Adventure and Recreational Therapy at Equinox
The Equinox Adventure Therapy program is designed to provide our students with well-rounded, meaningful learning opportunities through outdoor recreation, experiential education, and community service and events. Our program creates a culture that fosters the development of strong, positive identities among young men and strongly challenges old ways of being and thinking. As they develop and learn alongside one another, they form trusting, caring relationships.
We use Adventure and Recreation Therapy to enhance physical, cognitive, social, and emotional well-being so that students may participate fully and independently in chosen life pursuits. As a part of the multidisciplinary team, our Recreation Therapist aligns treatment goals with that of other disciplines and uses various recreational modalities to achieve them.
Operating in Western North Carolina gives us immediate access to a magnificent and challenging outdoor classroom. Our adventure therapy program for boys provides opportunities to gain proficiency in a wide range of outdoor recreation skills including rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, biking, and camping.
We Focus on Four Main Methods:
How Adventure Therapy Helps
Through Adventure and Recreational Therapy our students can not only find confidence in their identity, but they can also gain new perspectives about interests and hobbies that they may pursue in the future. We emphasize living in the moment and focusing on the journey, not just the destination. Recreation Therapy is an experientially based playground for practicing and developing skills and assets needed on that journey.
Through this process, our students become more informed and active participants in their own health care and may achieve and maintain optimal levels of physical activity, productivity, well-being, and quality of life. Students learn how to help reduce symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety while building confidence and socialization in their community. As advocates for healthy lifestyles, we believe that implementing recreation into the lives of these young men and into your lives as their families will provide wonderful benefits to your relationships with each other.
How We Use Adventure Therapy
Recreational activities are implemented into the weekly schedule at Equinox. We do this for a number of reasons including having healthy fun, a diversion from traditional schooling, skill learning and experience, and building relationships of trust and cohesion. Most importantly, we want our students to be exposed to a variety of healthy activities that can assist them in the development of their identity, self-confidence, and social skills.
Each week our students participate in an experiential education group that brings therapeutic concepts to life. Experiential groups focus on DBT concepts, social skills, leadership, emotional regulation and relationships, and competency. Lessons are then integrated into weekly off-campus activities and community service to provide a context for students to apply these skills in real-life settings.
Every quarter our students participate in an overnight camping trip, providing an opportunity to apply the outdoor skills they learn and to challenge the individual and team in a setting that may be outside their comfort zone. These activities often seen in summer camps are commonly used in our program to inspire growth. Outdoor challenges provide an excellent medium for building self-esteem and strong relationships. Our goal is for our students to leave Equinox with healthy, life-long interests and skills.
Our Location Lets Us Maximize our Impact
Being located in the mountains of North Carolina allows us to utilize our Adventure Programming to the maximum. It provides our students the perfect place to unplug from society and focus on internal growth through achievable challenges that nature provides. Take a look at our Location and Campus.
Learning to give back and to be empathetic is crucial to the growth of a boy into a healthy man. Our students participate in community service each week volunteering at community farms and gardens, planning activities for the elderly, working with our local humane society, and helping to maintain and beautify our campus. Additionally, our students explore a wide range of cultural and leisure activities, attending art classes led by local artists, and other community events, which provide ample opportunities for the boys to look outside themselves and determine how they can give back to the local community.