Adventure Therapy at Ozark Trails Benefits Young Teens
Ozark Trails understands that parents want to send a child to a safe, monitored environment where their child receives personal care, and individual therapies that help heal disorders–whether brought on by trauma, adoption or family genetics issues.
And while the young child or teen enrolls our therapeutic boarding school for counseling, treatment, and improving academic/life skills, Ozark Trails also helps boys and girls build trust, improve self-esteem and interpersonal relationships through Adventure Therapy activities.
What is Adventure Therapy at Ozark Trails?
“Adventure Therapy is the prescriptive use of adventure experiences provided by mental health professionals, often conducted in natural settings that kinesthetically engage clients on cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels.” (Gass, Gillis, and Russell, 2012) *1
Adventure therapy provides a therapeutic context during an indoor or outdoor activity where students are given opportunities to apply what they have been learning in individual and group counseling at Ozark Trails.
Parents who express concern over student safety or time wasted outside counseling or teaching sessions need to consider the benefits of enrolling a struggling child or teen at a school that offers Adventure therapy. Current Adventure therapy research reports positive outcomes in improving self-concept and self-esteem, help-seeking behavior, increased mutual aid, pro-social behavior, trust behavior and more.
Benefits of Adventure Therapy *2
• Adventure therapy is a powerful treatment approach for anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, grief, loss, eating disorders, and substance use disorders.
• It is exciting and productive element of family or relationship therapy.
• Adventure therapy has shown to be beneficial for in schizophrenia treatment.
• It is highly beneficial for adolescents, teenagers, young adults, and individuals with various mental health concerns.
Ozark Trails Counsels Teens in Individual, Group and Adventure Therapy
Parents often expect their troubled teens to only receive personal evaluation and treatment by the experienced, licensed therapists at their chosen therapeutic boarding school. Here at Ozark Trails students explore their mental health needs with their therapist in
Individual therapy, the most in-depth form of counseling. But unlike some schools, we offer more than one-on-one therapy sessions.
Group counseling provides a place where our students are able to learn about a wide variety of mental health issues in a group setting including: healthy coping skills, anxiety triggers, anger management skills, healthy self-expression, and leadership skills.
And at Ozark Trails, teens take part in adventure group indoor and outdoor experiences, designed to create real-life metaphorical examples that help the teens understand how their experiences correspond to life at home. Our therapists plan and coordinate sessions for students, knowing how adventure therapy enhances each teen’s counseling experience and ability to change how he or she thinks and acts.
An experienced program director explains the unique effects of Adventure Therapy as, “Instead of sitting through a training session where someone tells you what you need to know, you actually experience it for yourself. “
“An experience creates change that goes beyond the good information you receive,” he adds, “Whether your training involves scary heights or happens in a normal classroom, you can always improve the training by including an experience that allows for self-discovery. It has lasting impact.”
He points out, “There is something powerful about learning the importance of trust while tied to a rope and standing on a power pole, 30 feet off the ground — jumping off while your team holds the other end of the rope is a powerful lesson on trust.”
Adventure Therapy at Ozark Trails Helps Build Relationships
When a young teen boy or girl keeps personal or family issues hidden from others, group and adventure therapy helps them open up and experience healing. Therapists and staff members who accompany them through each day, listen and provide valuable support for learning new ways to think and act.
Through adventure therapy experiences, students also build trust with others, and build relationships while having fun on and off campus, as a team. Because staff and students challenge themselves alongside each other as they ride horses, climb rocks, ride mountain bikes, go skiing or white water rafting, together they can share once in a lifetime experiences, and learn important, life-changing lessons.
That’s why Ozark Trails offers Adventure therapy in addition to Individual and Group therapy. We want each student to experience effective counseling as well as improve daily life at school, and back home with family.