged to stay abreast with the latest trends and research in adventure therapy.


Adventure Therapy Guide Salary Expectations

An Adventure Therapy Guide can expect to earn an average salary of $37,000 (USD) per year.

However, the actual earnings can greatly vary depending on the guide’s level of experience, specific skills, location, and the organization they work for.


Adventure Therapy Guide Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Adventure Therapy Guide need?

An Adventure Therapy Guide should possess strong leadership and communication skills to guide and motivate the group.

They should also have a good understanding of outdoor survival skills, first aid, and safety protocols.

Interpersonal skills are crucial as they will often work with diverse groups, including individuals with physical and emotional challenges.

They should also have a sound understanding of therapeutic processes and crisis intervention techniques.


Do Adventure Therapy Guides need a degree?

Although a degree is not mandatory, having a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fields such as psychology, social work, or outdoor education can be beneficial.

It’s important that they have professional training in adventure therapy and hold relevant certifications in first aid, CPR, and wilderness survival.

In addition, they must have extensive experience in outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, or canoeing.


What should you look for in an Adventure Therapy Guide resume?

Look for experience in outdoor leadership or counseling roles.

Certifications in first aid, CPR, and adventure therapy are crucial.

Any additional training in wilderness survival or outdoor activities is a plus.

Also, look for skills such as crisis intervention, group facilitation, and therapeutic knowledge.

A background in mental health or social work can also be beneficial.


What qualities make a good Adventure Therapy Guide?

A good Adventure Therapy Guide should be patient, empathetic, and have a genuine desire to help others.

They should be physically fit and possess a strong knowledge of outdoor survival skills.

They should be able to maintain calm in challenging situations and be excellent problem solvers.

Moreover, they should have strong leadership skills and be able to inspire and motivate individuals to overcome their fears and challenges.


Is it challenging to hire Adventure Therapy Guides?

It can be challenging to hire Adventure Therapy Guides due to the unique combination of skills required for the role.

They need to be adept at handling outdoor adventure activities, have a sound understanding of therapeutic processes, and be skilled at working with diverse groups, including individuals with mental or physical challenges.

Hence, finding candidates with this blend of outdoor skills and therapeutic knowledge can be demanding.



And so, our journey ends here.

Today, we’ve unveiled the truth of what being an Adventure Therapy Guide truly entails.


It’s not just about outdoor skills.

It’s about guiding individuals towards self-discovery and growth, one adventure at a time.

Armed with our comprehensive Adventure Therapy Guide job description template and practical examples, you’re fully prepared to embark on this career path.

But the exploration doesn’t have to end here.

Venture further with our job description generator. It’s your next step towards meticulously tailored job listings or refining your resume to excellence.

Never forget:

Every adventure is part of a larger journey.

Let’s pave this path. Together.

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