What is Adventure Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

What is Adventure Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

If you or someone you love is looking for a hands-on form of therapy that helps you build trust, work through your cravings, improve your self-esteem during rehab, and enjoy outdoor activities simultaneously, then you are looking for adventure therapy.

What is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy is a field of therapy that has been used for well over fifty years. Adventure-based therapy originated in the 1960s and offered a combination of community, daring exercises, and nature as the foundation for outdoor adventure therapy.

Adventure therapy doesn’t have to be a life-or-death scenario; it can be something low-risk. Outdoor adventure therapy might include:

  • Swimming
  • Caving
  • Rock climbing
  • Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Rafting
  • Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Paddleboarding
  • White water rafting
  • Kayaking

What Does an Adventure Therapy Program Entail?

An adventure therapy group promotes personal wellbeing, development, growth, and rehabilitation with structured activities. Each of these activities involves hands-on experience. Adventure therapy might be used individually or in conjunction with traditional treatment.

Adventure-based therapy is regularly conducted in a group setting or with an entire family. The natural environment is used to evoke change. Individuals are forced to take action with Outdoor Pursuits, Wilderness Expeditions, Cooperative games or activities, problem-solving, and other high adventure activities.

At the end of each event, leaders and facilitators can help you internalize how that experience brought you closer to your therapeutic goals with a debriefing experience.

What is Adventure Therapy Used to Treat?

You can overcome mental health disorders, behavioral problems, and substance abuse with an adventure therapy group. It’s a highly effective form of therapy overseen by an adventure therapist.

 It is a potent treatment approach for things like:

  1.  Schizophrenia
  2.  Trauma or PTSD
  3.  Eating disorders
  4.  Depression or anxiety
  5.  Substance abuse
  6.  Family our relationship therapy

Is Adventure Therapy Used in Rehab?

Yes, an adventure therapy program is regularly used in rehab. Adventure therapy is regularly used as a way to overcome man-made obstacles. With adventure therapy, you get an opportunity to:

  1. Decrease symptoms of depression, 
  2. Build positive relationships, 
  3. Improve your self-confidence
  4. Promote increased resilience, 
  5. Increase your emotional and behavioral functioning, 
  6. Build new coping skills like stress management, 
  7. Learn to be open to dynamic discovery, 
  8. Create meaningful experiences under time-sensitive pressure, 
  9. And more

For example:

Caving is a very low-risk form of adventure therapy. You might go to an outdoor cave and explore it from the inside. You get to enjoy that sense of something new, trusting that even though you don’t know what’s up ahead, that doesn’t make it a bad experience; it just makes it a new one full of mystery. This works to facilitate a better appreciation of the fact that you don’t necessarily control everything that happens in the future or what lies ahead in the darkness, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring and trying to live your best life.

Paddleboarding can give you a better sense of control and a feeling of independence. With paddleboarding, you go out on the water and figure out how to stand up on the paddle board while exploring the river or lake. This takes focus, determination, and self-control and involves physical activity while also getting you outside in nature. 

Rock climbing involves a group going out together, figuring out the best route up a set of rock walls, using a great deal of physical endurance and mental focus to make it all the way up that route, and working together. Rock climbing involves harnesses and ropes, so you and your safety depend on your partner. This is a great way to rebuild trust in personal or family relationships, especially when drugs and alcohol have somewhat broken them. Rock climbing also helps facilitate persistence and self-reliance in each individual because it’s up to the person on the rocks to stay focused, stay safe, and keep moving forward no matter what. 

How to Find a Utah Adventure Therapy Program

If you are ready, Spirit Mountain Recovery is here for you. As a premier rehab center in Utah, our facility is nestled in the scenic Eden Valley, a perfect place for adventures but keeps you grounded in nature. Our mountain escape includes a wide range of activities like hiking, fishing, individual therapy, group therapy, and adventure therapy. 
Contact Spirit Mountain Recovery Center; our men’s inpatient addiction treatment programs are based on the latest approaches to treatment. Let Spirit Mountain help you find an adventure therapy program today.