Adventure Therapy

Adventure therapy is a form of experiential psychotherapy in which participants complete challenging activities within a safe and closely supervised environment. Ropes courses, problem-solving activities, wilderness experiences, and trust-based activities are all examples of common forms of adventure therapy.

Adventure Therapy on our Challenge Course

At Sierra Tucson, patients have the opportunity to participate in adventure therapy via 16 elements on our challenge course, as well as numerous indoor adventure therapy activities.

  • The challenge course and adventure activities provide the perfect opportunity to face interpersonal issues.
  • Here, patients gain a heightened awareness about behavior and consequences, acceptance, and trust.
  • They also may discover personal limitations or that they have greater reserves of strength, capabilities, and courage in the process.

Part of All Sierra’s Treatment Programs

Adventure therapy is part of all regular treatment programs at Sierra Tucson, with patients typically participating in a therapeutic adventure activity once a week. These are all group activities, though some have an individual component to them that requires the rest of the group to be verbally encouraging and supportive to one member.

Many of the activities are low-impact team-building exercises, like catching and tossing or passing objects through a maze. Other activities are centered on solving problems, which is especially useful for chronic pain patients who have limited mobility.

Adventure Therapy at Sierra is Voluntary

Though effective adventure therapy is accomplished in a safe, nurturing, and closely supervised environment, some patients may still be hesitant to participate. Those who prefer not to participate always have the option of sitting out a particular activity and just observing if they do not feel comfortable participating.

Our Therapeutic Recreational Activities Program is designed to promote recovery and encourage our patients to pursue healthy lifestyles after their time in residential treatment.

Therapeutic Recreation Assessment

Each patient at Sierra Tucson receives a Therapeutic Recreation Assessment, which is used in planning activities to enhance the patient’s treatment process and to facilitate continuing care recommendations pertinent to recovery. The attending physician assesses the patient’s appropriate level of activity throughout the course of treatment.

Benefits of Therapeutic Recreation

In addition to the many therapeutic benefits that can be gained from participating in these activities, therapeutic recreation also allows patients to discover new and productive ways to fill their leisure hours or to process stresses and pressures. For individuals who previously spent much of their days acquiring and using drugs — or who responded to stress by engaging in self-harming activities — learning healthy new pursuits can be a key element in promoting recovery and preventing relapse.

Types of Therapeutic Recreation

The following are examples of the innovative and effective therapeutic activities that we use to help our clients address their unique needs and meet their personal goals. Because of the individualized nature of treatment at Sierra Tucson, participation in these activities is determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Adventure Therapy & Challenge Course
  • Climbing Wall
  • Creative Expression
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy
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