Using Adventure Therapy to Build Confidence in Sobriety

Confidence is something we all struggle with from time to time. However, for those in early recovery, achieving and maintaining confidence in one’s sobriety can be particularly daunting. One of the many ways individuals can resolve low confidence is by participating in self-growth activities during treatment. More specifically, by using adventure therapy during addiction treatment, individuals can build a strong foundation of confidence and find lasting sobriety. As individuals partake in adventure therapy, they will build confidence not only from the activity itself but also through receiving validation and support from their peers.

At 12 South Recovery, we offer a wide range of therapeutic options, including adventure therapy. We have seen the power of adventure therapy for revealing clients’ personal strengths and weaknesses. This insight can be especially helpful when seeking recovery from mental health disorders and substance use disorder (SUD). By using adventure therapy to heal from mental and emotional distress, an individual can develop greater confidence in their sobriety and the person they are becoming.

The Role of Confidence in Lasting Sobriety

Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey that involves building and maintaining one’s confidence in sobriety. Self-confidence is necessary for lasting recovery. Confidence enables a person to take care of themselves while placing full focus on continued abstinence. Conversely, having little to no self-confidence during recovery can facilitate feelings of depression and worthlessness. These feelings can perpetuate continued substance use and relapse.

Simply put, the more confident a person is in their sobriety, the more likely they are to sustain sobriety. When a person believes that they are worthy and deserving of positive changes, they are more likely to abstain from substance use. Likewise, self-confidence can allow a person to overcome doubt during the moments they feel unmotivated and unsuccessful in their healing.

What Is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy is explained in an article in Frontiers in Public Health. The authors state thatAdventure therapy is defined as programs or services that “utilise outdoor activities and experiential learning exercises to help participants to deal with their psychological problems.”

Adventure therapy is a broad term that encompasses many different types of nature-based, psychotherapeutic activities – such as wilderness therapy, adventure-based therapy, and more – for the treatment of mental health disorders as well as substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction.

Adventure therapy sessions are led by a therapist or other health care professional who provides care to both individual clients and groups of clients. During an adventure therapy session, clients will work together in an attempt to complete or achieve a common goal. Often the goal is related to both nature and physical activity. As a result, participants have the opportunity to benefit from a combination of exercise, nature, and challenging outdoor activities.

Activities Used During Adventure Therapy

Some examples of activities that may be used during adventure therapy include:

  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Rock climbing
  • Biking
  • Skiing

Principles of Adventure Therapy

Regardless of the activity used for adventure therapy, certain key principles are utilized during every adventure therapy session. These include:

  • Frontloading: Identifying the key learning points before beginning an activity or nature experience
  • Sequencing: Tending to the unique and individualized needs of each client and group by gradually harnessing skills based on difficulty levels
  • Debriefing: Providing context to a particular activity or nature experience by discussing the techniques and skills used to foster the desired outcome

Using Adventure Therapy to Instill Confidence in Sobriety

Adventure therapy confers endless benefits for mental wellness. This is especially true for those seeking recovery from mental health disorders and addiction. Incorporating adventure therapy into addiction treatment can allow individuals to develop greater confidence in their sobriety in the following ways:

  • Promoting healthy identity development: Adventure therapy provides participants with the opportunity to engage in self-discovery and skill-building with the aid of both professional and peer support.
  • Encouraging a growth mindset: A growth mindset happens when people embrace personal strengths and weaknesses and accept when a new perspective is needed to achieve the goal at hand.

In addition, adventure therapy can also help individuals maintain confidence in sobriety by:

  • Enhancing communication and socialization skills: Participants work with peers to achieve a common goal. Sessions also enable individuals to build conflict resolution and active listening skills over time.
  • Increasing emotional awareness: Taking part in these activities and discussions encourages emotional vulnerability. The activities utilized during adventure therapy may inform a wide range of emotions. Such activities can allow individuals to develop healthy coping mechanisms in a safe and guided manner.

All in all, adventure therapy can build client self-esteem by enabling individuals to participate in and excel at challenging outdoor activities. Over time, individuals in adventure therapy will learn how to set and achieve goals, work through unexpected obstacles, and persevere when motivation is low. Likewise, such newfound confidence can carry over to other areas of an individual’s life, especially to their recovery journey.

Using Adventure Therapy at 12 South Recovery

At 12 South Recovery, we believe that adventure therapy is an invaluable addition to our substance abuse treatment program. When integrated properly into our clients’ individualized treatment plans, adventure therapy has the power to provide individuals with the skills and confidence they need to maintain lifelong sobriety and recovery.

Those struggling with mental health disorders, SUD, and addiction must seek help as soon as possible to kickstart their recovery. When motivation for healing begins to dwindle, consider using adventure therapy to instill confidence in newfound sobriety.

If you are seeking new techniques to instill confidence in your lifelong sobriety journey, consider incorporating adventure therapy into your treatment plan. Adventure therapy is a broad term that encompasses outdoor activities with unique psychotherapeutic approaches. These guided activities enable healing from the emotional distress of substance use disorder (SUD) and other mental health disorders. From encouraging a growth mindset to promoting healthy identity development and more, adventure therapy can help you build and maintain your confidence in sobriety in endless ways. At 12 South Recovery, adventure therapy is one of the many therapeutic approaches we offer to our clients. To learn more about our outpatient programs and other therapeutic options, call us today at (888) 830-8374.

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