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Should I Try Adventure Therapy if I Have a Dual Diagnosis?

Should I Try Adventure Therapy if I Have a Dual Diagnosis?

There are many types of learners who can walk through experiences and gain a different perspective. Therapy is much the same way in that someone can try a type of therapy and enjoy it while another may not get as much enjoyment from the same form. Sometimes the thought of sitting on a couch and sharing thoughts is intimidating, but it may work well for certain types of people. Adventure therapy is one way people are breaking outside the typical mold of therapeutic intervention and seeking ways to dive into therapy that doesn’t involve less talking, more action.

Adventure Therapy  

OKWilderness adventure therapy (WAT) is a way to improve mental health by changing a person’s perspectives. People can learn basic survival skills, coping strategies, and interpersonal skills that are then applied to the people’s lives outside of treatment. The basic premise is that a person can learn more effectively when all senses are engaged in learning. The five main components of adventure therapy include:

  • Engagement as a participant, not a bystander. Rather than watching events unfold, the person is directly involved in the treatment and works cooperatively within a group.
  • Personal motivation matters. Through personal responsibility and involvement, an individual can be motivated to participate in treatment and increase the opportunity for positive, experiential benefits.
  • Experience will be real and meaningful. The activities in adventure therapy can help a person learn the consequences of personal actions and also individual accountability.
  • Personal reflection helps progress through treatment while learning more about strengths, weaknesses, and self-awareness.
  • Activities are relevant to current and future experiences that support learning.

A person with a dual diagnosis should not feel precluded from trying something challenging like adventure therapy. One of the key components of growth is personal ownership of one’s experience. By deciding that a dual diagnosis will not have the last word, a person can take charge of their recovery and set meaningful goals to challenge themselves. Having said that, it will be important to work with a treating physician and recovery support team to make sure an individual feels up to the task of adventure therapy and going out into new experiences with an open mind. Staying healthy mentally and physically (and sober) are very important. The only way to know is to give it a try, which involves finding the right program that has all the things a person needs to be successful including accountability and support.

Adventure therapy is just one way a person can challenge themselves in recovery. If you are struggling to find your way in recovery, call Serenity. Let us help you recover from addiction and seek the resources you need to keep you clean and sober. Whether it’s adventure therapy or something else, we will help you find what you need. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401