You may be wondering what outdoor activities have to do with recovering from addiction. These outdoor activities typically include, but are not limited to, yoga, meditation, sports, art, caring for animals, walking through nature, etc. You may think that outdoor activities are just another way for drug treatment facilities to make extra money. The reality is that outdoor activities serve a significant purpose in the therapeutic process. If you are exploring drug treatment facilities, you should definitely consider the ones who provide therapeutic activities outdoors.
Outdoor therapy serves a variety of purposes:
• Experiential Therapy
Experiential therapy is all about doing, not talking. Almost all outdoor therapeutic activities fall under the category of experiential therapy. Talk therapy can get monotonous, which can backfire by making clients think that recovery is boring and not worth it. Talking is not the only way that people can reveal and learn to cope with feelings. Engaging in various activities can reveal feelings that clients may not even be aware of.
• Socialization in Soberiety
Culture makes it seem like people, especially young people, cannot have fun without alcohol, other drugs, or engaging in risk behavior. That cultural message cannot be further from the truth. Unfortunately, that cultural message hinders many addicted individuals from pursuing and maintaining recovery. Outdoor therapeutic activities help addicted individuals realize that they can socialize and have fun in recovery. The activities hat require teamwork (e.g. sports) show that people can foster even closer bonds without alcohol or drugs.
• Discovery of Healthy Hobbies
Addiction is all about dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released when engaging in a pleasurable activity. Recovering individuals must learn how to keep their dopamine levels up in new ways. Outdoor therapeutic activities help those individuals discover new hobbies that can occupy them and provide them with a natural high. Sunlight in also healthy in lifting people’s spirits because it boosts serotonin and levels of Vitamin D and K.
Outdoor Therapy as a Holistic Treatment
The word “Holistic” means addressing all areas. Decades ago, rehab was simply a hospital where clients went to eat, sleep, and talk. Rehab drop-out rates were high, and success rates were low. The reasons were people were bored by what getting into recovery entailed and the treatment centers were not addressing the whole facet of issues that come with addiction.
In 1986, addiction treatment was revolutionized in Florida by Sid Goodman. Sid Goodman realized that putting addicted individuals in treatment centers that resembled hospitals was not effective in treating addiction. He opened up a treatment center where he had clients living on a residential complex that allowed plenty of outdoor time. Almost every study has showed that Goodman’s Florida Model is significantly more effective than the hospital model. Since then, treatment centers all over the world have emulated. The fact that outdoor time addresses the psychological, social, physiological components of addiction makes it the most holistic form of therapy.
What Treatment Centers to Look For
You may be wondering which treatment centers you should be looking at for outdoor therapy. The good news is that these type of treatment centers exist all over the country, not just in the warm states. State-funded facilities most likely will not offer many outdoor therapies because they have limited funding and not as much experience in treating addiction. Your best bet is a reputable private, for-profit treatment facility.
When looking into a private, for-profit treatment facility, you should look for one that has received an accreditation of excellence. The best accreditation a treatment centers can have is Joint Commission Accreditation. It should have a list of their therapy methods online and philosophy. The facility’s living quarters should be separate from the buildings where therapy takes places, which allows the clients to have even more outdoor time.
The Summit Wellness Group is located in Roswell, Georgia. We offer a variety of therapeutic activities to heal the mind, body, and spirit. Our core belief is that “It’s not the summit that we must conquer, but ourselves.” We will provide you with the tools to have the strength to conquer your addiction. If you are interested in The Summit Wellness Group, call us today at (770) 299-1677.