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Abstract The cathartic, transformative and restorative powers resulting from immersion in nature are well documented. Furthermore, they are regarded as the key characteristics that differentiate bush and adventure therapy from more traditional forms of therapy/counselling. But how does adventure therapy access the healing powers of nature? Drawing upon relevant literature and the voices of participants in an ongoing qualitative study, this paper explores the role of stillness and quiet time on the development of human/nature relationships in bush and adventure therapy. Finally, we offer an interpretation of the therapeutic potential of quiet time in order to form a deeper understanding of some of the conditions, attitudes and approaches that underpin the transformational potential of a wilderness experience.