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4 Outdoor Group Therapy Activities

Several people in outdoor group therapy activities

If you or a loved one is coping with mental illness, substance abuse, or a dual diagnosis, finding quality help is essential. A common feature among people living with these issues is isolation. It thus makes perfect sense that group therapy programs can be a great addition to any recovery plan. What’s more, the healing power of the great outdoors can bolster almost any individual’s recovery journey.

If you’re looking for services in the beautiful Seattle, Washington area, contact Northpoint Recovery today. We’re available at 888.483.6031, and our friendly staff looks forward to assisting you. We’d love to discuss impactful treatments like individual counseling, medical intervention, and outdoor group therapy activities.

What Are Four Major Outdoor Group Therapy Activities?

Group therapies in the context of addiction and mental health treatment take many forms. The uniting feature is that people in recovery interact with a group of peers who have had similar life experiences. Take this equation into the great outdoors, and you have a recipe for profoundly impactful treatment. Four common activities found in outdoor group therapy settings are:

  1. Wilderness Therapy – In wilderness therapy, groups guided by trained leaders venture into wild environments and engage in activities such as survival skills training, hiking, games, and adventures like zip lining or rafting. The power of wilderness therapy lies in its ability to teach cooperation and bring awareness to unproductive behaviors and beliefs. Within this context, it’s often easier to discover new solutions and sow the seeds of healthier relating patterns.
  2. Outdoor Meditation – Whether through a traditional seated form or a mindful movement exercise such as yoga or tai chi, outdoor meditation helps patients access inner peace and self-regulation. By engaging in mindfulness practice outdoors and in a group, they cultivate a sense of community and connection with others and the larger world at the same time.
  3. Gardening Therapy – Gardening therapy gives participants a skill they can carry forward into their lives to come. By tending plants with others, patients likewise build cooperative relationships and can mutually celebrate life and growth.
  4. Outdoor Art Therapy – Creative expression through activities like drawing, music, or sculpture are all wonderful ways to give patients non-verbal modes for expressing difficult emotions or experiences. Bringing these activities into the outdoors can provide an additional level of safety, inspiration, and expansiveness to the experience.

Major Benefits of Group Therapy Outdoor Activities

It’s difficult to overstate the benefits inherent in outdoor group therapy offerings. On a strictly physical level, time outdoors is well-known to be healthy and, indeed, vital to wellbeing. People who regularly spend time in nature tend to have lower blood pressure, better sleep, and greater vitamin D production, strongly reducing their risk for depression.

The outdoors is also a great place for interpersonal connection. Dating back to ancient humans’ nomadic lifestyle, we tend to interact, plan, and cooperate well in the great outdoors. We have only to look to the example of field sports to see this principle in action. Fresh air, sunshine, and the endlessly engaging variation of natural locations can all help boost psychological performance and emotional health in peer interaction.

Engaging with others in outdoor therapy activities also has the profound effect of fostering bonds. In addition to teaching effective communication and cooperation, it helps reveal common interests and perspectives. In turn, this can help addiction and mental illness patients build lasting relationships and insight into what they need socially to succeed in recovery long-term. For instance, a person who resonates well with a gardening therapy program in rehab may do well to join a gardening club for friendship and shared interest after treatment.

Learn About Outdoor Group Therapy and Other Evidence-Based Addiction Interventions at Northpoint Seattle Today

Why hesitate to pursue support and intervention for addiction or mental illness? You and your loved ones deserve the very best assistance and at Northpoint Seattle, we aim to deliver just that. Call us at 888.483.6031 or fill out our confidential online contact form to start the conversation about treatment and recovery.