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This paper outlines a model for assessing and managing psychological depth in outdoor and experiential group work, and presents two case studies of the complexity of such management in real life. The model contains eight levels of emotional risk and presents four criteria for assessing the level to which a particular event or discussion may lead the group. These criteria are the speaker's involvement in what is being said, who else is involved in what the speaker is saying, to whom would the speaker normally disclose what is being discussed, and the potential emotional arousal in what the speaker is saying. The first case occurred during a year-long adventure leadership program for teachers in New Zealand. One participant accused another of stealing and using her credit card. It was revealed that the accused was reaching an acute stage of closet bulimia and was highly distressed with guilt about the theft and shame about the bulimia. In the second case, teenagers were taking part in a month-long sea kayaking course, and a high level of interpersonal trust and emotional safety developed in the group. A 15-year-old female participant disclosed to a group leader that she had been sexually abused by her brother for years. Discussion of the two cases focuses on reactions of the leaders and the groups, ethical questions, useful interventions for managing emotional risk, and the vulnerability of both participants and leaders. (SV)

Descriptors: Adventure Education, Case Studies, Emotional Response, Experiential Learning, Foreign Countries, Group Discussion, Group Dynamics, Leadership Responsibility, Models, Outdoor Leadership, Risk, Self Disclosure (Individuals)

Autor: Ringer, Martin; Gillis, H. L.


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