Residential Treatment Centers Offer Adventure Therapy
As one of the leading residential treatment centers for teens, Red Mountain Colorado’s mindfulness-based program is dedicated to helping teens build confidence and healthier coping mechanisms. Through adventure therapy and mindfulness programming, Red Mountain Colorado balances traditional types of therapy with a holistic approach. Staying active, trying new things, and getting out of one’s comfort zone during adventure activities leads to a shift in your teen’s perspective and helps them feel more connected to themselves and others.
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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 works by creating peak experiences where students experience feelings of overwhelming mastery & flow or being in the zone. These adventure activities are used to reignite old passions and spark new ones.
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. Instead, teens turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage these feelings, which take a toll on their self-esteem and relationships.
What is the Difference Between Adventure Therapy Programs and Residential Treatment Centers with Adventure Therapy?
While adventure therapy programs are centered around adventure activities on a daily basis, adventure therapy in residential treatment centers complements other therapeutic programming. In a residential treatment center, adventure therapy is a break from a daily schedule built around school, group therapy, and family therapy that helps teens apply the skills they’ve learned in therapy in an experiential way. This helps teens prepare to transfer these skills back home when they are faced with similar situations and challenges.
Adventure therapy programs involve introducing teens to a variety of adventure activities that challenge their negative beliefs about themselves and prepare them to make changes in their lives. Adventure therapy in residential treatment shows teens that there are healthier, more constructive ways of dealing with stress and connecting with others.
At Red Mountain Colorado, adventure therapy is all about learning to have fun with others through, working as a team, and becoming more confident. Every time your teen participates in these activities, they learn teamwork and self-efficacy skills they’ve never had before. And when they’re done, they walk away feeling proud and accomplished. These feelings of empowerment and strength give your teen a new sense of purpose.
Transitioning from a Wilderness Therapy Program
For the teens coming to us from wilderness, it can be difficult to adjust back to their home environment after spending time in the woods. One of the reasons wilderness therapy programs are so successful in changing teens’ attitudes and behaviors is that they require students to adjust to their new surroundings within a short period of time. After completing a wilderness therapy program, teens have begun to dig into some of the deeper issues that led up to going to treatment and are more motivated to continue the therapeutic process in a less restrictive setting.
Residential treatment that offers adventure therapy offers a smoother transition, as adventure activities are integrated into the weekly schedule, but are not the main focus of the program. As leaving wilderness can be a culture shock, finding a residential program that understands the mission of wilderness therapy and uses some of the same structure and language they’ve learned in the woods helps teens continue their progress.
The goal of a residential treatment center is to create a space for teens to continue to apply what they’ve learned in a setting that feels closer to their home environment over a longer period of time. This helps them ensure that the rapid changes they make in a wilderness program become sustainable over time, as they develop a greater passion for adventure activities and learn to integrate them into their daily lives.
What Your Teen Will Experience in Adventure Therapy at an RTC
Twice a week, your teen will participate in recreational activities out in the mountains. No matter what activity he’s doing, the primary focus is getting him to do something with a certain level of challenge and risk.
This is because the challenges he faces will help him develop healthier ways to cope with stress and new self-efficacy skills. They’ll also help him learn how to trust those around him.
Let’s take rock climbing as an example. From the moment your teen puts on his gear and gets strapped in, he’ll be challenged both physically and mentally. Throughout his climb, he’ll have to learn to address his frustrations and stress in more productive ways that help him keep going. He’ll also have to rely on the individual belaying him, which starts to rebuild the trust in others he may have lost at some point either during or leading up to his addiction.
And when your teen successfully finishes his climb, he’ll experience a sense of pride and accomplishment he either hasn’t felt in a long time or hasn’t ever felt before.
Adventure Activities at Red Mountain Colorado
Rock climbing is just one highlight of our recreation programming. Activities rotate weekly and depend on the season. While Red Mountain Colorado is located in a suburban area, they are near many famous national parks, including Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado’s Front Range is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful and accessible adventure locations in the country.
While at Red Mountain Colorado, your child will get to experience mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, fly fishing, and other exhilarating activities that will teach them valuable life lessons and skills they will take with him after treatment.
Health and Wellness Programming at Red Mountain Colorado
At Red Mountain Colorado, we help your teen work through their inner thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and patterns of behavior by utilizing holistic therapy methods outside of traditional talk therapy. Some examples of these holistic methods include equine therapy, recreation therapy, and mindfulness.
Meditation and yoga are the pillars that support our mindfulness program. Yoga is a remarkable form of exercise and therapy. Not only can it help your teen feel good in the moment, but it also has lasting benefits that can stay with your teen beyond their time at our treatment program. The movement of yoga allows students to bring awareness to their bodies and set positive intentions within themselves.
Staying active is a large part of holistic wellness programming at Red Mountain Colorado. We believe that treating the mind, body, and soul helps teens improve their overall quality of life by reducing physical tension and anxious thoughts. In addition to adventure activities twice a week, students go to the gym, play team sports, and participate in yoga. Mindfulness and breathing techniques are incorporated into all experiential activities to help teens stay emotionally regulated and develop greater self-awareness.