What Is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Adventure therapy combines nature, community, and various therapeutic activities. Adventure therapy aims to improve a person’s mental, physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing using engaging outdoor activities to facilitate self-discovery and address adverse life circumstances. Importantly, however, this is accomplished in a wilderness environment free from negative influences that a person would deal with in the real world. 

Adventure therapy helps people to overcome drug or alcohol addiction and mental health problems. It is considered to be a very useful technique, and the adventure therapist endeavors to actively stimulate clients using various tools. Adventure therapy is a unique opportunity to provide clients with a variety of fun activities to foster emotional development using an unfamiliar and exciting environment.

Who Adventure Therapy Benefits

Adventure therapy is a powerful approach to treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, loss, eating disorders, addiction, and more. It can also be an inspiring and fruitful component of family therapy. It has been shown to be highly beneficial for teenagers, young adults, and people who suffer from a variety of mental health issues.

How Adventure Therapy Works

Adventure therapy fosters rehab, growth, development, and improvement of a person’s physical and psychological wellbeing through activities that involve firsthand experience. Adventure therapy is often conducted using a family or group. It uses an outdoor environment to evoke change by using experience with collaborative games, trust, and activities, problem-solving initiatives, high adventure, and outdoor endeavors. 

Following each activity, the group processes the events. This part of the program consists of a discussion in which therapists help clients internalize their experiences and correlate them with therapeutic goals.

Empowering ventures commonly used in adventure therapies include the following:

  • Kayaking
  • Rock climbing
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Caving
  • Horseback riding
  • White water rafting
  • Paddleboarding
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • Skiing

Most activities, such as hiking and caving, are relatively low risk for injury. Paddleboarding merely requires the person to stand on a board and paddle. In doing this, he or she can experience freedom while still remaining in control. 

While rock climbing, the client must facilitate the self-confidence and persistence required to climb. Group efforts, such as canoeing, foster communication and teamwork. Finally, camping promotes trust and improve’s one’s ability to survive in diverse environments.

What Is Adventure Therapy? | Midwood Addiction Therapy

Adventure Therapy Is Not Wilderness Therapy

Adventure therapy is frequently but falsely referred to as wilderness therapy. Wilderness therapy is, in fact, a form of adventure therapy, but only uses the climate and landscape. Conversely, adventure therapy often includes the use of challenging obstacles as well. 

In wilderness therapy, the primary focus is adaptability and persistence, and this is a bit different from adventure therapy’s emotional and physical challenges. Also, wilderness therapy tends to pose some risk, and it is comprised of other treatments and techniques.

How Adventure Therapy Is Beneficial

When clients learn mindfulness during enjoyable activities, the main objective of adventure therapy is for them to associate life experiences with current outdoor expeditions. Moreover, patients garner a new sense of self-confidence and develop better social skills. 

For instance, as clients learn how to rock climb, they can be open about their need for interdependence or independence. Adventure therapy provides an opportunity for growth and insight while being joyfully active. There is also the power of hands-on problem-solving while confronting the fear that is connected with such challenging activities. 

During isolation in nature, some clients have a spiritual awakening and will ultimately be transformed by the experience. Lastly, therapists are actively involved in clients’ objective-oriented and decision-making processes in order to emotionally strengthen the groups’ experiences.

Adventure therapy is also beneficial for the following:

  • Encouraging and fostering responsibility
  • Forging healthy relationships and learning to collaborate with others
  • Developing vital social skills, such as communication and cooperation
  • Promoting self-awareness and confidence
  • Increasing emotional resilience
  • Fostering openness and emotional exploration
  • Providing opportunities to confront real-world challenges
  • Mitigating depressive symptoms
  • Cultivating healthier emotional and behavioral functioning
  • Teaching effective coping skills

As a result of stimulating activities, clients feel invigorated and more trusting and self-confident. It differs from traditional therapies and offers more fun and excitement than most traditional methods.

Treatment for Addiction

Adventure therapy is just one modality that can be employed as a component of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers adventure therapy in addition to, but not limited, the following services:

Overcoming addiction is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be brutal. You can enjoy your journey to sobriety and healthier life! Surmounting substance abuse requires focus and dedication and a safe and supportive environment. We offer engaging and often enjoyable therapies to encourage a full recovery.

Our caring staff is dedicated to helping those who need it most break free from the shackles of addiction for life! Contact us today and find out how we can help!

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