While the Central New York winter chill begins to creep in, South Campus residents have a new way to stay warm, enjoy the outdoors and connect with one another. Five lounging areas complete with fire pits are now available in…
Adventure Based Counseling Reimagines Wellness Experiences
Within the intersections of the Barnes Center at The Arch Wellness Wheel, hosting eight Dimensions of Wellness and a core of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, the student experience is approached holistically and with understanding that each journey is unique and ever-evolving.
This holistic wellness approach showcases a concentrated effort of dismantling historic service silos and barriers, to then construct spaces of education, empowerment and inspiration. The intersections also host opportunities for the health and wellness team to enhance the student experience through reimagined services.
Challenging the status quo of health and wellness is the Barnes Center team behind the launch of the integrated experience of Adventure Based Counseling:
- Aaron M. Klein, MS, LP-MHC, CASAC AC, staff therapist
- Cara Capparelli, MS, MHC-LP, NCC, clinical case manager
- Edward Millet, LMHC, CASAC, staff therapist
- Gwyn Esty-Kendall, health promotion specialist
- Julie DeLeo, assistant director outdoor education
- Scott Catucci M.S. Ed, M.A., G’21, associate director for outdoor education, esports and student development
Envisioning a Future of Holistic Wellness Experiences
At its core, the free Adventure Based Counseling series is a hybrid of adventure based activities and experiential processing to foster personal growth. The series is offered each fall and spring semester, meeting in person, once a week for 10 weeks.
“The experiential learning model used allows students to process feelings, emotions and the physical reality of what they are doing in the moment and then apply that to their past, present and future experiences,” explains Catucci.
Meetings host a series of challenges, that ultimately combine to strengthen skillsets and provide students with tools to navigate obstacles they may face throughout a lifetime. Each weekly meeting includes the following:
- Activities that may challenge students mentally, physically and/or emotionally.
- Group processing explores how goals were accomplished and feelings around challenges.
- Further processing connects identified skillsets with real-life obstacles to discover solutions and expand comfort level with addressing challenges.
Stepping Away From Predictable and Into Customized Growth
The Barnes Center team hosts safe spaces for students to immerse themselves in risk-taking, moving out of comfort zones, overcoming challenges, finding a sense of belonging, self-discovery, trust and more. Takeaways are also customizable per unique student goals and may also yield skill-building results surrounding leadership, teamwork, increasing community connections, processing emotions and more.
“Adventure Based Counseling may appeal to students who may not be as inclined to seek out traditional therapeutic interventions. Taking a similar approach to process group therapy facilitation, we move through physical and emotional challenges with students, creating unique opportunities for growth,” says Capparelli. “Through exposure to novel experiences and coping with uncertainty in the moment, students expand their comfort zones while doing something active and connecting. Over the course of 10 weeks, participants benefit from being seen, heard, respected, appreciated and supported. They leave with a greater sense of emotional acceptance, community and overall well-being.”
Highlights of Adventure Based Counseling include the following:
Future Adventure Based Counseling Opportunities
Applications for Adventure Based Counseling open within the first few weeks of the fall and spring semesters. The health and wellness team encourages students to apply early as spaces are limited and fill quickly. Application information will be available on the Wellness Portal and Outdoor Adventure webpage. Students who would like to share interest prior to applications opening may email the Barnes Center at The Arch Health Promotions team.
For additional information or questions, please email the Barnes Center at The Arch or call 315.443.8000.