The disease of addiction is an indiscriminate, all-encompassing affliction. Men and women of all ages, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and regions have fallen under the powerful thrall of alcohol, drugs, and even a number of harmful behaviors. When an individual begins to experiment with substance abuse, he or she is at risk of initiating a profound physical and cognitive transformation. The development of an addiction makes substance abuse the central, primary force of one’s life. Those who develop addictions often sacrifice their physical health, important relationships, financial stability, career and education opportunities, and sometimes even their homes in order to sustain their expensive, daily substance abuse habits.
Fortunately, there is a variety of addiction treatment options available that allow individuals to overcome both the physical and psychological effects of addiction. The majority of addiction treatment programs are constructed on a foundation of psychotherapy and counseling, which are a means of identifying and addressing some of the underlying problems that contributed to the development of addiction in the first place. However, many programs also offer a variety of supplemental and complementary treatments with which patients can customize or individualize their recovery curricula. For teens who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction, a common complementary therapy that’s increasingly available is wilderness substance abuse therapy. The following will offer a concise description of wilderness therapy, focusing on its efficacy as a substance abuse treatment for teens.
What Exactly is Wilderness Therapy?
When most people think of therapy, they imagine a patient lying on a couch, talking about his or her childhood to a psychotherapy. While individual therapy is an important part of addiction recovery, there are many other forms of therapy that address different aspects of addiction. Wilderness therapy is a form of experiential therapy, which means that rather than simply talking, patients will participate in some sort of physical activity or experience. Oftentimes the therapist will make inferences based on his or her observations of the patient who benefits from the activity directly due to it’s being an interactive activity as well as by learning valuable skills.
Wilderness therapy is widely considered to be similar to adventure-based therapy, but wilderness therapy is more specific as it entails taking wilderness expeditions as a means of therapeutic intervention. Moreover, there are many different approaches to wilderness therapy with most of them being considered either survival-based or more a form of outdoor education and social skills-building. In typical wilderness therapy, a group of participants is led into the so-called wilderness where they are instructed on how to live off the land. The goals of wilderness therapy are to help individuals be more self-reliant and independent, learn how to cooperate and work with others, become more social and communicative, and develop problem-solving skills. Depending on the form of wilderness therapy, there are some programs that may coordinate outdoor challenges or competitions, but more often than not the wilderness therapy as a whole is seen as the challenge with individuals having to learn how to adapt to living off the land.
Benefits of Wilderness Therapy for Addicted Teens
Although it has been implemented in programs for individuals of all ages suffering from many different types of afflictions, wilderness therapy is most frequently offered for adolescents, teens, and young adults who are suffering from things like substance abuse, video game addiction, poor social skills, or other mental or emotional problems. The reason that wilderness therapy is often youth-focused is because it’s often considered to be an effective activity for teens to find themselves and develop a better understanding of their identities. Without the distractions of an internet-connected world, teens can focus on their thoughts and feelings while focusing on learning a variety of tactile skills and sharpening their problem-solving skills.
Human beings are capable of many impressive feats, but many teens underestimate the things of which they are capable. In effect, wilderness therapy can become a metaphor for life as teens learning how to create shelters and cook their food in the wilderness. Moreover, being in the unfamiliar wilderness is an opportunity to explore the natural environment and take in the beauties of nature. Over the course of wilderness therapy, teens not only discover themselves and their identities, but they also build confidence, develop an enhanced sense of self-respect and respect of others, and learn about positive decision-making and the consequences of one’s choices.
Free Yourself from the Chains of Addiction with Recovery Hub
There are many different types of therapies that are effective in treating substance abuse disorders and addictions. While some individuals might benefit the most from more clinical treatments and group sessions, others experience optimal results from alternative forms of treatment. If you or someone you love would benefit from learning more about wilderness substance abuse therapy or other forms of treatment, call Recovery Hub today at 1-888-220-4352. Let one of our recovery specialists match you or your loved one to the right treatment program and return to a life of health, happiness, and fulfillment.