What are the Benefits of Adventure Therapy?

What are the Benefits of Adventure Therapy?

White water kayaking is a popular form of adventure therapy

Adventure therapy has been in practice for over forty years, but many people are still unfamiliar with this alternate form of therapeutic treatment. Adventure therapy is a distinct therapeutic treatment that derives from the roots of experiential education, where it is believed that one learns best by direct experiences that involve activity with multiple senses. The principles of adventure therapy are built on the idea that individuals will respond better to treatment if they are actively participating and engaging their sensory systems in the learning process. Also commonly referred to as wilderness therapy, therapeutic adventure and adventure-based counseling, both traditional models of therapy and adventure experiences are integrated to provide a unique treatment option for Californians.

What Is Adventure Therapy Like?

Adventure therapy can involve any type of activity in a safe environment. The activities can be indoor or outdoor and consist of any activity that has an element of perceived or actual risk. These activities will involve trust-building exercises, problem-solving situations and physical activity. Some programs are more wilderness based, involving hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting, high and low ropes courses, etc. Other programs offer less-intense activities that are more geared towards cooperative games, obstacle courses, problem-solving initiatives and so forth.

Why is Adventure Therapy So Effective?

A few reasons adventure therapy is such an effective option for providing therapeutic treatment to Californians with mental health issues, addiction and co-occurring disorders are as follows:

  • Active learning forces the participant to be responsible for his involvement in the process.
  • Adventure therapy pushes people out of their comfort zones, forcing them to make changes.
  • Adventure therapy requires participants to motivate themselves because self-motivation is crucial for maintaining long-term recovery.
  • Adventure therapy simulates real world experiences by assigning participants tasks and activities to complete, and consequences if they do not complete them.
  • Real life situations and circumstances require individuals to solve problems on their own, utilizing the skills and knowledge they have gained in treatment.
  • Adventure therapy prepares individuals to take action when they need to cope with addiction triggers or stressors. They find activities and interests they enjoy and are then equipped with a great coping skill for the future.

What Benefits Come from Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy provides several benefits, such as improved:

  • Self-esteem
  • Mindfulness
  • Attitude and outlook on life
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Relationship building
  • Trust in one’s self and others
  • Willingness to accept help
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Spiritual health

Who Can Benefit from Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy can be effective for anyone in need of therapeutic treatment for a mental health issue, especially Californians that live near hiking trails and the like. No matter what age, gender or condition a person is struggling with, adventure therapy can develop several skills for finding and achieving long-term recovery success.

A few conditions that are well-suited for adventure therapy include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Adolescent conduct disorders
  • Emotional and behavioral disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Relationship and codependency issues
  • Grief recovery
  • Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders

Interested in Adventure Therapy or Other Options for Recovery?

If you would like to learn more about adventure therapy and other treatment options for mental health issues or co-occurring disorders, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our recovery professionals are available 24 hours a day to assist you with your search for treatment programs and recovery services. Whether you have questions, need information or are ready to find treatment options today, we are happy to help. Give us a call today.

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