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Adventure Based Counseling for Addiction Treatment

Adventure Based Counseling

According to Learn Through Experience,  Adventure Based Counseling is a form of psychotherapy introduced to the US in the 1960s. Though influenced by a variety of learning and psychological theories, the underlying philosophy is education by experience. Adventure therapy can improve self-concept and self-esteem. It also enhances help-seeking behavior and can increase mutual aid, prosocial, and trust behavior.

Bradford’s inpatient treatment facilities at Warrior Lodge and in Madison, AL, offer Adventure Based Counseling. The Challenge Course is another name for this form of counseling. With nature-based ropes obstacles, the Challenge Course is led by Bradford’s on-staff Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS). 

The Challenge Course at Bradford

Patients discover their strengths by working together to complete each task on the Challenge Course. Through the challenges, the CTRSs draw parallels to overcoming addiction. They explain that getting to the finish line requires the team’s collaboration and support, mirroring the journey to recovery. Sobriety is much more attainable with the backing from peers in the recovery community. 

Like the ropes course, some obstacles help patients face their fears by having them step outside of their comfort zone. Both concepts are essential principles for recovery. The unique therapeutic exercises and setting of the Challenge Course also help to foster shared learning, openness, and cooperation.


“Recreational Therapy was absolutely awesome. The natural surroundings and team-building exercises were great and very much a part of my recovery.”

– Bradford Alumni

Of all the proven therapies a patient may receive at Bradford, the Adventure-Based Counseling sessions are often cited as the most memorable. Many Bradford alumni return to campus each year to complete the Challenge Course again. They return as part of the Recovery Recharge, a community event sponsored by our Alumni Program. 

Adventure Based Counseling is only one of the many types of addiction therapies available at Bradford rehab centers. To learn more about all programs available from Bradford Health Services,  give us a call at 888-577-0012 or start a live chat to speak with a Care Coordinator.