Tony Alvarez, MSW

LEO II Faculty Member Tony Alvarez, LMSW serves as the School’s point person for the use of experiential, adventure, and wilderness approaches to social work practice. Professor Alvarez’s research focuses on the design of effective experiential and adventure-based programs for social workers in multiple settings and with diverse populations. He is active in state, national, and international organizations promoting adventure-based practice and is currently on the Board of the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group, the therapeutic arm of The Association of Experiential Education. He has written several articles on the application of adventure tools and techniques to social work practice, and is co-author of Power of One: Using Adventure and Experiential Activities Within One on One Counseling Sessions. He continues to advocate for providing certification in this modality. Other areas of research/scholarly interest: Child Welfare; Community-Based Interventions, Bullying and Suicide Prevention and Intervention, International Social Work, and Practice with Indigenous/Immigrant Populations.
As co-owner of Adventures In Training, Inc., Tony provides training and consults on developing adventure and experiential programs for school-based and social work agencies and programs. He is currently involved with his local VA Hospital’s outdoor program for combat vets with mental health issues, with school districts developing programs for students on the autism spectrum, and with students considered at-risk of continuing in schools.



Books by Tony Alvarez, MSW

Power of Family: An Experiential Approach to Family Treatment

The authors invite you to explore the intentional use of interactive interventions as a primary methodology in family treatment. The activities they introduce into the therapy office provide an immediate context for witnessing how the family functions first-hand. In this manner, families reveal systems, structures, cognitive and emotional processes, strategies, communication styles, approaches to problem-solving, as well as other issues traditionally targeted in the process of family treatment. The intent is to provide an environment that allows family members to freely and genuinely demonstrate their strengths and limitations.

Power of One: Using Adventure and Experiential Activities Within One-On-One Counseling Sessions

Adventure-based, individual counseling invites clients to take action during the session and utilize the material that arises in the moment, at the point of performance, to address and move toward treatment goals. The connection to DSM-IV TR diagnoses and treatment planning represents an alignment with mental health treatment that strengthens the literature, making this book an innovative and important contribution to the fields of counseling and therapy.

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