How Can Adventure-Based Therapy Help Me Learn Healthy Coping Skills?

How Can Adventure-Based Therapy Help Me Learn Healthy Coping Skills?

Learning new skills is the first step to strengthening your ability to manage stressful situations. Once you’ve learned them, you must utilize opportunities to implement these skills into your daily life. This can be done through various activities that can help challenge you, often with the guidance of a mental health professional. Adventure-based therapy is one way to build new skills and learn new hobbies simultaneously.

Essential Skills You Need to Succeed

Every one of us will experience uncomfortable situations in our lives. Stress, trauma, life changes, illness, and grief are all part of the human experience. How we handle these experiences can significantly influence our mental health and ability to thrive. Luckily, you can develop coping skills and strategies that can help you process negative emotions and navigate difficult times more easily. Examples of coping skills include:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-care skills
  • Mental flexibility skills
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Self-confidence skills

If you have a good set of tools at your disposal, you can better persevere through stressful situations in any area of your life. Working with mental health professionals, like the team at Alter Wellness Care, can be a great way to explore your strengths and develop new skills. Moreover, participating in adventure-based therapy can foster skill-building in a proactive, hands-on way.

What Is Adventure-Based Therapy?

Therapy conducted while participating in outdoor, nature-based activities is known as adventure-based therapy. Common adventure-based therapies include skiing, hiking, rafting, and rock climbing. With the guidance of a professional, participants learn a variety of skills that they will need to utilize to achieve success with any given activity.

Mastering a new skill set is naturally coupled with mental and physical challenges. You can implement different coping skills to overcome these challenges and be successful. A mental health professional can provide a unique outside perspective to this process. They are there to guide you through any negative emotions you have and point out different growth opportunities.

Adventure-Based Therapy and Coping Skills

Participating in adventure-based therapy can help you build a foundation of self-esteem and confidence. If the experience is a group activity like white water rafting, you will have the opportunity to work on skills like teamwork, conflict resolution, collaboration, and communication. You will also be making social connections as you overcome challenges together and share vulnerabilities. 

During independent experiences, you will be able to work on emotional regulation, problem-solving, critical thinking, and mental flexibility. For example, if you are rock climbing and get stuck, you will need to regulate any fear and anxiety you experience at the moment. In addition, you will need to practice your problem-solving skills to figure out what to do next. If you have to try more than one solution, you will be exercising your mental flexibility. 

Most adventure-based therapy will include an opportunity to examine the experience with your therapist afterward. Together, you will draw connections between the challenges you faced during the adventure and other challenges you are facing in your life. You can discuss how to implement the coping skills you are learning from adventure-based therapy into other areas of your life. 

Adventure-Based Therapy and the Eight Dimensions of Wellness

There are eight dimensions of wellness that all work together to influence our well-being. These dimensions include:

  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Physical
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Occupational

Adventure-based therapy can contribute to several components of wellness. Most adventure-based therapy requires you to be physically engaged, and exercise has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health. Further, learning new skills can challenge you intellectually and emotionally. Connecting to nature can feed your spiritual needs, while being in a group setting can help you make social connections. Thus, adventure-based therapy can be a powerful tool for achieving and maintaining overall wellness.

Incorporating Adventure-Based Therapy Into Individualized Treatment Plans

At Alter Wellness Care, we understand that every person is wonderfully unique. We all have our own unique experiences that make us who we are. Unique interests, goals, and strengths also mean that each person will have different needs. When a person comes to us for support, the Alter Wellness team strives to respect their individuality. We work with each client to make an individualized treatment plan that will provide the support they need and fit into their lifestyle.

At Alter Wellness Care, we are dedicated to providing quality mental health care to each of our clients that fosters coping skills for lasting wellness in each of our client’s lives. We have a variety of evidence-based therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Our support groups are focused on psychoeducation, skills development, and interpersonal processing. For more in-depth treatment needs, we have partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). These programs can provide greater access to resources and support that you may need. 

Developing healthy coping skills is an essential part of being successful. Everyone will face situations where they will need to communicate, problem-solve, and believe in their abilities. These are just some coping skills that can help you get through stressful experiences and overcome challenges. Having these skills at your disposal can also help you have stronger mental health resiliency. At Alter Wellness Care, we believe in helping every one of our clients develop the skills they need to navigate their lives successfully. We want to help you feel empowered to achieve your goals. Call our team today at (866) 311-3510 for more information on the mental health resources we can offer you.  

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