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Is Adventure Therapy Just for Adolescents?

Adventure therapy is a treatment method that was originally created to help adolescents with behavioral problems and addictions. In recent years, adventure therapy has been receiving renewed interest for both adolescents and adults alike.

What Is Adventure Therapy?

According to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, adventure therapy (also known as wilderness therapy) includes programs that “combine therapeutic elements with outdoor activities in a natural setting.” These programs are often held in remote locations and can include outdoor activities like camping, rock climbing, and backpacking.

A 2022 study in Campbell Systematic Reviews notes that wilderness treatment was originally developed “in response to the growing demand for rehabilitation programs for youth with problem behaviors during the 1960s and 1970s.” This type of therapy provided innovative treatment that helped young people overcome obstacles through challenging activities in the outdoors.

Benefits of Adventure Therapy

Even though it was originally conceived as adolescent treatment, many studies have highlighted the role of outdoor adventure programs in both youth and adult populations. This type of treatment is also available throughout the country in different adult programs.

Wilderness treatment aims to treat individuals with a wide range of needs that include behavioral issues, mental health disorders, and substance use disorders (SUDs). It combines the therapeutic nature of being in outdoor spaces with challenging activities that can help individuals focus on the present moment.

Adventure Therapy Activities

Most wilderness treatment programs include exercises that teach life and survival skills, as well as teamwork. These activities take place outdoors, often in unfamiliar terrain.

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), key components of adventure therapy programs include “therapeutic camping, rock climbing, wagon train trips,” and overnight solo experiences. These components are similar for both juvenile and adult programs.

Adventure Therapy at The Guest House

At The Guest House, adventure therapy can help treat mental health conditions, trauma, and addiction in the beauty of the great outdoors. A trained adventure therapist will guide you through therapeutic activities like outdoor games, wilderness exploration, and team-based puzzles.

We believe in offering a wide variety of therapies to support every single client’s unique needs. With many different options, you can discover what works best for you and create your own recovery toolkit.

Along with wilderness treatment, we offer other outdoor therapies that can help you re-discover joy in life while connecting to the beautiful world around you. At The Guest House, you can be sure to find innovative ways to support your treatment and your pathway to recovery.

Even though adventure therapy was originally created for struggling adolescents, it has found popularity in adult treatment programs as well. At The Guest House, our adventure therapy program is a fun and exciting way to help you overcome trauma, mental health conditions, and addiction. Our trained adventure therapist will guide you through outdoor activities like wilderness exploration as you learn how to build trust with your peers, solve problems, and gain crucial life skills. We are proud to offer adventure therapy in addition to many other therapeutic modalities. For more information, call us at (855) 483-7800.