What Is Adventure Therapy?
Adventure therapy is an innovative and engaging form of addiction treatment that provides holistic health benefits that promote recovery. As part of the substance abuse treatment process, adventure therapy incorporates hands-on activities through physical movement and team-building exercises.
These activities are beneficial during recovery because they promote physical wellness and the development of regular exercise routines. In these groups, you also learn to focus more on the present moment and connect with others in meaningful ways.
When combined with traditional evidence-based psychotherapies, adventure therapy supplies you with more tools to help you achieve a full recovery.
Adventure Therapy at Royal Life Centers
Royal Life Centers offers two main adventure therapy opportunities for guests in our substance abuse treatment programs. Our adventure therapies consist of outdoor hiking and kayaking activities.
Hiking in Adventure Therapy
Outdoor hiking activities offer physical exercise in combination with the calming effects of nature to promote recovery. Hiking in itself offers numerous benefits that contribute to physical and mental health.
Outdoor hiking assists in rebuilding stamina and muscle strength. These groups also incorporate mindfulness and grounding techniques in nature that help to foster a sense of inner peace. Our outdoor hiking groups also teach you how to use interpersonal skills with your peers. By practicing healthy communication while under physically taxing exercises, you begin to build up your self-confidence.
Kayaking in Adventure Therapy
Group kayaking is not only an amazing way to exercise, but it also provides an opportunity to practice intentional mindfulness. In doing so, you learn to turn your focus outside of yourself and take in the natural beauty of the landscapes that surround you. In doing so, you can experience peaceful serenity as your soul expresses gratitude for the world.
Kayaking also assists you in practicing communication and problem-solving skills in a group setting. For example, as decisions are made on which path to take on each trip, you practice self-expression. As a result, you naturally increase your self-esteem and self-efficacy.
How Can Adventure Therapy Help In Recovery?
Outdoor treatment is an evidence-based holistic approach to recovery due to the proven benefits of physical exercise and exposure to natural environments for the recovering mind. That is why we are grateful that our Pacific Northwest and Arizona Prescott Valley locations are ideal settings for picturesque, serene outdoor activities that allow us to provide adventure therapy to our guests. Those electing to participate in our adventure therapy groups will feel rejuvenated in the beautiful landscapes that we are grateful to call home.
Our adventure therapy groups help you to combat feelings of worry, guilt, and shame resulting from addiction by redirecting therapeutic attention toward physical actions and behaviors. This therapy also provides you with a unique opportunity to find mental, physical, and spiritual release from the stress of everyday life by focusing on the outdoors. For this reason, both hiking and kayaking can help with mental health disorders that co-occur with substance use disorders, such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Further still, adventure therapy groups rebuild the connection to nature which helps those who are recovering to recenter themselves in a natural, calming environment. As you achieve your physical goals in hiking and kayaking activities, you naturally hone your self-confidence and inner trust in your ability to overcome future obstacles.
Exercise in Adventure Therapy
Exercise and physical activity during substance abuse treatment can help greatly improve your mental, emotional and physical well-being. As a goal-oriented approach, adventure therapy combines your active involvement in your own treatment with the restorative power of nature and exercise.
Benefits of exercise as a stress reliever include:
- Increases production of endorphins
- Improves mood
- Promotes a meditative mindset
- Rebuilds physical strength
Often, people neglect their body during active addiction as their healthy routines begin to unravel. For this reason, exercise in adventure therapy is especially beneficial because reintroduces natural levels of endorphins in your system. As a result, your brain and body are better equipped to fight cravings and regulate emotions. This also assists in managing symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
As you participate in adventure therapy exercises, your brain regains the ability to naturally regulate emotions and mood. These benefits can be seen in both the short-term and long-term portions of addiction recovery.
Participating in regular physical activity can also assist you in regaining the physical strength lost during substance abuse. When faced with a demanding new routine of work or treatment, having a better understanding of your body will help you cope with the changes that come with a successful recovery journey.
Physical Wellness for Healing
Studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Psychological Association (APA), and Harvard Medical School have found that exercise can reduce depression and improve cognitive function. Rigorous physical activity can also immediately reduce stress, as it raises cortisol levels in the body.
Our movement therapies, including yoga, are designed to produce the same stress-reducing, mood-boosting effects associated with our adventure therapies. We also offer activity and equine therapies. Helping you regain your optimal mental and physical wellness is our top priority at Royal Life Centers Because We Care, and we take care to incorporate this concern into our adventure therapy programming.
Our movement therapies, including yoga, are designed to produce the same stress-reducing, mood-boosting effects associated with our adventure therapies.
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