Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process. It starts the minute you seek help for your addiction or maybe check into a detox program and continues after you are discharged from the rehab facility.
There’s this misconception that life in recovery is all work and no play. That you always have to focus on the 12-steps or your recovery goals to the exclusion of everything else. However, the perception that recovery is glum and dull keeps many men from seeking treatment.
Men who have been socialized to use drugs or alcohol to relax and have fun have a hard time seeing life without these substances. In their minds, you need to be high to have fun. This is the attitude and perception that we at the Robert Alexander Center are trying to change through our adventure program.
What is an Adventure Program?
The purpose of our adventure program in Kentucky is to help men realize that life can still be fun without relying on alcohol or drugs. Unlike an intensive outpatient or outpatient program, adventure therapy involves integrating outdoor activities with standard talk therapy. Clients are presented with a variety of outdoor obstacles and challenges as part of their addiction treatment. They may go camping, ATV riding, white-water rafting, hiking, or mountain climbing, among others. While physically demanding, adventure therapy can also be emotionally and mentally rewarding for those in recovery.
After a day outdoors, our therapists and facilitators then gather around the participants and lead them in a group session. Here they reflect on the day they’ve had and address any issues that have come up in relation to their recovery goals.
How Can an Adventure Program Help?
Adventure programs have been in use for years around the country and have proven effective when incorporated into individualized addiction treatment programs. We decided to use sober adventures as a way of reaching clients who were looking for a unique addiction treatment experience.
When we take our clients outdoors and immerse them in nature, they also get to reflect on their personalities and habits. We have found that the challenging activities that are part of a sober adventure often provide our clients with valuable insight into their mental and emotional state. Such adventure programs can easily be combined with group or family therapy for all-round healing.
Here are some of the ways adventure therapy helps men:
- It removes them from the negative and toxic environment that contributed to their addiction and shows them that they can have fun and excitement in recovery.
- As they participate in challenging outdoor activities, they get to work on their confidence, resilience, and team-building skills. They learn to interact and cooperate with others in a sober environment.
- Most men find it easier to open up to each other or their therapists when they are exercising and enjoying time in nature. These activities help them relax and seem more informal than standard talk therapy.
Get in touch with the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery in Kentucky to learn more about our adventure program.