Adventure Therapy: Overcoming Fears and Building Confidence in Recovery

Rehab for alcohol recovery may involve a lot of traditional sit-down therapy like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but there are also other forms of treatment that may not seem like therapy that can be highly effective in treating not only your mind but also your body and overall well-being. Adventure Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that combines nature, community, and challenging activities to improve an individual’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being through the healing power of nature. Combining traditional therapy with adventure therapy can be the recipe for success in addiction recovery.

Wellness Recovery Center of NJ is a New Jersey drug rehab that offers comprehensive therapy options for those in need.

What is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy can look many different ways, but overall, it helps a person overcome fears while building confidence throughout their recovery. The outdoor activities are empowering, motivating, and challenging – often operating outside of one’s comfort zone. In this form of therapy, the activities use the environment to elicit change by incorporating cooperative games, problem-solving initiatives, trust exercises, high adventure activities, wilderness expeditions, and outdoor pursuits to elevate confidence through challenges that one may not have previously endured. Some examples of adventure therapy are white water rafting, camping, kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, skiing, rock climbing, and group ropes courses.

Often, adventure therapy is conducted in a group or family context where team building is encouraged. After each activity, the group debriefs and processes the challenges they endured together to encourage internalizing the experience as it relates to their own therapeutic goals. A group may have a discussion about the activities they faced together in an attempt to process how they worked together to overcome fear. A great team-building exercise can be a group ropes course where the team needs to work together to get to the next obstacle. This is a great example of how adventure therapy can introduce and encourage communication and teamwork and potentially help someone overcome a fear of heights or being stuck. Individual activities are helpful to incorporate in adventure therapy as well to encourage patients to face challenges and fears of their own. If rock climbing is the activity, it can help an individual experience self-reliance and persistence to make it to the top of the rock. Facing challenges in adventure therapy is a key aspect of building confidence and taking positive learnings away from these activities. 

Goal of Adventure Therapy

The goal of adventure therapy is to help patients connect their learnings from these outdoor pursuits with their life experiences to translate what they’ve learned into real-life scenarios. From enduring these outdoor activities, we want patients to gain a new sense of confidence and help them to develop greater social skills while connecting with their spiritual well-being. Adventure therapy is known to encourage and promote a sense of responsibility in patients, improve self-awareness and self-confidence, increasing resilience, building positive relationships and learning to work with others, decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving self-esteem, and encourage openness and emotional discovery. 

Some benefits of adventure therapy include its advantages for those suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, grief loss, and more. This form of therapy is known to be beneficial for all age groups, including adolescents and teenagers as well as young adults. The treatment also can be a way to improve a family relationship and bring people together in a way they have not experienced before. Team building exercise truly brings about a new side of patients who have not had a ton of experience working alongside others to a common goal. We want to build confidence in people and teach them that they can do things they thought they would never be able to do. 

Call Wellness Recovery Center NJ Today

At Wellness Recovery Center of New Jersey, we believe in whole-person care. This means that we believe in treating an individual with various forms of therapy, both traditional and non-traditional. We believe that adventure therapy coupled with traditional therapy can be the best combination for long-term recovery in our patients. In addition to adventure therapy, we believe in incorporating other activities such as reiki, yoga therapy, meditation and breathwork, art therapy, and music therapy into our New Jersey outpatient rehab program. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction and are looking for a hands-on experience, please reach out to our team at Wellness Recovery Center of New Jersey at (866) 861-3449 today.

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