When you suffer addiction to drugs or alcohol, many areas of your life suffer. Likewise, it takes many methods of treatment to regain strength, power, and stability in your life. You possibly even suffer conditions that led you into or fueled your addiction, such as trauma, eating disorders, past abuse or mental illness. For all of your circumstances and effects of addiction, recreational therapy provides real hope for healing.
People respond to treatment methods in very different ways. Some do well in talk therapy, while others gain more improvement from experiencing real-world activities. These activities bring long-buried emotions to the surface and teach you about yourself as you participate in tasks or work to overcome challenges. In many ways, recreational therapy gives you hands-on practice in overcoming life problems.
About Recreational Therapy
The recreational therapy uses a wide variety of activities to help people in rehab cope with their mental illness, substance abuse or other life problems. Many of these therapies take place outside, taking advantage of nature’s healing powers. Others take place indoors using exciting and engaging types of recreation.
Florence Nightingale first used recreation in healing in the 1800s. She noted how recreation and the outdoors naturally improve quality of life. By the 20th century, the American Red Cross had adopted these methods, hiring hospital workers specifically for patient recreation.
Today, this type of therapy treats a wide variety of mental illnesses and addictions. Many people seek rehabs for substance abuse treatment that offer forms of recreation they want to participate in.
Why Recreational Therapy Works in Addiction Treatment
Recreation provides natural healing. People engaging in recreational activities let their defenses down. This allows real change to take place. In talk therapy, those defenses may take longer to come down.
In talk therapy, people say what they think their therapist wants or needs to hear. People naturally think too much and often hold back when there is more to discuss. In these ways, individuals exercise too much control over their therapy. This control blocks complete healing.
In recreation, your guard is down. You focus on the activity, not what you need to say or do.
Many recreational activities require you to focus on your actions and move quickly. This means your focus is not on staying one step ahead of your therapist’s thoughts. In recreation, you also connect deeply with your gut instincts and emotions.
Goals of recreational therapy include:
- Improving how you communicate with others
- Focusing on building relationships
- Helping you see when you need to ask for help
- Working on your anger issues
- Grasping your emotions
- Developing team skills
- Providing a sense of achievement
Recreation for Healing in North Carolina
Your treatment goals include overall wellness and healing from your problems of the past, including your addiction. You improve and heal a great deal through recreation, mainly when the activities include therapy goals, peers in recovery and guidance by your therapist.
At The Willows in Fairview, North Carolina, women gain healing through a variety of methods. These methods include recreational therapies of hiking, ropes courses, horseback riding, and gardening. You also achieve healing and relaxation through acupuncture, meditation, and yoga.
Addiction treatment services at The Willows include:
- 25 hours of individual therapy each week
- Residential rehab treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Relationship building
- Trauma therapy
- Strong family focus
- Aftercare and transitional living