Huntington Creek Recovery Center has been a trusted provider of experiential-based therapies for addiction and co-occurring disorders since 1972. Our wilderness-based therapy provides an alternative therapeutic option for men and women who are struggling with co-occurring and substance use disorders.
Therapeutic Benefits of Nature
In recent decades, several studies have given statistical support to what centuries of anecdotal evidence had strongly suggested: There is much to be gained from spending time in nature.
For individuals who are recovering from substance abuse, chemical dependency, and certain co-occurring conditions, wilderness and other nature-related experiences offer many benefits, including the opportunity to make therapeutic progress, re-establish a healthy connection with themselves and the world around them, and develop productive ways to spend leisure hours that were previously devoted to acquiring, using, and recovering from alcohol or other drugs.
At Huntington Creek Recovery Center, we are proud to offer a variety of wilderness activities and other outdoor opportunities for the men and women who are entrusted into our care. Elements of our outdoor programming include team-building exercises, trust workshops, and activities that are designed solely to emphasize the fun that an individual can experience while in recovery.
When patients first enter residential treatment for addiction, they often have concerns about what their lives will be like within the traditional clinical setting that many treatment centers offer. To allay these concerns, as well as to ensure that our patients have the opportunity to live and work in a variety of healing environments, we have set up a few outdoor group areas in prime locations, such as next to the water, and in the forest.
Within these outdoor group areas, individuals who are participating in group therapy can benefit from the soothing and relaxing sights and sounds of nature while addressing the important yet sometimes difficult topics that will prepare them to successfully achieve long-term recovery.
In keeping with our emphasis on active participation and patient-centered care, teamwork activities incorporate individuals in treatment at all phases of the process, from conception and design through implementation. Patients who participate in outdoor teamwork activities meet with our outdoor program director to brainstorm ideas, develop a plan for special projects they would like to complete as a part of their treatment, and identify the materials and other elements that will be necessary in order to turn the projects from an idea into reality.
Among the many benefits of teamwork activities are that the entire process gives patients a sense of purpose and accomplishment. They are able to work together, and most importantly, learn to live and function without the need to abuse alcohol or other drugs.
Trust walks occur within outdoor groups. These experiences involve one patient being blindfolded and led through a path in the woods, guided only by the sound of his or her partner’s voice. This exercise is processed with patients by discussing the importance of trust, sponsorship in recovery, and following directions. We also relate being blindfolded to limitations that men and women place upon themselves while in active addiction, and how an effective relationship with one’s sponsor can lead to continued success in recovery.
Many experts have documented the many benefits planting and caring for flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Gardening has been associated with decreased stress levels, increased relaxation, and overall improvements in quality of life. At Huntington Creek Recovery Center, gardening is one of the many therapeutic team-building activities that provide patients with both general insights and specific skills that they can take with them when they complete treatment and return home.
We always appreciate the opportunity to take off-campus field trips with the men and women who are healing at Huntington Creek Recovery Center. Depending upon the interests and capabilities of the individuals in treatment, field trips may involve movies, hiking, rock climbing, miniature golf, salon visits, and a host of additional engaging and invigorating experiences.
To learn more about wilderness-based therapy, outdoor activities, or any other aspect of treatment at Huntington Creek Recovery Center, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to speaking with you, answering all of your questions, and helping you make the most informed decision for yourself or on behalf of a loved one.