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Adventure Therapy

If you’ve been thinking about trying adventure therapy near Austin, Texas, you should consider going for the Arbor experience. The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is a sprawling addiction treatment ranch situated only 40 minutes north of downtown Austin. A huge facility at 76 acres, it provides a safe and secure environment for its clients. The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is all about inspiring and helping clients work toward recovery.

The Arbor experience can also include adventure therapy. This type of therapeutic care Adventure therapy is a form of psychotherapy originating in the 1960s. It combines community, daring exercises, and exposure to nature in its practices. Contact The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare today if you’re looking for an adventure therapy program in Austin, Texas. Call 844.413.2690 or reach out to our team online.

adventure therapy program

What Is an Adventure Therapy Program?

An adventure therapy program is simply a treatment plan that uses that type of therapeutic care. However, an adventure therapy program can also be called an experiential therapy program — as adventure therapy is a type of experiential therapy. If the program’s activities involve being outdoors, it can also be called an outdoor therapy program.

Experiential therapy is a technique that uses activities and expressive tools to re-enact and re-experience problematic emotional situations from the past or in current relationships of clients. Adventure therapy intends to improve clients’ physical, social, spiritual, and psychological well-being through the healing power of nature. This is done with evidence-based experiential therapy, recreational activities, and wilderness expeditions.

Adventure therapy can help clients — usually in groups or entire families — overcome behavioral issues, substance use disorders, or other mental health concerns. It’s highly effective because the different tools used by adventure therapists actively stimulate clients.

First and foremost, adventure therapy uses nature to elicit change. A program like this uses a natural environment and combines it with action and experience in cooperative games and other activities. After each activity, the group of clients debriefs or processes what they’ve learned together. This involves a discussion where facilitators help clients internalize the experience and relate it to their therapeutic goals. Activities that are commonly part of an adventure therapy program include the following:

  • Backpacking
  • Bushwalking
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Caving
  • Kayaking
  • Racing
  • Rafting
  • Rock climbing
  • Rope courses
  • Swimming

What Is the Difference Between Adventure Therapy and Wilderness Therapy?

As mentioned above, adventure therapy is a type of experiential therapy. Wilderness therapy, in turn, is a type of adventure therapy. It can also be called outdoor therapy. Programs based on wilderness therapy usually don’t have many indoor components.

Adventure therapy involves the use of emotionally and physically challenging activities — most of which is done outdoors — that sometimes incorporate some degree of risk. Wilderness therapy encourages adaptability and endurance, often through activities that include primitive skills in a wilderness environment.

Risks undertaken during adventure therapy may be psychological or physical and real or perceived. Some adventure therapists consider risks to be essential in the activities they facilitate. While the activities of a wilderness therapy program may include a measure of risk, there’s often not as much clinical significance attached to it.

Though wilderness expeditions often play a role in adventure therapy, several other strategies can be incorporated. Adventure therapy may include problem-solving, trust-building, outdoor pursuits, and high adventure activities.

What Are the Benefits of an Experiential Therapy Program?

Many people misunderstand the benefits of experiential therapy, mostly because they’re more used to psychotherapy or talk therapy. Here are some advantages of undergoing an adventure therapy program:

  • Introducing clients to new hobbies: Experiential therapy can include discussions, but it’s more focused on activities and actions. Many components of adventure therapy introduce clients to new possible hobbies — which is extremely helpful for clients in addiction recovery.
  • Resolving buried emotions, past conflicts, and trauma: Adventure therapy activities allow clients to tap into the underlying causes of their mental health problems. They also become more aware of issues that need attention in their lives. Clients learn better problem-solving skills and healthier relationships as they go through adventure therapy activities. This occurs naturally as they focus on the activities.
  • Gaining a stronger sense of self-awareness: Clients typically get in touch with their innermost emotions, needs, motives, and wants during adventure therapy activities. They learn to manage their everyday lives more healthily and purposefully as they uncover long-hidden emotions and start healing their old wounds.
  • Learning how to be proactive: Adventure therapy teaches clients not to react negatively to challenging situations. In games and cooperative activities, clients learn to understand the impact of their choices on their lives and those of others. As a result, they start making better choices.
  • Showing clients how they behave in real-world situations: Often, adventure therapy activities take clients out of the typical setting of therapy sessions. This program has active scenarios like those clients face each day outside of a rehab facility. Due to this, clients learn how to react more authentically during therapeutic recreations.

Adventure therapy is a powerful treatment approach for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, grief, PTSD, trauma, and substance use disorders. It can also be an exciting and productive family or relationship therapy program element.

Ready To Learn More About The Arbor’s Adventure Therapy Program?

Searching for an adventure therapy program in Austin, Texas? Contact The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare today by calling 844.413.2690 or reaching out to our team online.