Developed by international addiction expert Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, it’s a brand-new treatment model—aquatic rehab—that uses the transformative power of the ocean as a therapeutic tool. Based on the time-tested and evidence-based principles of nature immersion experiential therapy (also known as Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare or OBH), the Seahab client forges a profound natural and spiritual healing connection via the ocean; all while therapists on the boat help the client to better understand not only their addiction but themselves. They will fish, work together in groups and engage in therapy, all in the transformative beauty of the Sea. Seahab is not the end of the recovery journey—it is an intensive and immersive way to jump-start a person’s life in recovery. That’s why the last sequence of Seahab treatment entails the client working with their therapist to create their post-Seahab comprehensive continuing care plan as they incorporate their insights and new ways of being into their new and more engaged and balanced post-Seahab recovery lives.

Seahab incorporates and expands upon the evidence-based principles of wilderness-style programs that have proven to be particularly effective treatment interventions with young people. Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) programs have grown rapidly over the last several decades and followed ​the migration of the Outward Bound program from Europe to the U.S.  in the 1950s. According to Dr. Steve DuBois, Clinical Director of Second Nature, a wilderness program in Utah: “A big part of this experience is helping students experience for themselves a greater sense of self-efficacy and internal locus of control.” And wilderness therapy works. According to Dr. Steve Aldana, a researcher at Brigham Young University, 91.4 percent showed significant clinical improvement and, on average, participants improved significantly from intake to 6 months after completing treatment.

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Our Adventures

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”.