Many people who struggle with substance abuse have suffered physical, mental, and emotional consequences of their addiction. Because of this, treatment centers strive to offer therapy types that help clients find healing across all areas of their life.
Recreational therapy is a form of alternative treatment that presents recovery principles in an interactive setting. Through team-building activities and outdoor sports, clients learn skills that include self-awareness and conflict-resolution.
At Swift River, we offer a blend of traditional therapies and recreational therapies. This multifaceted treatment approach is designed to help clients overcome drug and alcohol addiction.
What Is Recreational Therapy?
Recreational therapy utilizes physical activity to introduce clients to recovery principles. The overall goal of recreational therapy is to build a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and positive communication among clients.
Recreational therapy at Swift River includes activities such as:
- certified yoga instruction
- disc golf
- YMCA gym membership
- mountain biking
Swift River also offers an on-site ropes course, which fosters trust and helps clients practice constructive communication. As clients encounter various challenges within the ropes course, they learn to resolve conflict in creative ways.
Ropes courses can also be a positive way for clients to learn to ask for help. To solve the course’s problems, clients offer their own ideas while also relying on the strength of their peers.
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What Are The Benefits Of Recreational Therapy?
Recreational therapy sessions are designed to get clients moving, both physically and intellectually. Addiction can take a toll on a person’s relational and communication skills, but working together in teams helps to strengthen these social assets.
This form of therapy allows clients to engage with recovery in a non-clinical atmosphere. The physical activity involved in recreational therapy is also designed to promote dopamine and serotonin release.
Sometimes referred to as the brain’s “feel-good” hormones, these chemical messengers help clients feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement about their choices.
By engaging in recreational therapy, clients experience what it’s like to have fun without drugs or alcohol.
Additional benefits of recreational therapy at Swift River include:
- physical exercise
- problem-solving skills
- opportunity for team-building
- extended time in nature
- enhanced self-knowledge
- chance to form healthy social bonds
- increased leadership skills
- practice identifying emotions
Clients may not even realize that the recreational activity is a form of therapy until after the session is complete. After the therapy session, therapists may lead a short discussion to debrief with the group.
These debriefing sessions allow treatment staff to highlight the therapeutic benefits of the session and also give clients a chance to form thoughtful responses.
Managing Emotions In Recreational Therapy
Another benefit of recreational therapy is learning to manage emotions. For many people, drugs and alcohol have become their sole way to deal with the stressors of life. Without substances, they may be feeling unsure how to handle everyday emotions.
Recreational therapy provides a safe and supportive atmosphere in which to manage these emotions.
If conflicts arise during the session, clients learn to deal with them in a healthy manner. After the activity, therapists help guide clients toward valuable lessons of self-awareness.
Additionally, recreational therapy provides clients with stress-management techniques. Clients learn to take their stress to the tennis court or hiking trail instead of stuffing the emotions and using substances to cope.
The skills and coping mechanisms taught in recreational therapy can benefit clients long after they have completed treatment. For this reason, recreational therapy is an integral part of our addiction treatment at Swift River.
Is Recreational Therapy At Swift River Right For Me?
When a person stops using drugs and alcohol, they may feel overwhelmed with all the things they want to change about their life.
People who are looking for recreational therapy for addiction treatment in Massachusetts can find the help they need at Swift River.
Our recreational therapy program provides a structured way for clients to find innovative solutions to tough problems.
Swift River is located in the perfect area for an immersive recreational therapy experience. Nestled in the Berkshire Mountains, our treatment facility is surrounded by protected Massachusetts woodlands.
In addition to recreational therapy in a natural environment, our treatment program offers services that include:
- medical detoxification
- cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- sober-living skills
- outdoor-based treatment
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- continuing care and aftercare programs
Research has found that recreational therapy makes it easier for people to enjoy activities and social interaction without drugs or alcohol. This reduces a person’s chance of relapse and sets them up for a successful, long-term recovery.
For more information on recreational therapy at Swift River, contact a treatment specialist today.
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse — Recovery
- U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health — Effects of a therapeutic camping program on addiction recovery. The Algonquin Haymarket Relapse Prevention Program.