Research Collaboratory

C.O.T.H. is a collaborative laboratory of academics and practitioners across the country who are actively researching outdoor therapies to determine mechanisms of change and contributions to healthcare.

Outdoor therapies is the umbrella term for a collection of related psychotherapies including adventure therapy, wilderness therapy, outdoor behavioral healthcare (originally an American term), land-based healing (uniquely indigenous), bush therapy (originally an Australian term), forest bathing or shinrin-yoku (originally an Japanese term), nature-based or eco-therapy, and more (from an edited book by Harper & Dobud).

These therapies share a place (the outdoors), a process (psychotherapy and/or facilitated reflection) and a catalytic converter (varying blends of risk taking in small groups and individual nature immersion).

The common product of outdoor therapies are transformations in feelings, thinking, behaving and resisting change. They are used to address issues such as substance abuse, personality disorders, criminality, anxiety, distress (PTSD), dementia, depression, suicide ideation, and more.


C.O.T.H. studies outdoor therapies, health, healthcare, mechanisms of change, risk taking, small group conflict, nature immersion, intentional psychotherapy, helping forces, hindering forces, indications, contraindications, safety, quality, facilitation, and other related topics.


We are committed to improving and refining the definitions and theories presented here.

Our research is shared here. Canadian best practices are also described.

We are looking to collaborate with other researchers and therapists in Canada. Please contact us (below), through the coordinator, if you are interested in working with us.

Navigation & Minutia

Move your pointer over the FLOATING MENU at the top of this page to visit the six content pages of this website (established June 7, 2020).

If you choose to USE SOME OF THIS CONTENT, PLEASE CITE OUR WEBSITE and reduce plagiarism on the Internet. Thanks.

IMAGES used on this website are purchased, available free from the public domain, or personally provided by the researchers. All materials are applied under the "fair dealing" statutory exception to copyright in Canada and are used here strictly for research and education purposes.

The title image at the top of each page celebrates a unique ecosystem of Canada by highlighting its natural beauty: Rocky Mountains, West Coast, Arctic, Prairies, Canadian Shield, and Eastern Highlands.

For our international visitors, who may not be very familiar with Canada, the map below lists the nation's provinces and terrestrial ecozones. It also identifies the title image locations.

Our Name

Canadian: characteristic quality of the country known as Canada and identified by the Maple Leaf (our national symbol).

Outdoor: into the open air and sunlight (but away from human built environments) and outside in a natural setting, most notably one formed from the mountains, waters, forests, etc.

Therapy: interactive process (conducted between trained therapist and client) that assesses, diagnoses, and treats physical, mental, socio-emotional, behavioral or spiritual disorders and diseases.


Healthcare: not the absence of disorder or disease, but the presence of physical, mental, socio-emotional, behavioral, and spiritual well-being for the benefit of the whole person.

Our History

This research collaboratory was formed in May of 2020 and developed during two years of the covid pandemic. COTH stands on the shoulders of the many Canadians who created and developed the discipline through the Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposia, initiated by Nevin Harper and adventure therapy in Canada.


CONTACT: s i m o n _ p r i e s t @ y a h o o . c o m (please remove spaces)