When you and your family are researching the appropriate substance addiction programs for your young adult, you may encounter references to adventure therapy and wonder what role it can play in assisting your loved one back to full health and well-being. Adventure therapy has been a prominent, distinct form of psychotherapy since the 1960s, with many learning and psychological theories underpinning it.
This experiential form of therapy has a proven record of helping to boost self-concept and self-esteem, and the principles are simple: by providing the young adult with serene surroundings, they can also remove themselves temporarily from daily life’s usual distractions. They are therefore given vital time and space in which to reflect on their lives, habits and motivations. In this sense, adventure therapy can truly give your young adult the platform to build a new life.
Think of many of the comforts that your loved one normally lives with. Comfortable beds, computers and the warmth of indoors can all be taken for granted. Few of us, let alone substance addicted young adults, ever get truly back to basics. Adventure therapy makes exactly that possible.
While adventure activities are far from the only component of effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment, they are nonetheless key to psychologically distancing a young adult from their overly familiar life back home, and all of the troubles associated with it. Such a setting is a far cry from the four walls and fluorescent lights that normally color young adults’ perceptions of addiction treatment, allowing them to step out of their usual, troubled selves.
Effective adventure therapy is not simply temporary escapism from problems that are simply returned to as soon as the patient leaves the treatment program. That is because such experiential therapy should also be teamed with all of the essential elements of treatment necessary to bring about a sustained transformation in your young adult’s physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
These components may range from individual, group and adventure-based therapy to nutritional education, boundary setting, communication skills and social skills development, to name just some of the aspects that characterize the most effective treatment program featuring adventure therapy.