Gary Stauffer, LMSW, has spent four decades working with children, youth, and families in professional social work practice. Those years have included a decade of clinical work in community mental health settings, ten years in a day treatment program for youth with severe emotional impairments, ten years as a school social worker and another decade running a school-based challenge program. Gary currently works part-time at the Family Assessment Clinic serving families that have been impacted by child maltreatment and teaches as an adjunct lecturer for the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Gary is co-author of The Power of One: Using Adventure and Experiential Activities Within One on One Counseling Sessions and contributing member of the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group of the Association for Experiential Education. Gary’s professional passion is to grow the use of adventure therapy in clinical practice. His personal passions involve playing with grandchildren, climbing, and bringing a little bit of love to the people around him every day.
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.
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.