Now, more than ever, with our world in a new chapter of uncertainty and routine as we knew it, we are facing change. We seek the often-overlooked gifts of fresh air, sunshine, blue skies, quiet and a glimpse of calm between binge watching Netflix and staying current with coronavirus statistics on the news.
The prescriptive use of adventure experiences by health professionals has shown to result in significant improvements in the regulation of emotions and behavior. Numerous studies point to the many benefits of outdoor experiences, including self-disclosure and awareness and enhanced attention span and problem-solving skills, as well as many brain functions important in the acquisition of a balanced life.
Invigorated by the beauty of nature and the challenges it presents, many develop a lifelong interest in hiking, fishing, birdwatching and other outdoor-oriented hobbies. The weekly outdoor adventures of Back2Basics serve the purpose of keeping the men engaged while testing and challenging them to work as a team in the majesty of varying natural settings, building their curiosity about the world around them and stimulating problem-solving and confidence as they master new skills.
As these young men open up to the new experiences around them, they, in turn, begin to open up to those around them. And, when they are able to share their experiences and issues and hear those experiences and issues mirrored by the group, they begin to feel less self-conscious about joining in the discussion; freed by the realization they are surrounded by others who relate to them.
As time passes, this newfound freedom to express themselves develops into trust and they begin to thrive on the positive feedback that results from their willingness to share the intimate details of their experiences; the depth of their disclosures available now to be explored in their individual therapy sessions.
During these outings, participants are always observed by trained staff, creating opportunities for in-the-moment therapy as the professionals continually assess how the young men are managing their experiences and intervening when appropriate. With the opportunity to talk through issues in real time, they develop strategies for problem-solving and learn how to rely more on themselves, as well as seek out appropriate help from peers and staff when necessary. The experiences are not always easy, and progress is not always linear, much like life. FBN
By Roy DuPrez, M.Ed
Back2Basics Outdoor Adventure Recovery combines residential therapeutic counseling with experiential outdoor adventures to treat individuals with substance and alcohol addiction and lead them through rehab and recovery into long-term sober living. The program is highlighted by spending time in the beautiful, serene wilderness where individuals are physically challenged, their minds are cleared and they learn ways to defeat old addictive thinking patterns through various outdoor adventures. Back2Basics is an adventure recovery program, up to six months, for young adult males from 18-30 with substance abuse issues looking for a positive and meaningful life.