If you have a 13 to 18-year-old son or daughter with a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as autism or asperger’s, and they struggle with emotional or behavioral issues, you might feel like you’ve exhausted all your resources. Finding a way to deal with these issues in a way that complements your child’s neurodevelopmental disorders can be challenging.
Adventure therapy is one approach that has been proven to be extremely effective for people regardless of age and circumstance.
Adventure Therapy could be the answer
Outdoor adventure therapy is an experiential therapeutic model that takes places students in outdoor activities beyond the realms of their comfort zone. Combined with therapy, group activities and reflection this model has been shown to be an effective intervention for youth
The benefits of a hands-on experience
The student is an active participant in their treatment. Because adventure therapy is hands-on, the student is literally and figuratively working through their problems. This gives them a sense of ownership in their recovery and opens new opportunities for self discovery.
This sense of ownership and responsibility fosters personal motivation to further active involvement in their own treatment, thus increasing opportunities for positive experiential benefits.
The activities in adventure therapy simulate real world consequences. Daily students are put in situations where they can clearly see the consequences of their actions. They not only learn how their choices affect themselves, but also the impact that is had on other people and throughout the group.
“The goal of adventure therapy is to bring about positive behavioral changes by helping participants recognize the natural consequences of their actions. Because adventure therapy takes people outside their comfort zone, participants must commit their full effort and attention on the task at hand. This helps them become more aware of their behaviors, thoughts and feelings, which empowers them to change their responses.” – CRC Health Group
A vital component of the adventure therapy model is situational and self reflection. Participants are regularly given opportunities to reflect on themselves and situation both privately, such as a solo walk or journaling, and as part of a group, often through an activity or a simple discussion.
Future and past
Everything learned while in adventure therapy is meant to be applicable to both the students past and future. They will leave the woods not only healed and with a better understanding of the past, but will also be equipped with tools and self awareness needed to deal with future events.
“These adventures are purposely designed to be fun and challenging, but not overly stressful. Most of all, all adventures are intended to be therapeutic for the students. They provide a hands-on learning experience, most likely unparalleled to anything experienced before.” –Seven Stars
Seven Stars can help!
If you have a 13 to 18-year-old son of daughter struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder, Seven Stars might be able to help. Call us, at 844-601-1167, today for more information on our adventure therapy program and how we can help.