Our adventure guides and recovery team not only take you on the the most epic adventures of your life, they take you on an inward journey into your soul, fears, insecurities and shadow to help you process internally as well as externally, leading you to breakthroughs in your personal growth. From surfing, whale kayaking, jungle hikes and more, these experiences are life changing. Adventure Therapy is a unique therapy modality that is proven to create inner self discovery, breakthroughs in fear, insecurity, doubt and low self esteem, and creates a deeper sense of confidence, passion, aliveness and vitality. But most of all, our members tell us the biggest thing it does most of all, is reconnects them back to their feelings again, waking them up to a new sense and awareness of being alive.
Once a week, there is an adventure our guides take us on, whether it’s a hike up a mountain on in the jungles of Hana, or swinging on a rope swing off a waterfall, swimming with dolphins, catching a Marlin or kayaking to see the whales. Our most popular program by far is surfing therapy.
In this program, you’ll experience outdoor activity, natural sunlight, team building, bonding, intimacy, overcoming fears, exercise, experience life to the fullest, achievement and self esteem, all while being taken on an inward journey of self discovery and facilitation by our guides, creating something that only can be experienced. Maui Recovery is a place that real transformation and growth can occur, and this is just one of 6 programs that is included.
Adventure Therapy as a form of Evidence-Based Treatment:
Clinicians who have worked with clients struggling with emotional, psychiatric or addiction issues have long appreciated the healing value of nature immersion as well as the benefits of “fun” recreational activities where a once-isolated, often addicted and mood dysregulated client could experience a deeper sense of connection and joy with experiences that were not related to their addictive patterns of abuse.
Indeed, there is ample research (see citations below) that has proven the clinical efficacy of such experiences. These experiences were often the magic moment when “the shift” occurs and a client gains the internal realization that there is more to life than addictive self-medicating, numbing and escape. In addition, for many struggling clients, there is a profound sense of healing and grounding that comes with re-connecting to nature.
Indeed, Dr. Kardaras–who has long used nature immersion as a therapeutic tool–recalls one particular case:
“I had been working with a young woman who had become horribly and self-destructively addicted to crystal meth. She came from a good family but had been living on the streets for years in many dangerous and abusive situations. She had been to many traditional residential and outpatient treatment programs where she was ‘therapized’ and talked to by an army of clinicians. And still she would relapse and wind up in hospitals. Finally, she began integrating nature immersion into her therapy–a sunrise beach walk (or jog) with her therapist. It was on one such walk that she had “the shift”; she broke down sobbing when she fully experienced the overwhelming beauty of the sunrise and said “I feel sorry for the people in my old addictive life who aren’t able to experience this…I don’t want to live like that anymore.” And ever since that moment, she hasn’t. She has just celebrated 4 years clean and sober. We can debate whether it was JUST the nature event–or the combination of nature and therapy–that led to this breakthrough. But what is undeniable is that the nature experience was a CRITICAL component of her shift and personal insight that she no longer wanted to live that addictive lifestyle anymore.”
At Maui Recovery, we try to create a variety of such nature immersion/adventure therapy opportunities where clients can also experience just such a potentially life-saving “shift”.
Adventure Therapy and OBH (Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare):
Adventure Therapy is a form what has come come to be known as Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH), which has been researched and studied extensively for its therapeutic benefit and efficacy (see citations below). Typically, OBH has looked at what are also known as Wilderness programs or experiences for young people, but the same dynamics apply to any type of experiential nature immersive therapy or experience.
Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) programs have grown rapidly over the last several decades because they work: 91.4 percent of participants show a significant clinical improvement and, on average, participants significantly improve from intake to 6 months after completing treatment. In addition, in a study published in 2003 by Dr. Keith Russell from the University of Idaho, found that participants showed significant improvement in functioning from intake to discharge and that the gains were maintained one year after discharge.
According to Dr. Steve DuBois, Clinical Director of Second Nature, a wilderness program in Utah: “A big part of this experience is helping people experience for themselves a greater sense of self-efficacy and internal locus of control.” For clients struggling with emotional or addictive disorders, this is a critically important healing dynamic.
Bettmann, J. E., Gillis, H. L., Speelman, E. A., Parry, K. J., & Case, J. M. (2016). A Meta-analysis of Wilderness Therapy Outcomes for Private Pay Clients. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25 (9), 2659-2673.
Bettmann, J.E., Tucker, A., Behrens, E., & Vanderloo, M. (2017). Changes in older adolescents and young adults’ attachment, separation, and mental health during wilderness therapy. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26(2), 511-522. doi: 10.1007/s10826-016-0577-4
Chang, T., Tucker, A., Javorski, S., Gass, M., & Norton, C. (2016). Cultural issues in adventure programming: Applying Hofstede’s five dimensions to assessment and practice. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning.Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14729679.2016.1259116
Combs, K. M., Hoag, M., Javorski, S., & Roberts, S. (2016). Adolescent self-assessment of an Outdoor Behavioral Health program: longitudinal outcomes and trajectories of change. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(11), 3322-3330. doi: 10.1007/s10826-016-0497-3
DeMille, S. M., & Montgomery, M. (2016). Integrating narrative family therapy in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program: A case study. Journal of Contemporary Family Therapy, 38(1), 3-13.
Gillis, H.L., Kivlighan, D. M., & Russell, K.C. (2016) Between-Client and Within-ClientEngagement and Outcome in a Residential Wilderness Treatment Group: An Actor Partner Interdependence Analysis. 53(4), 413-423.
Gillis Jr, H. L., Speelman, E., Linville, N., Bailey, E., Kalle, A., Oglesbee, N., … & Jensen, J. (2016). Metaanalysis of Treatment Outcomes Measured by the Y-OQ and Y-OQ-SR Comparing Wilderness and Non-Wilderness Treatment Programs. Child & Youth Care Forum, 45(6), 851-863.
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