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.
Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT
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.
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.
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.
These are typically posed as challenging games in order to encourage mental activity and problem solving.
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.
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.
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.
While there is some crossover between the above activities, adventure driven therapy may include activities such as kayaking, zip-lining, mountain climbing, etc.
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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