Adventure therapy can be an incredibly rewarding and healing experience. This form of behavioral healthcare offers a therapeutic environment while implementing various challenges that encourage growth and development.

Unlike conventional treatment, wilderness and adventure therapy address a wide range of issues all within the great outdoors. Working with licensed professionals, participants are provided an opportunity to not only heal, but to discover themselves.

Whether you are interested in individual or group/family therapy, outdoor behavioral healthcare is an engaging and rewarding experience — one that changes lives through the power of experiential learning.

Interested in This Unique Opportunity? Here Are 4 Facts You Should Know

When in need of therapy, it can be challenging to see a ‘way out’ — but a different approach can make the initial step towards positive change that much easier. Therapy can be challenging, which is why adventure therapy is unlike any other form of therapeutic treatment.

Outdoor behavioral healthcare, wilderness therapy or adventure therapy provide individuals with a real chance to succeed — all within an environment that is exciting and rewarding. When you are removed from a toxic environment and fully immersed in a captivating and challenging environment, real progress can be made.

Whether you are considering this option for your teenager or yourself, here are four facts that you should be aware of to decide if wilderness and adventure therapy is right for you.

Fact #1: Wilderness Therapy Offers Many Challenges to Encourage Growth

When taking part in wilderness therapy, individuals are exposed to a wide range of challenges. During these specialized programs, participants gain insight that helps them experience positive growth. Learning through hands-on experiences, participants gain skills to cope with many of life’s challenges.

While learning more about who they are as individuals, participants take part in outdoor challenges, such as climbing adventures, hiking and navigation trips. Teaching core problem-solving skills and encouraging reflection, these activities go a long way toward boosting self-confidence and self-esteem.

Fact #2: Wilderness Therapy Involves More Than Just Completing Outdoor Challenges

Being immersed in the great outdoors is an incredible experience — one that many have not considered before. This is, of course, an amazing part of the wilderness therapy experience, but it is just the beginning. When taking part in this unique opportunity, participants are able to:

  • Experience therapeutic benefits while taking part in challenges that promote life skills. Free from distractions, participants are able to accomplish goals while overcoming mental and emotional hardships. This type of therapy is a journey — one that supports without criticism.
  • Although there are many different programs available, a core goal of all wilderness therapy is helping individuals overcome their fears. Through various activities they are pushed to achieve things they never thought possible. They will also learn how to embrace teamwork — this can be particularly valuable within family and group programs.
  • Perhaps the greatest benefit of all is the opportunity to reflect. When someone completes a climbing challenge, for instance, this accomplishment is so much more than an activity completed. Individuals begin to see that they can overcome hurdles, applying what they learn into real-life scenarios. For example, an individual might feel capable of handling a difficult life relationship after overcoming a fear of heights to complete an adventure task.

wilderness therapy

Fact #3: Clients Have a Shared Experience with the Practitioner during Adventure Therapy Programs

Unlike traditional therapy, which is often in an office or clinical setting, the dynamic is more open within adventure therapy programs. In this type of therapy, fully licensed and accredited behavioral healthcare practitioners engage with their clients in a ‘shared’ experience.

This means that participant and practitioner learn from each other, while developing a trusting, beneficial relationship. There is a more balanced power dynamic, making everyone feel at ease. While conventional therapy entails personal reflection, adventure therapy allows an enhanced level of reflection due to in-the-moment events that the participant and practitioner share.

When participants feel heard and respected, they’re often more willing to put in the required work. This form of therapy is the definition of being ‘student-focused’ — we use the term student here because participants are immersed in a learning experience. From leadership skills to relationship building, it is this very dynamic that makes these programs so successful.

Fact #4: Wilderness Therapy Invites Clients to Have an Actively Engaged Experience

While taking part in adventure therapy, practitioners implement a range of approaches and philosophies that look to the healing power of nature. Participants are fully engaged, interacting in activities just as they would any other life experience.

The difference is, they have incredible support. When actively engaged, participants reflect on their adventure experience, gaining skills that will help them improve life experiences. When given choices, individuals are more likely to experience personal growth and development.

Participants are able to practice and refine their problem solving, communication and decision-making skills.  When faced with a challenge in their everyday life, they are able to reflect back on the moments they experienced in wilderness therapy and move forward using the tools they learned. Are you interested in wilderness therapy programs? Learn more about our various programs around the country and globe by visiting our wilderness and adventure therapy page today.

Click HERE to download our accredited programs infographic