What is it about?

It's important that therapists understand a client's lifestyle, the unique style of living that revolves around a unifying goal—a hidden goal that directs the client's behavior. We introduce a creative way to explore the client’s lifestyle using a deck of cards popular in adventure therapy: Ubuntu Cards©. The metaphors created from these cards can reveal a client's view of self, others, and the world, and how the client strives to both succeed and find significance. I have used different types of cards; the important thing is that the cards serve as a medium through which you and your client create and organize metaphors. I give a case example and a table showing the process.

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Why is it important?

Traditionally, therapists who assess their clients' lifestyles do so by completing a family constellation and gathering early recollections—a time consuming process. To decrease the amount of time needed, I started using cards to collaboratively gather metaphors that represent clients' unique lifestyles. Through this process, clients can evaluate the usefulness of their approach to life and then work to form a new lifestyle, one that increasingly benefits not only themselves, but also their family, community, and society.


I had watched my mentor use these cards for a variety of adventure therapy activities. I decided that these cards could somehow be used with clients to figure out their lifestyles and to help them create more useful ways of living. So we developed this method and began refining it as I worked with clients. This all came from my work with at-risk youth.

Dr. Danny L. McCarty
University of South Alabama

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Using an Adventure Therapy Activity to Assess the Adlerian Lifestyle, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, November 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/15401383.2019.1697405.
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