How Outdoor Recreational Therapy Can Teach A Teen To Gain Full Control Of their Life


Teens in crisis need help. However, as parents sometimes we struggle to know what sort of help will be the most effective. For many of us, the natural tendency is to ‘throw the book at them’ when that might be a little too intense for their issues. As you know, troubled teen treatment options can run the gamut from individual therapy to full residential treatment. However, some parents overlook the benefits of outdoor recreational therapy because it sounds more like fun than therapy. For some troubled teens, it is the perfect outlet.

What Is Outdoor Recreational Therapy?

According to South University, recreational therapy can “restore, remediate, or rehabilitate in order to improve functioning and independence.” Recreational therapy is a recognized treatment modality which improves quality of life in a variety of ways including increased coping skills, self-awareness, and improved physical and psychological fitness. Troubled teens are often lacking skills in these areas. Recreational therapy offers a proven method to increase these skills in an non-threatening environment. For as much as teens try to test the limits of adult autonomy, they are still kids at heart so disguising therapy as recreation is actually a brilliant and sneaky way to get them the help they need to manage their troubled teen issues on their way to becoming successful adults.

Benefits Of Recreational Therapy

Most troubled teens know they are troubled but they do not like to admit it. This duality can make them resistant to treatment and is a source frustration for parents. Some teens are never going to respond to traditional talk therapy no matter the setting but nearly all troubled teens will soften when that same therapy is disguised by the fun of recreational therapy. Through recreational therapy your teen will learn:

  • Relationship Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Teamwork and Team Building Skills
  • How To Overcome Physical And Emotional Obstacles
  • Communication Skills
  • Sportsmanship and Fair Play
  • How To Win and How To Lose
  • Confidence and Self-Awareness
  • Positive Self Talk Skills

Recreational therapy for troubled teens is often a great first step, and sometimes, the only step teens need to put themselves back on track. As teens gain these all-important skills they learn how to conquer their issues.

As parents if we can approach treatment for our troubled teens as helping them build-up rather than breaking them down, we and they are likely to have a much more positive outcome. Successful treatment should impart life-long coping skills and for most teens recreational therapy offers everything they need to improve their lives for the rest of their lives.

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