Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Degges-White, Suzanne

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This single-case alternating-treatments design research study observed and measured mental state trends during the counseling approach known as Adventure Therapy (AT) using quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG). Participants wore a qEEG headset while participating in a multi-stage AT experience. Two problems were addressed in this study. The first was the lack of research in AT utilizing other empirical measures beyond subjective report surveys and the outcomes of specific programs. The second was the lack of neuroscientific measurement of counseling approaches and interventions within the field of counseling in general. There is a need for empirical evidence supporting AT to address access barriers to AT services for clients. In addition, the field has called for more research utilizing neuroscientific measures. There were clear trends that all mental bands became more active during the AT experience. It was clear that the novelty of the experience yielded maintained mental arousal along with maintained focus and concentration of the task at hand and concrete skill practice yielded problem solving and integration of learning through processing. The method of real-time measurement and observation of mental state phenomena during a counseling approach also seemed to help with supporting or providing a deeper understanding of how a client may be processing their experience. With the calls from the AT field for future research to gain deeper understanding of the processes of change using more methodologically sophisticated methods and from the counseling field at large to utilize more neuroscientific measure in research and to substantiate our work, this study helps to enter that gap and provide some new, helpful information, to work on shrinking it.


123 pages




Northern Illinois University

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