What is Adventure Therapy?
Adventure therapy is a form of experiential psychotherapy where exciting outdoor challenges are used to help with personal transformation. The goal is to improve an individual’s overall physical, spiritual, social, and psychological well being. Through adventurous activities, individuals are encouraged to push their limits and work through any challenges and obstacles they face.
Activities are usually outdoors, however, occasionally they can still be done indoors. These experiences are conducted by trained professionals and are available to individuals, families, and groups. Often confused with wilderness therapy, which only uses the landscape and weather, adventure therapy incorporates man-made obstacles for both a physical and emotional challenge. Individual exercises allow patients to build confidence in themselves, while group activities can help form trust.
How is Outdoor Adventure Therapy Beneficial?
Nature is one of the best healing treatments. The outdoors provides peace, relaxation, and allows for a healthy escape from day-to-day struggles. Adventure therapy is extremely beneficial for those working through substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and more. It helps patients connect their experiences with the outdoor activity in front of them. Therapists and trained professionals help facilitate the outdoor activities and guide patients in navigating tough obstacles.
Those that partake in adventure will benefit from a number of aspects, such as:
- Promotes responsibility – individuals will see the direct impact of their decisions
- Builds strong relationships – between therapists and patients, as well as other participants
- Teaches cooperation and patience – everyone must work together to achieve the desired outcome
- Helps with communication and conflict resolutions – these activities are challenging for a reason
- Improves self-awareness and confidence – activities challenge individuals and show them they are capable of things they never thought possible
- Teaches healthy ways to manage stress – adventure therapy is filled with adrenaline-pumping activities and may be challenging
- Encourages openness to try new things and self-discovery – individuals will leave adventure therapy a different person that as they arrived
Patients can come back from adventure therapy with a newfound sense of confidence, awareness, and positivity towards their treatment, health, and life.
Mental Health and Adventure Therapy
Adventure therapy has significant benefits on an individual’s mental, physical, and emotional health. The activities encourage involvement and participation, along with teamwork. Additionally, it can build a stronger bond between the patient and therapist since they will be sharing experiences side by side.
While standard therapy involves lots of talking, adventure therapy involves lots of doing. The experience is real, meaningful, and reflection is encouraged. It’s extremely important that the lessons learned are able to be applied to past and future experiences. The skills and strategies that are used in adventure therapy are meant to carry with individuals throughout their lives outside of treatment.
Located in the serene Donegal, PA, DreamLife Recovery is the ideal setting for adventure therapy. Surrounded by nature, our recovery center facilitates recovery and personal transformation. Contact our admissions department today for more information.