(Outdoor & Experiential Therapy)

Recreation Therapy is widely regarded as an essential piece of addiction recovery. Becoming more physically healthy allows clients to become mentally healthy as well. One actually cannot exist without the other! Most clients have a trauma history that either drives their addiction or they experienced trauma in the drug world which is usually very dangerous and chaotic. For self defense, clients often dissociate from their physical bodies, as well as their spiritual selves. They do not trust others and for good reason! The people they have associated with were not trustworthy.

Certified Recreation Therapists create opportunities and experiences for clients to facilitate the changing of a number of maladaptive behaviors and coping skills. For example, through a simple activity of a Ropes Course, which requires risk taking, trust in fellow program members including staff, team building, asking for help from others, physical activity, goal-oriented tasks, stepping out of comfort zones and relying upon others for help, we can undo years of problematic behaviors and defenses.

Most addicts come from a using world of suspicion, hostility, distrust, dishonesty, self-reliance and danger. The thought of asking another addict for help or assistance does not make sense to them, and in fact feels very unsafe. During a Recreation Therapy activity, we safely allow the client to feel the mind body connection, to reach out and to begin to develop a sense of personal safety and accomplishment. They learn that asking for help does not equate weakness or vulnerability. They learn that you can be self-reliant, strong and accomplished and ask others for help at the same time. They learn group problem solving, trusting others and how to recognize compulsive/addictive behaviors in themselves and others.

A lot of our clients have a trauma past and Recreation Therapy allows them to see that they can protect themselves physically and emotionally without going to extremes of “flight, freeze or fight”. They learn they can communicate effectively, ask for what they need and want and still stay safe. Emotional and often physical safety is one of the biggest relapse issues for clients. With Recreational Therapy, we have them explore and reconnect with their bodies so they can trust in their instincts and their physical capabilities.

Even a simple work-out with free weights or some kind of aerobic exercise can allow clients to reconnect with the physical body. Yoga, which employs mindfulness and reconnection with not only the physical but the spiritual self is a wonderful tool for recovery.

Recreation Therapy is an invaluable tool for therapists as well. They are able to see firsthand in the course of the experiences, where the trust issues are, where potential trauma the client may not have disclosed is, and how each individual handles stress and reliance upon others. The therapist can then use the observations to guide and shape the individualized treatment plan to address any issues, and develop not only a therapeutic plan but a therapeutic recreational plan to further address those skills that need building in order to re-enter the community in as healthy way as possible.

Our Drug Rehab participates in many various activities! One we are proud to talk about is our association with the sober softball league. We usually always place within the top three on a regular basis. We also utilize the great outdoors. Our residential treatment centers are located in the amazing mountains where it is a recreational paradise. Give us a call and see how our recreational program fits in to your treatment needs! (949) 386-2715