Adventure Therapy

$2000 per person (up to 4 people per group)

Service includes 2 introductory sessions before week-end, full-service week-end, including meals and lodging, and 2 follow-up sessions. Week-end activities will take place from Friday evening – Sunday afternoon.

Using experimental education, adventure therapy is intended to be an intimate group process week-end. Participants are will be guided through moderate outdoor physical activity, while being provided with counselling services. Adventure therapy is ideal for individuals, families or couples looking to develop increased self-confidence, build trust, and improve communication, particularly in group dynamics.

Activities can include but are not limited to hiking, canoeing, biking, yoga, karate, surfing, snowshoeing, skiing etc. All activities are developed in consultation with the clients’ interest and skills.

Due to planning restrictions, at least 4 weeks advance notice and 50% deposit is required.

What is adventure therapy?

Adventure therapy is a cutting edge form of psychotherapy that combines physical challenge, while working out mental health issues. Each day of the adventure, trained professionals support you both mentally and physically. The physical component of the adventure helps you to appreciate your mental health treatment gains in a much more condensed way, as clients find their mental and physical fortitude both put to the test.

We at Finding North are proud to be pioneers in this area.  We are one of the first places to offer adult multi-day excursions, which incorporate mental health treatment by specialized providers.

How is adventure therapy conducted?

Small groups meet with the guides who are trained to provide counselling services.  They are also outdoors enthusiasts with many years’ experience hiking, biking, skiing, and cycling. Sessions can range between 2 and 7 days, and vary based on group composition, ability and schedule.

Groups are small and pre-screened to ensure the safety and suitability of the group. There are also options for smaller adventures for families looking to work on building trust, blending or other family struggles.

How does it work?

Adventure therapy combines the benefits of talk therapy with the benefits of physical exercise. Talk therapy has been proven to decrease depressive symptoms as well as, or better than medication. Physical exercise has been shown to have dramatic benefits on depression levels (Knapen, Vancampfort, Moriën, & Marchal, 2015). By combining these two proven strategies, clients get intensive psychotherapy, combined with confidence building activities that result in amazing progress over a compressed time.

How do I know if Adventure Therapy is right for me?

The therapeutic relationship is an important aspect of any counselling partnership. Clients always start with a no charge phone consultation. Following this, an in-depth consultation is completed either by phone, online or in person. This time also allows the guide to determine ability level, therapeutic needs, and endurance so that they can tailor the trip based on the group’s common growing edges.

Is adventure therapy covered by my insurance provider?

Perhaps! A registered clinician provides the individual counselling sessions. As such, insurance providers who cover counselling services may cover part or all of these costs. As always we encourage you to check with your insurance provider to verify any coverage.

What kinds of activities are typical?

Activities vary, and are personally tailored to the group to ensure maximum participation is achieved. Activities include, but are not limited to: multi-day cycling trip, multi-day backpacking, mutli-day kayaking, multi-day snowshoeing and skiing.

How many personal/group sessions are included?

The number of sessions included varies depending on group size and trip duration. In addition to the assessments, clients can be guaranteed of at least a one-on-one session every two days as well as one group led session during each trip. On a 5 day trip, a client can expect 2-3 personal sessions and at least 1 group session.  Additionally, less formal sessions occur whenever the opportunity presents.  Experience shows that a group happens regularly, during meals, in the evening and well after the adventure ends.

Safety

Safety is always the number one priority of the adventure. Certified in advanced first aid, the guides are able to handle any minor injuries on site. Each guide will carry a satellite messenger in the event of a major emergency. Due to the remote nature of these trips, it may not be possible to allow a client to leave in the middle of a trip. All efforts to promote safety will always be given first priority.

Equipment

Certain equipment is provided by Finding North for each type of trip (eg. Kayaks, snowshoes, tents etc) but some items may need to be brought by the client. These usually include sized items that cannot be kept in stock on site (eg personal clothing, shoes, bicycles, etc). A list of required items will be sent prior to a client signing up for Adventure Therapy.

References:
Results: For mild to moderate depression the effect of exercise may be comparable to antidepressant medication and psychotherapy; for severe depression exercise seems to be a valuable complementary therapy to the traditional treatments.
– Knapen, J., Vancampfort, D., Moriën, Y., & Marchal, Y. (2015). Exercise therapy improves both mental and physical health in patients with major depression. Disability and rehabilitation, 37(16), 1490-1495.