How to Turn Your Recovery Into an Adventure

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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Admissions Question?

If you find yourself among the millions of people who battle with addiction and want to stop, chances are you have questions as to where to start. We’re here to help.

If you struggle with addiction, then you know how isolating and scary it can be. Addiction impacts every area of your life, and when you come to rely on drugs or alcohol, it can feel like you’re losing control of the things that matter most.

The good news is that addiction is treatable. A large majority of addicts never get professional treatment, but those who do undergo therapy often have good outcomes. And contrary to popular belief, addiction treatment isn’t just sober living and hours of mindless therapy sessions. 

Today, many addiction therapies are innovative and non-conventional. More and more treatment centers, including Defining Wellness, are focusing on experiential therapy as a way to help clients build new skills and overcome unique challenges. 

There is a significant amount of evidence to support the fact that experiential therapies, especially adventure-based therapies, can work wonders on the mind, body, and spirit. During recovery, embarking on new adventures can teach recovering addicts a lot about themselves and their emotions.

Why You Should Participate in Adventures During Recovery

When you’re actively abusing drugs or alcohol, it’s difficult to focus on the things that make you a better person. Your substance abuse rules your life and dictates your every move. If you’re currently getting treatment for addiction, or are even considering it, then you’ve made an important first step in your journey to sobriety.

Many people look at recovery as simply getting sober. But in reality, recovery gives you a second chance at life. It gives you an opportunity to live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. That’s why recovery is the perfect time to try new things and go on a few adventures while you’re at it.

Think about the last time you went on a real adventure. It might have been years ago during your childhood, or just last week. But regardless of when it happened, you probably remember how you felt in that moment. Maybe you felt a sense of accomplishment after hiking to the top of a mountain, or you felt confident when you completed a challenging ropes course.

Any adventure or new experience you have helps build you up as a person. It increases your confidence, boosts your self-esteem, and gives you a natural dopamine boost. Adventure therapy provides a mental and physical rush that is a much healthier alternative to drinking or using drugs. That’s why many people pick up new hobbies during recovery that give them a “natural high.”

After you go on an adventure, you can look back and appreciate how far you’ve come. Maybe it was the first time you’ve ever truly stepped outside of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter what issues you’re struggling with, or how old you are. Taking part in adventure therapy is a proven way to boost your mental health, reduce stress, and develop problem solving strategies that you can use in the real world.

Who Benefits From Adventure Therapy?

You might think that the only people who benefit from adventure therapy are natural-born adventure seekers. However, everyone can benefit from adventure therapy in one way or another. Even the shyest and hesitant people can find joy in an exhilarating adventure.

During a new experience or a big adventure, people who suffer from trauma often come face-to-face with their biggest fears and emotional roadblocks. When a new situation tests their mental or physical strength, their immediate reaction might be to lose faith in their ability or talk themselves out of it.

When a person leaves their comfort zone, they are forced to make a choice—either push through or give up. During adventure therapy, a client’s counselors and peers are there to encourage them to keep going during challenging times. As a result, the person becomes mentally stronger and more empowered. They prove to themselves that they are capable of anything.

The lessons learned during an adventure carry over into everyday life. People get the confidence to realize that they can overcome their addiction. It shows them that they have the skills to transform their mindset under pressure. Addiction recovery starts with mental health, and adventure therapy addresses many of the mental obstacles that people face on the road to sobriety.

Types of Adventure Therapy

At Defining Wellness, we offer a variety of experiential and adventure therapy activities. Most of our adventure therapies are done in a group setting, which encourages communication, relationship building, and peer support. 

Clients can take part in rock climbing, a ropes course, stepping stones, and much more. These activities are used to supplement clinical treatment, like individual therapy and medication management.

As clients progress through their recovery journey, they have more free time to spend doing activities they enjoy. Clients in our outpatient program might choose to go on their own adventures, like kayaking in the Barnett Reservation, camp at a nearby state park, or spend a few days hiking in the Mississippi wilderness.

Addiction Recovery at Defining Wellness

Adventure therapy is just one of the unique offerings at Defining Wellness. Clients who enroll in one of our addiction treatment programs also get access to our high-end amenities, like an on-site fitness center, chef-cooked meals, a 5-hole golf course, a meditation garden, and much more.

Many of our clients choose Defining Wellness for our cutting-edge Wellness Lab, which features a variety of technologies that have been shown to improve mental health. We offer several different treatments that improve emotional regulation, including neurobiofeedback, PEMF, and photobiomodulation therapy.

Our goal is to help you break free of addiction, so you can become the strongest, healthiest version of yourself. To learn more about treatment at Defining Wellness, give us a call at (855) 790-9303.

Begin your Recovery Today

If you are ready to take the step towards a new life, call Defining Wellness today and learn more about how we can help you.