Adventure Therapy For Teens

Adventure Therapy

Is your teen struggling with an overwhelming amount of stress or mental health challenges? Are they less outgoing or adventurous than before? If so, adventure therapy could be the right treatment option for them.

What is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy is a form of psychotherapy that includes activities supported by traditional therapy. This requires students to be physically and mentally engaged in activity that aims to promote lasting behavior change. If you think this program could be beneficial to your teen we encourage you to explore this comprehensive guide to our adventure therapy program at Red Mountain Colorado. 

Have you ever experienced the thrilling effects of an outdoor adventure?  Teenagers in particular are commonly known as “thrill seekers”.  If your teen typically enjoys thrilling activities, but you’re concerned about their participation in unhealthy or potentially dangerous activities, our adventure therapy program at Red Mountain Colorado may be able to help.  

While adventure can be a great source of entertainment, the feeling of tackling an exhilarating challenge is truly what makes adventure so appealing. Adventure leaves you with a sense of accomplishment as you learn to tackle obstacles on a smaller scale. As teens learn to overcome challenges, like climbing to the top of the rock wall or hiking up a steep mountain, they learn how to apply their ability to overcome obstacles.

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Why Outdoor Activity Is Beneficial 

Not only do outdoor activities have many physical benefits, but they have a variety of mental and emotional benefits as well. Benefits of regular outdoor activity include:

  • Increased natural production of dopamine or the “happiness hormone”
  • Improved mood
  • Better concentration
  • Faster healing 
  • Reduction of pain
  • Improved self-esteem

Outdoor activities stimulate all five senses in ways indoor activities cannot. This makes you more self-aware and present in your life. All these aspects make adventure therapy effective because they can aid your teen in their ability to open up about their struggles. Our adventure therapy program at RMC aims to maximize the benefits of outdoor adventure in order to aid in therapeutic healing for stress or mental health related struggles.

Adventure Therapy at Red Mountain Colorado

At Red Mountain Colorado, our treatment center is designed to help teens with behavioral and emotional challenges through a combination of challenging activities, discussions, and therapy. Our adventure-based treatment programs allow development of introspective skills and teach healthy coping mechanisms in an active and engaging manner. These programs also create a sense of communal connection, as many of the activities involve team building. 

Adventurous Activities

Our adventure therapy program at Red Mountain Colorado offers a variety of activities designed to challenge your teen and teach them how to overcome challenges in a safe and controlled environment. Typical adventure therapy models involve the combination of communal recreational activities and traditional therapeutic practices. These practices complement each other and create a holistic approach to healing. 

Some of the activities that Red Mountain Colorado offers include:

  • White water rafting
  • Mountain hiking
  • Skiing
  • Rock climbing

Why Adventure Therapy?

While adventurous activities have a variety of physical and mental benefits, there are deeper healing components to adventure when its therapeutic aspects are utilized. Adventure therapy can be a great mechanism in teaching your teen how to find healthy coping mechanisms for stress or mental health related struggles. Adventure therapy can teach adolescents a lifetime’s worth of healthy coping mechanisms which can also be very fun and rewarding.  

Our program aims to help struggling teenagers to address their stress in healthy ways and release unhealthy or unhelpful coping strategies. Some ways our program addresses stress and promotes healthy coping mechanisms are:

  • Outdoor activities like rock climbing aim to release a stress response in a safe and controlled setting while overcoming the stressor.
  • Trained program leaders assist your teen in overcoming the challenges of adventure therapy, which builds trust between themselves and others.
  • Teenagers are taught to trust and rely on adults in situations where they need help.
  • The therapeutic aspect allows teens to address and break unhealthy thought patterns or behaviors, while the adventurous aspect teaches them how to overcome challenges and find healthy coping strategies that work best for them.

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Jackie’s Experience 

RMC certified adventure therapy leader, Jackie, speaks about her experience leading adventure therapy trips and how they can be helpful to students: “What I really like about them is that students get to practice a lot of skills that they don’t necessarily really realize that they’re practicing.” Students are able to learn and practice skills such as:

  • Stress-tolerance
  • Positive social behaviors 
  • Community building 
  • Supporting one another 
  • Working through difficult or uncomfortable situations

One powerful observation Jackie has made in her time working with adventure therapy students is their ability to support each other through difficult situations. When students are put in situations they don’t want to be in, such as hiking on a cold day, they learn to support each other through, creating powerful debriefing sessions after the exercise. Debriefing sessions allow the students to discuss their challenges and triumphs for the day. What went well?  What could have been done better? What was or wasn’t helpful? These debriefing sessions are helpful for the students and trip leaders to identify the most pertinent aspects to their success with adventure therapy.

Holistic Healing at RMC 

At Red Mountain Colorado, we believe in experiential and holistic methods to healing and treating emotional and behavioral challenges. Holistic techniques are natural and well rounded approaches to tackling mental health struggles, taking into account all aspects of one’s health. These holistic techniques are high-yield and low-risk, meaning they create highly effective results with little to no risk of harm.  This approach makes our program unique and is effective for teens who have not responded well to traditional therapeutic approaches.   

Red Mountain Colorado Is Here to Help

If your teen is struggling with finding healthy coping mechanisms to handle their stress, our adventure therapy program may just be the help they need. Adventure therapy allows teens to break free from the distractions of technology and getting caught up in the stress of their own personal lives. It teaches healthy coping mechanisms and addresses stress or mental health concerns in a natural and supportive environment. 

If you’d like to learn more about adventure therapy at Red Mountain Colorado and how our program can be a life-changing experience for your teen, please visit http://redmountaincolorado.com/ or contact us at (970) 316-7683.

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