Wilderness therapy is a therapeutic intervention that utilizes nature as a backdrop, and adventure and exploration as a tool for growth and self-discovery. Wilderness programs exist in different forms, and there are other programs out there that use this model. First Steps Recovery focuses on framing addiction treatment through the lens of who the addict is outside of their addiction, and there is no better place to examine this than in a majestic setting like the Sierra Nevada mountains.
We believe that our wilderness therapy treatment is one more way we can give our clients the very best in addiction treatment that focuses not just on treating the addiction but on treating the whole person. This approach helps us create a program that is unique and effective.
In conjunction with the many other treatment modalities that our program offers, we also feature an outdoor therapy program. This works together with other aspects of our treatment plans, such as wellness and recreation. Our facility is set in an environment that offers us unique opportunities to create programs that allow our clients to experience the abundant gifts nature has to offer.
Wilderness therapy is another example of a treatment strategy that doesn’t just focus on the addiction but on the whole person. There is more to addiction than just using drugs. There is a host of other issues and challenges that the addicted person must address in order to recover. Unaddressed issues and a lack of basic skills can lead to relapse later on. One way to help clients deal with these challenges is to confront them head-on in a unique environment that allows them to build their strengths and skills.
Clients often enter treatment with some common issues: Low self-esteem, learned helplessness, poor communication skills, difficulty taking responsibility, anger, anxiety, depression, and a lack of leadership skills. It is important that these issues are addressed so that the client can move on in life and experience success. Activities that can build these skills are an important part of addiction treatment.
People make the most dramatic changes when they are out of their element, when they are uncomfortable, and when they are put in a situation where they have no choice but to problem solve, cooperate and make decisions. This is where wilderness therapy comes in.
Groups led by experienced counselors go out to explore the beautiful, rugged, and at the same time serene grounds of the Sierra Nevada mountains, an area of unrivaled beauty and scenic wonder. Either by boating on the lake, or sitting down underneath the cover of gigantic pine trees, our clients have the opportunity to explore who they were, who they are, and where they want to go.
There is something about getting outside in beautiful surroundings that help heal the mind and spirit and helps build a real sense of community. People learn to trust and depend on each other, perhaps for the very first time.
Counselors are on hand to help when things come up, and they often do. This is a good thing, and conflict resolution, assertiveness, patience and impulse control are all a part of the experience and skills practiced.
Wilderness therapy is a valuable addition to our list of therapies offered at First Steps. Used in conjunction with individual therapy, group counseling, art therapy, music therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more, we are able to provide our clients with a treatment program that helps heal and transform. Recovery is a process, and it is not just about abstinence.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, First Steps can help. Our program can help you overcome your addiction and reclaim your life. Call 1-844-BIG-STEP.
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Music therapy in a drug treatment setting utilizes music and various forms of musical expression in order for clients to self‐reflect as well as to assess where they are at right now and where they want to be in their recovery.
Physical wellness plays a huge part in the success of recovery. Maintaining a healthy weight, and getting the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, and proteins are all essential to repairing the damage done by drugs and alcohol.
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