Adventure therapy can help develop a sense of community, build self-esteem, enhance someone’s sense of responsibility, decrease recidivism, and give participants an avenue to talk about problems and growth.
You have probably come across wilderness challenge programs shown on television shows and in published articles, and some television networks even recreate this type of challenge for primetime broadcasting. Wilderness Programs have been given different critiques since the time they were initially introduced. Wilderness challenge programs are also called adventure therapy, and they are generally meant to help young people as well as preteens who are considered to be at risk. Below are some of the effects that are often expected from wilderness challenge courses:
Establish a sense of community
A lot of adventure therapy programs are founded on the concept of developing a sense of community amongst members. A lot of at-risk youth are experiencing a time in their personal lives in which they experience an intense sense of isolation, unfortunately this feeling can be destructive for them. Adventure therapy programs are geared towards giving teens a sense of security through being in a constructive and open community. Team-building activities are standard activities used in attaining this goal.
Among the primary objectives of wilderness challenges is to boost the self-confidence of its participants. It relies on the concept that if teens possess personal respect, they will be less likely to do something dangerous and negative. Activities incorporated into the courses that concentrate on building one’s self-esteem include the rope challenge. Rope challenges make use of different paraphernalia consisting of ropes, just like bridges, walkways and ladders, which are suspended up on trees. Additionally, there are safety nets put together, yet the principal goal for participants is to conquer their fears by navigating through the entire rope challenge. A similar and more common activity is rock climbing.
Enhance the participant’s sense of responsibility
Another goal that wilderness programs work toward is an increased sense of responsibility. Throughout the whole program, members are assigned various duties and functions that will have an effect to the group as a whole. The progress of participants is awarded and recognized. Rewards can be intangible prizes, just like more independence, or material rewards, just like trophies along with other items.
Recidivism is the rate that persons return to incarceration. Wilderness challenge programs attempt to reduce recidivism of its attendees. Research indicates that individuals who engaged in adventure therapy had a recidivism rate of 29%, on the other hand, those who didn’t join had an increased rate of 37%. While the difference between 29% and 37% may or may not be translated into good results, it may be indicative of a measurable development for wilderness challenge participants.
Provide participants a means to share concerns and growth
A lot of wilderness programs include talk therapy. Talk therapy is an excellent way of determining the improvement of the program, how successful it is and and its effects on the participants. Therapists involved in talk therapy help young people understand how the programs are influencing them. Furthermore, it supplies participants a positive atmosphere where they can speak about any issues and concerns that they are undergoing.
Wilderness challenge programs vary in length, but all of them incorporate the essential components of personal responsibility and community involvement.