6 Signs That You Attended a Wilderness Treatment Program


If you have successfully completed a wilderness treatment program for your substance abuse, you realize that you have gone through an a transformative event that very few people experience. You could have settled for the tried and true and went through treatment in a residential facility in a nice leafy suburban neighborhood. Instead, you decided to tackle your addiction full force and in the presence of nature. You camped, you hiked, you learned to make fire; all while working through the underlying roots of what kept you stuck in your substance abuse.

Now that you are back in your normal home setting, you feel different, energized and changed. Indeed, you are kicking it clean and sober, but there is something different about the way you walk and talk. Your family notices, your friends notice, and you are starting to notice. What has wilderness therapy done to you? Here are six surefire signs that you attended a wilderness treatment program.

1. You Are a Lean, Mean Eating Machine

You have probably noticed that you dinner plate and snack jars are filled with the good stuff such as fruits and vegetables and the only meat that you are eating is of the lean variety and not grilled at a fast food joint. Because of this change in diet, you are feeling lean, feeling mean and have the energy to take on what the day throws at you. Adopting a healthy diet was a crucial part of the wilderness therapy experience. There were no Starbucks or Subway along the trails or among the bluffs or mountains. You needed a healthy diet in order to have the energy to hike, weather the elements and your peers.

2. You Like Your Exercise a Bit on the Wild Side

Let’s face it, nothing is more exhilarating that getting your exercise on in the great outdoors. Feeling the elements as you hike and climb provides a rush to all the senses, and the feeling you get is better than any drug or drink you have ever taken. While you may love pounding iron at the local gym, you are starting to prefer taking your muscle and cardio building to the bike trails, bluffs and other outdoor locations that surround your neighborhood. Instead of being a spectator to nature, you are using Mother Nature to build a better you.

3. You Can Survive Anything (Well… Almost Anything)

Being one with nature is a deeply uplifting experience, and it also full of challenges. A huge part of wilderness therapy is the development of basic survival skills such as making fire, creating shelter and understanding the dangers of the great outdoors–both animal and natural. Part of learning survival skills is being able to think calmly and being able to improvise. When you are confronted with a stressful situation at home, at work or school, you find yourself taking a step back to assess the situation, and you calmly find ways to resolve the problem.

girl hiking outdoors

4. You Are Uber Responsible

A cornerstone of drug treatment programs across the board is the emphasis on personal responsibility–and this is especially true in wilderness therapy. When you are in the wilderness, there is little margin for error–and even littler margin to slack off. You are being counted on gather food for yourself and the group, make the fire in order to cook the food you gathered and are responsible in doing your part during therapy sessions and various team-building exercises. Now that you are back at home and juggling your day-to-day responsibilities, you make certain that you uphold your obligations by any means necessary.

5. You Are an Expert Communicator

It goes without saying that interpersonal communication is an absolute necessity in order to develop solid friendships and relationships. When you went through wilderness therapy, if you were a wallflower or weren’t very good at getting your point across in a constructive manner you were a quick learner. In order to successfully complete wilderness therapy, you absolutely had to be able to communicate effectively with counselors and field instructors. With what you learned in treatment, you now are better able to communicate with others in a healthy and respectful manner.

6. You Aren’t Afraid to Ask For Help

You may feel pretty badass because you were able to rough it in the great outdoors and were able to pick up some survival skills along the way. While self-sufficiency rocks, you didn’t do it alone. You had the support and encouragement of others as you learned the life and coping skills that you are applying in your daily life. Now when you are faced with a problem that seems too big for you to handle, you know where to turn and who to talk to in order to make things right.

For more information on wilderness therapy and its benefits, be sure to visit Recovery Hub and read more about this exciting therapy option. If you are looking for a wilderness therapy program, the experienced staff at Recovery Hub can help you find the wilderness program that best suits your needs.

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