Outdoor adventure therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment because it blends adventure and experiential and traditional therapy all in one place. Since it includes many different therapeutic variables, it also creates many opportunities for personal growth and success. Outdoor adventure therapy can also help prepare you for scenarios and situations that you will encounter in a real-world setting.
Studies also support outdoor adventure therapy as being very beneficial for men seeking recovery because the therapy uses different activities to help them open up and build relationships with other men, in addition to traditional therapeutic group settings. If you want to get help but are not sure if conventional approaches to therapy will be enough, then outdoor adventure therapy could be what you have been missing. Let’s take a closer look at how outdoor adventure therapy can help you work through your emotions to develop strong relationships and a strong recovery.
Nature has the innate ability to reduce stress. Just walking out into nature, seeing the landscape, the trees, and hearing the wilderness creatures can instill a feeling of peace and calm within. In addition, being surrounded by fresh air and sunlight helps generate healthy dopamine levels, which are great for boosting your overall mood. Studies show that spending as little as 30 minutes per day outside can help you feel better and more focused to manage stress and attain a positive outlook. Additionally, walking, sitting, and hiking in nature reduces blood pressure and regulates stress hormones, which helps your general nervous system to feel more relaxed.
Offers a Sense of Purpose
Outdoor adventure therapy, in addition to group and individual therapy, is an excellent way to help you develop team-building skills that not only build self-esteem and self-confidence but also give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. This can be especially helpful since you might feel that you lack direction or purpose after years of substance use. Participating in hiking, climbing, yoga, or just sitting outside with others can help you feel more involved and connected with others. The activities we use at Choice Help help you develop strong relationships through team-building skills. Learning within these settings can be especially beneficial if you have had little interest in making friends or connections with others after years of use.
Engage in Real-World Experiences
Outdoor therapy can help you make strides in the process of recovery and sustaining recovery by reframing your entire therapy experience. Rather than reflecting on your habits, personality, tendencies, and triggers in an abstract way, outdoor adventure therapy allows you to participate in real-life activities. Taking part in these activities helps you shed light on your mental health challenges and actively confront them. Consistently overcoming the challenges you might face on a hike or a climb can help you develop good problem-solving skills. Such activities and challenges might include:
- Using a compass
- Climbing a rock wall
- Navigating a river
- Building a shelter
These activities help you explore your strengths and weaknesses to teach you to make better decisions and take better-calculated risks. Developing these skills will help you become more resilient and recognize that you can push past your fears to accomplish a goal. These traits will also become an essential aspect of your recovery.
Improves Personal Development
Choosing outdoor therapy improves your personal growth. This kind of therapy helps you learn and practice new coping strategies, behaviors, and thought processes in a hands-on way. Gaining this awareness can offer helpful insights into how you experience and process your feelings. Because it helps you take a more active part in your mental health treatment, you will also gain a great sense of empowerment and accountability. It also enables you to step outside of your comfort zone and allows you to learn about consequences and risks within a safe and supportive environment. The results of this can help you attain a more positive outlook throughout recovery.
Participating in outdoor therapy will allow you to relate better to yourself and others and can help you deal with past experiences in a more healthy and productive manner. When you return from an outdoor therapy session, your mental growth will be further supported by:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
In addition to outdoor adventure therapy, these therapies will encourage you to share and celebrate your growth with your peers and family. You will also likely be encouraged to write or keep a journal about your growth. Nobody will read your journal, so you can feel comfortable expressing your thoughts without fear of judgment or ridicule. Using outdoor therapy to help you explore and reflect on your mental health will, in turn, offer you insight into yourself and your recovery.
Seeking outdoor adventure therapy and participating in individual, group, and family therapy can help shape and round out a recovery. Outdoor adventure therapy enables you to discover things about your emotions and relationships through action, and this will help you face challenges in the real world. At Choice House, we provide outdoor therapy because we have seen the success it brings to men in rebuilding the relationships they have with themselves and others. We are located in the Rocky Mountain region of Boulder, CO, and can provide some of the most breathtaking views and trails that you have ever seen. If you struggle to manage substance use or recovery and are looking to restore and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul in an environment with other men, the time to get help is today. To find out more about outdoor adventure therapy and other treatment options, call Choice House today at (720) 577-4422.