Orange County Addiction and Mental Health

Adventure Therapy

Adventure Therapy is one of our popular treatments for substance abuse and addiction recovery, not just because it’s fun, but because we have found it to be an effective therapy for our patients. This is because adventure therapy offers a variety of benefits including communication skills, assessing risk and reward, learning to take responsibility among many others we’ll discuss here.

What is Adventure Therapy?

It is an experiential form of psychotherapy that was developed in the early part of the 20th century as a way to provide a safe environment while participating in activities that might be considered risky and exciting if performed without supervision. We provide adventure therapy to offer a sense of perceived risk, so that our clients can learn to take on challenges, build trust in their peers, and develop confidence as they participate in these activities.

At California Prime Recovery, the main elements that we include in our adventure therapy exercises are to provide structured goals, a component of adventure, a sense of individual responsibility, an atmosphere of friendly camaraderie, a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and a sense of accomplishment.

Types of Adventure Therapy

We offer adventure therapy as individual as well as group activities, primarily in a group setting, in order to enhance and take advantage of several of the benefits of this approach. They could be indoor or outdoor, depending on various factors that we try to include for a specific group.

Personal Exploration Groups

These are a set of exercises designed to support specific character traits that a group may be trying to learn, such as honesty, helpfulness, social skills, etc.

Problem Solving Activities

These are typically posed as challenging games in order to encourage mental activity and problem solving.

Trust Building Initiatives

Many of our activities are intended to team up individuals with each other so that they learn to communicate, build relationships, and most importantly to develop trust in others.

Outdoor Exercises

We create outdoor exercises for our clients in order to allow them to learn to overcome obstacles, handle their emotions, practice coping skills so that they learn about their own strengths as well as their peers.

Wilderness Therapy

Sometimes we include wilderness expeditions that are set in nature, and in unfamiliar surroundings so that our patients can learn to adapt to harsher environments and uncomfortable settings.

Adventure Driven Expeditions

While there is some crossover between the above activities, adventure driven therapy may include activities such as kayaking, zip-lining, mountain climbing, etc.

Benefits of Adventure Therapy

Adventure Therapy offers a powerful treatment approach for several substance abuse disorders as well as mental health disorders. It is very effective in helping our patients cope with real life situations after recovery.

Although Adventure Therapy is not the primary treatment for substance abuse and addiction recovery, we at California Prime, have found it to be highly effective in helping individuals find purpose and empowerment, so that they can learn to engage with life and real world situations on their road to recovery.

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Alyssa Mueller


Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.

Charee Marquez

LMFT - Clinical Director

Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.

Stephen Carmel

Founder & CEO

I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.