8 activities you’ll likely experience in outdoor adventure therapy
When it comes to addiction, we believe there should be more to recovery than therapy and abstinence. These things are obviously important and lay the groundwork for your sobriety, but getting it to stick means going deeper and developing the strong bonds, coping skills and habits that will help you meet any challenges that lie ahead.
At Choice House, we accomplish this by integrating experiential and outdoor adventure therapies into our recovery curriculum, giving men a unique opportunity for healing with a variety of fun activities. Whether you’re an avid nature lover or you prefer the comfort of your own home, combining outdoor adventures with therapy can help you gain an increased understanding of yourself and others for a more balanced, healthy lifestyle.
If you’re not convinced yet, here are some of the activities you can expect to find in outdoor adventure therapy and how they’ll help you further your recovery.
Choice House clients have the unique opportunity to go hiking or backpacking in the Rocky Mountains and explore a wide variety of locations, parks and landscapes. Hiking trails are abundant and available for all skill levels, with easier treks around Boulder Creek path to more challenging hikes through the Flatirons or Flagstaff Mountains.
With some of the best hiking spots around, we frequently hit the trails to take advantage of all the benefits it can provide in recovery. Hiking is a regular part of our treatment programming that helps reduce stress, curb anxiety, and foster healthy relationships.
Boulder county is home to many areas that are perfect for mountain biking. Beginners can hit the trails at Mud Lake or Marshall Mesa, while those up for a challenge can head to Walker Ranch or one of many other tracks for more advanced riders. No matter which trails you end up on, you’ll be surrounded by trees and incredible mountain vistas.
While mountain biking, you’ll gain the opportunity to find your rhythm and get lost in the moment as you navigate the terrain. By getting in the zone, you’ll be able to leave intrusive thoughts behind and stay focused, mindful, and present. We’ve found this helps clients build distress tolerance and become more confident in their ability to take on new challenges.
Nothing says summer like camping in the woods or mountains. It allows you to unplug, unwind and get away from the bustle of everyday life. Spending some time outdoors while camping has been found to provide a number of benefits for people of all ages, including increased physical activity, the development of new skills, a chance to reconnect with nature, and meaningful opportunities to face real-life challenges.
At Choice House, camping is also all about responsibility, teamwork and communication, helping individuals foster strong relationships and learn healthier coping skills that will serve them well throughout their recovery. Even those who aren’t the “outdoorsy” type can reap the benefits of outdoor and wilderness therapies like camping.
Colorado is known for its mountains, but it’s also full of lakes, rivers and creeks that provide the perfect opportunity to get out on the water. At Choice House, you might find us kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding in the summer to cool down. For the more adventurous, Boulder county has some of the best rivers for whitewater rafting, while Boulder Creek offers tubing and a wading pool area for those who prefer something a little calmer. Either experience can help you relax, reset and let loose, providing relief from the stressors that often build up during the recovery process.
Boulder county has a number of rock climbing opportunities due to an abundance of state and national parks that preserved the nearby mountain ranges. We often take advantage of this in the summer and fall so clients can experience the rush of overcoming obstacles that stand in their way. With plenty of unique formations and walls around, both novice and experienced rock climbers will feel challenged as they scale upward. Rock climbing is a great way to build confidence and learn how to trust yourself again as you try something new.
skiing / snowboarding
At Choice House, outdoor adventure therapy occurs year-round. During the winter months, you’ll have the opportunity to go downhill skiing or snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, take a scenic snowshoe trek through the woods, or relax in one of the nearby hot springs. There’s no shortage of activities thanks to the area’s numerous parks and trails.
Whether you already know how to ski or not, you’ll have a chance to challenge yourself and practice mindfulness, patience and resilience on the slopes. Beginners will build their confidence as they improve, while more experienced skiers can gain valuable leadership and coaching skills by helping others succeed.
Sometimes, we crave more low-key activities that provide a relaxing experience. Fishing trips fit the bill perfectly but still require enough focus and awareness that can take your mind off stress or internal conflict. Boulder creek is a prized area for spin fishing or fly fishing, where you can spend the day angling for brown trout, rainbow trout or brook trout. There are also numerous ponds, lakes and reservoirs nearby with muskies, bass, or perch, depending on your preferences.
Hiking, camping and day trips in the mountains or woods provide plenty of therapeutic opportunities for men in recovery, but wilderness excursions take things up a notch to promote greater healing from addiction and co-occurring disorders. This involves leaving familiar surroundings and getting out of your comfort zone while participating in a variety of activities that promote resilience, adaptability and personal growth.
At Choice House, we organize 4-day wilderness excursions every six weeks as part of our regular treatment programming. It occurs in groups to provide a bonding experience and encourage cooperation, trust and support among participants.
ready to get out and explore?
Recovery is a lifelong pursuit that takes courage and patience to maintain, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be exciting from time to time. That’s why we strive to provide a range of unique modalities that go above and beyond to help men overcome addiction. With the Rocky Mountains in our backyard, our treatment programming harnesses the healing power of nature by utilizing outdoor adventure therapy, which has a positive effect on all aspects of the recovery process. It enhances emotional and behavioral functioning, builds confidence, and reminds participants how to have fun again without drugs or alcohol.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can get help by calling Choice House admissions in Boulder, Colorado, at 303-578-4977, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.