Adventure Therapy utilizes active experiential methodology to engage clients and establish a parallel process between the client’s life experience and the client’s therapeutic experience. It focuses on cognitive and behavioral therapeutic goals and incorporates a focused use of the surrounding environment. Adventure therapy is often utilized in wilderness therapy and provides a plethora of benefits for teens as they work to build life skills that they can bring back into their everyday lives.
The Benefits of Adventure Therapy Activities
Rock climbing is an adventure therapy activity that builds problem-solving skills. For many climbers, the first step to any climb is actually sitting back and looking at the route in front of them. Where does it look like there might be challenges? Which parts are they confident about? Very few climbers will reach the top of a route on their first try. Each route is unique and will require different skills. Climbers know that a part of the experience is practice. They will fall off the route (safely with a belayer) and make mistakes. And each time they get back on the rock they will have learned something about the climb and about how they perform and they will create a new plan for the route.
Mountain biking is a great way to teach teens to stay present in the moment. It is easy to worry about what is happening next or fixate on past mistakes, but when you are riding, your focus has to be in the present. Even when you are following a mapped trail, there is always the chance that a branch will be down or maybe it rained and there is a flooded section. Staying focused and present allows riders to correct in the moment and be flexible with whatever comes at them on the trail.
Overnight camping empowers teens through self-sufficiency. On overnight hiking and camping trips, teens carry all their supplies, put up and take down their campsites, start their own fires, and cook their own meals. When you’re backcountry camping, you only have the things you have carried in with you. If you forget your jacket, there is no store to run to. If you accidentally burn dinner, there is no delivery service. Being self-sufficient means that they are being independent and meeting their own needs. Self-sufficiency is a crucial tool for adolescents as they transition into adulthood.
Since most canoes require two people to operate properly and canoeing encourages teamwork and communication. The paddler in the back is often steering and the paddler in the front is relaying information about what is coming down the river. Paddlers need to match rhythm while stroking on opposite sides. Without effective communication, boats will run into obstacles or even capsize.
BlueFire Wilderness Can Help
The power of blueFire’s wilderness program lies in immersing clients in the wilderness setting to interrupt the pattern of negative behaviors, inspire a true desire for a lifestyle change, and identify a complete plan for long-term success. All skills and activities taught at blueFire wilderness program promote transferable skills, whether the confidence and self-awareness gained as one tries new activities or the acute awareness gained from setting and achieving goals.
Our clients didn’t get to this point overnight and changes don’t occur overnight either. There are incredible benefits in changing the environment and offering an exciting wilderness experience to create real, lasting change in only a few short months. We guide teens to discover what is at their core – their hopes, their dreams, their abilities, their beliefs and how to overcome their challenges. For more information please call (208) 502-4158.