Abup ut


We have a Research- and Development Unit within the Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ABUP) at Sørlandet hospital. The research activity is divided into various focus areas with designated research groups, where our own researcher Carina Ribe Fernee leads the research group UTforsk for outdoor therapy and nature-based health promotion. Photo: Lars Verket UTforsk: Forskergruppe for utendørsterapi og naturbasert helsefremming

Photo: Lars Verket


Under “projects” in the menu above, you find an overview of ongoing and finalised research- and development projects. Under “publications”, you find an overview of scientific publications, books, media and other outlets. 



ABUP and Sørlandet hospital has together with collaborative partners in the Agder region and elsewhere contributed to the development of the field of outdoor therapy and health care in Norway and internationally. 

One of ABUP’s contributions is to develop and implement nature-based approaches in mental health services for children, youth and families, where evaluation and research, in addition to wide dissemination is an integral part. 

Friluftsterapi was the first approach we developed through various phases of implementation and research of a nature-based approach to mental health care for youth with psychosocial health challenges. 

Nowadays we are involved in several research- and development projects. Under “projects” above, you find an overview of some of these, in addition to relevant publications. 

We have contributed to the initiation, participation and/or chairing of a number of national and international networks such as the Norwegian Association for Outdoor Therapy (NFUT), Norsk Forening for Utendørsterapi (NFUT), Nordic Outdoor Therapy Network (NOTN) og Adventure Therapy International Committee (ATIC).

In june 2022, we hosted The 9th International Adventure Therapy Conference/3rd Gathering for Adventure Therapy in Europe together with our co-organisers Kristiansand Municipality, Blue Cross, University of Agder and Agder County Council, where 400 participants from 42 nations gathered in-person, in addition to 150 digital attendants. 

In addition, we contribute to competence building within the field through lecturing at Universities and various institutions, as well as providing presentations/trainings when we have the chance. We have developed a post-graduate course in “Nature-based therapeutic work” at University of Agder, taught in Norwegian, which runs every fall semester: Naturbasert terapeutisk arbeid – Universitetet i Agder (uia.no)We have also recently published the first textbook on outdoor therapy in Norwegian:Utendørsterapi: En introduksjon(Fernee, Palucha, Olsen & Gabrielsen, 2023) at Cappelen Damm Academic Publisher.


Research group leader Carina Ribe Fernee. Phone: 90671621. E-mail: carina.fernee@sshf.no