Outdoor Adventure Programming Helps Troubled Teens Find Inner Growth
Over the years, we’ve lost touch with nature. Really, up until the development of cities, we were always somewhat interacting with nature–but now things have changed. It’s rare for someone to get daily “green-time” in cities or even in more rural areas. Outdoor adventure programming uses this connection we’ve lost touch with to help troubled teens.
Studies have been confirming that being outdoors isn’t just a leisurely activity; evidence shows it has the power to improve your physical and mental health. Research reveals that being in nature has the ability to lower anxiety and depression and enhance overall wellbeing.
How outdoor adventure programming helps troubled teens
Aside from the multitude of health benefits that engaging in wilderness therapy has to offer, it also helps teens learn important skills for coping with everyday challenges.
Here are some of the reasons outdoor adventure programming helps teens find success and personal growth:
Removal from Everyday Life
The hustle and bustle of everyday life can become exhausting and cloud your son’s path towards health. By removing him from this confusing environment, he’s able to focus closely on his internal struggles.
We’re incredibly influenced our surroundings, especially in adolescence. In detaching your son from peer pressure, social media, and other stress-filled situations of modern life, you’re giving him the time to identify and process underlying causes of his behavioral and emotional struggles.
Natural and Logical Consequences
Many of the students that come to Equinox have issues taking responsibility for their actions. They blame everyone except themselves for their mistakes. For example, let’s say your son gets expelled from school, he may blame this outcome on the school administration instead of recognizing that his inappropriate behavior got him removed.
In outdoor adventure programming, natural consequences for actions become apparent very quickly. The wilderness teaches accountability. If they refuse to bring along their rain jacket, they’ll get wet. If they refuse to put on sunscreen, they’ll get burnt. Nature teaches teens at a very basic level what it means to be accountable for your actions.
Building and Improving Self-Esteem
Outdoor adventure programming activities aren’t meant to just get you in nature, they’re developed to push teens to get out of their comfort zone. They participate in activities many thought they’d never do, like white-water rafting, rock climbing, or backpacking.
Through these wilderness adventures, they’re shown that even though something is challenging, they have the ability to overcome it–and sometimes that even requires someone else’s help as well.
If you believe your son is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.
Equinox is here to help your son
Equinox RTC is a residential treatment center for teen boys, ages 14 – 18. Our students often need help with depression, anxiety, trauma, drug use, and other behavioral or emotional issues.
We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment. At Equinox, teenagers work towards building accountability, respect, and a solution-oriented approach to solving their challenges.