Posted on

Adventure Therapy Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Campers on an adventure

Adventure therapy is beneficial for teenagers in recovery because it incorporates real-world challenges to help them cope with behavioral, social, and emotional issues. Further, such practices create an environment that engages the mind, promotes communication skills, and helps teens get out of their comfort zone. Ultimately, adventure therapy will have a positive impact on your teen’s overall mental and physical wellbeing. If your teen has not considered adventure therapy, perhaps now is the time to start. Let’s take a closer look at this model of therapy and how it can become one of the best choices your teen will make for their recovery.

How Does it Work?

Adventure therapy is a form of experiential therapy that incorporates elements from many other beneficial practices such as exercise, mediation, and relationship-building skills. Perhaps, the best part about this therapy is that it provides natural healing properties because most activities happen outdoors.

Additionally, many teenagers discover that they feel more confident after they participate in these activities.

What Does Adventure Therapy Include?

Addiction and risky behavior go hand in hand; however, the risks associated with addiction are unhealthy and could cause your teen to harm themselves or others. Further, risks associated with addiction are often motivated by the need to find the next drink or drug.

Alternatively, adventure therapy is effective because of its ability to present healthier risks and challenges conducive to your teen’s development. Encountering these risks and challenges will help your teen discover confidence and trust within to handle challenging situations. Developing these skills is essential to sustaining recovery as it will translate into their everyday challenges such as school, home life, and work.

Certain risks and challenges include:

  • Bungee jumping
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Zip Lining
  • Paragliding
  • Camping

Adventure Therapy Helps With Expressing Emotions 

Developing a strong emotional range is also important for recovery. Being able to express oneself will help a teenager process and discover feelings attached to emotions that feed their impulses and cravings. However, sometimes teenagers become apprehensive about sharing their feelings with family or healthcare professionals. Adventure therapy can help teenagers express their emotions more comfortably.

Adventure therapy accomplishes this by:

  • Helping Teens Develop Good Self-Esteem: Addiction can diminish confidence, communication, and social skills. During situations where a teen’s self-esteem is low, it’s hard to communicate mental health challenges. Adventure therapy helps teenagers regain their self-esteem and express their problems to address the source of their negative thoughts and emotions and work to find resolve.
  • Helping Teens Develop Problem Solving Skills: Adventure therapy plays a crucial role in developing problem-solving skills. When teenagers undergo challenges during their adventures, they consciously and subconsciously learn how to deal with every challenge coming their way. It might require developing navigational skills during forest expeditions or reaching the summit of a mountain by traveling through difficult terrain. Developing these skills is great for continuing to build confidence.
  • Helping Teens Develop Social Skills: One of the most important parts of any recovery regimen is developing a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Such skills can deteriorate during active addiction and create residual feelings of isolation and detachment even after becoming sober. Some adventure therapy practices depend on strong communication between peers. Since everybody is focusing on the task, it can be easier to open up and communicate needs. Over time, this kind of communication will create healthy communication skills that your teen will become more comfortable using in their everyday setting.

Adventure Therapy Develops a Sense of Service 

Guilt and shame are commonly associated with early recovery. Such feelings can perpetuate negative self-perceptions and one’s overall outlook. While your teen might not like the way they behave, they might also feel helpless to change. However, adventure therapy can help your teen develop their self-worth through the art of giving back. Team-building skills help teens participate, allowing them to see how they can help and contribute their skills and ideas within a group setting. It also allows them to understand that there is a sense of shared support and that they and their peers are never alone when facing a challenge. It also helps them understand that mistakes happen and how to move forward from them.

Adventure Therapy Promotes Good Mental Health

Mental health is important during the recovery process, and participating in adventure therapy will provide opportunities and places where your teen can sit silently and meditate. The calmness of forests, mountains, and seas encourages positivity that fosters healthy thoughts and behaviors. Such reflections can lend a sense of empowerment and inspiration for the teen to realize that they can become whoever they want to be.

While being resilient and proactive is necessary for lasting recovery, this doesn’t mean mistakes won’t happen. Real recovery is about making mistakes and learning how to move forward from them. Your teenager has their entire life ahead of them, and at Clearfork Academy, we want to ensure that they live their best life. Therefore, if your teenager is currently struggling to manage their addiction, Clearfork Academy can help. We provide both conventional and holistic approaches to care to ensure that we meet your teen’s individual needs. Part of our treatment includes adventure therapy because it incorporates many helpful tools that will provide your teen with the know-how to handle life and recovery’s most difficult challenges. If you or your teen are currently struggling to manage and confront the challenges of addiction, then the time to seek help is now. To learn more, reach out to us today by calling (888) 966-8604.