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adventure therapy activities

Adventure Therapy Activities: How They Can Help Your Child

There is no one size fits all when it comes to therapy. Just as each person is unique, each person’s therapeutic needs are unique. Some people may benefit from traditional talk therapy. For others, group therapy can provide a supportive environment that helps them to process their emotions. For still others, sitting in a room and talking about their struggles is a challenge in and of itself. For these people, adventure therapy can be a powerful tool for healing. 

What is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy is a form of therapeutic intervention that utilizes experiential activities involving perceived risk and that are both physically and emotionally challenging. Adventure therapy is usually conducted outdoors and activities may include rock climbing, ropes courses, white water rafting, and backcountry hiking. Adventure therapy allows students to engage in calculated risks and explore personal issues in a safe, supportive environment under the guidance and support of mental health professionals.

An adventure therapy model in a residential treatment center involves recreation outings in the community that complement other therapeutic programming, rather than as the main form of therapy. Teens often learn better by doing than by talking about their experiences, especially as it helps them learn how to stay in the moment.

How We Use Adventure Therapy

At Red Mountain Colorado, adventure therapy and wilderness therapy is all about learning to have fun with others through working as a team and becoming more confident. An activity such as white water rafting provides multiple opportunities for self-discovery and growth. For example, a student who is white water rafting with a group will need to effectively communicate with everyone else in their raft and trust that their raft members will keep them afloat. They will need to problem solve in the moment to avoid obstacles. Each time they complete a river trip successfully, they’ll develop an understanding that stressful situations can be resolved positively. 

While the adventure activities are rewarding by themselves, there is a much deeper therapeutic reason for them. Part of what your teen is struggling with is the lack of a healthy outlet for their stress and frustration. They develop unhealthy stress patterns, act out, and make poor decisions. Our teen adventure therapy works by breaking up these old stress patterns and replacing them with healthy, functional ones. These new adventure skills are something that teens can bring with them when they leave residential treatment and return back home. 

Red Mountain Colorado Can Help

Red Mountain Colorado was founded to help struggling teens work through behavioral and emotional challenges. We specialize in the treatment of trauma-related mental health challenges. Throughout programming, we empower teens to build healthy coping skills and habits that they can use to work through the challenges they face.

Our program is structured to treat issues like trauma and depression as well as dual diagnosis disorders. When your teen arrives at our treatment facility, our staff will assess if there are any underlying mental health symptoms. With these learnings, we take an integrated approach to create a path to psychosocial wellness. For more information please call (970) 316-7683.