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What is adventure therapy?

Adventure therapy programs have lasting benefits.

What is adventure therapy?

Adventure therapy, or wilderness therapy, is one of the key components to the Ozarks Teen Challenge Program. Today, we’re going to explain the ins and outs of adventure therapy and give some examples of team activities your teen may be participating in while at Ozarks Teen Challenge.

Adventure therapy took hold during the early 1960’s and has been used for about four decades now. These kinds of therapy programs can be both recreational and therapeutic and utilize a mixture of physically and physiologically demanding activities to encourage teamwork, collaboration, communication and trust-building. As you can imagine, adventure therapy is great for teen boys who typically have an abundance of energy, enjoy the challenge that sports provide, and gain increased self-esteem and a sense of camaraderie that will last a lifetime.

Adventure therapy is an active approach to mental and physical wellness, combining wilderness-based team activities like recreational sports, hiking, camping, team marathon runs and fishing. This special form of therapy allows teens the chance to experience true teamwork and bolster self confidence with encouraging words and actions from others.

Of course, this isn’t boot camp and physical and mental tasks will vary based on the individual. We understand that every teen is different and a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the best way to address and encourage the overall well being of an individual.

Many valuable skills can be gleaned from adventure therapy including (but not limited to):

  • strategic thinking
  • leadership
  • cooperation
  • respect
  • perseverance
  • hard work

Many of the team activities your teen will experience throughout their wilderness therapy program demonstrate real life situations and choices that are sure to arise later in life, and through those situations, your teen will learn to make valuable decisions while learning from both the good and bad.

Some also argue that the experience of being in nature is healing in and of itself. We foster an environment of grace and love, as Christ would have it, and it’s important to remember and cherish the things that stir our affections for Christ. As our students at Ozarks Teen Challenge learn about Jesus and grow in their relationship with him, a nurtured relationship with both nature and God can bring about positive behavioral changes and peace of mind.

If you’ve never experienced the power of adventure therapy, feel free to browse our website for more information or give us a call if you have additional questions. We’d love to share more information with you and show you how adventure therapy can help heal your family and son during this transitional period.

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