The end of summer is difficult for most kids. The transition back to homework and long days filled with various responsibilities can be trying for many teens and young adults, but after a few weeks, they adjust to the familiar routine. Some children, however, struggle with issues that make their transition back to the classroom feel impossible because of challenges they’re struggling with, whether it’s learning differences, identity issues or anxiety.
For parents, nothing is worse than seeing your child wrestle with a problem that you can’t help them solve. Traditional therapy may not work for some children. For these teens, young adults and their families, adventure-based counseling can provide the skills and resources they need to face whatever difficulty they may face.
What is Adventure-Based Counseling?
Adventure-based counseling is an experiential type of counseling that involves adventures such as wilderness excursions or outdoor activities. At Pacific Quest on Hawaii’s Big Island, the counseling also includes horticulture therapy, which combines growing flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables with current theories in neuroscience, human behavior and counseling psychology.
This type of adventure-based counseling enables teens and young adults to take calculated risks in a safe environment under the guidance of mental health professionals. By using the experience itself, kids can learn to manage various issues including emotional and behavioral challenges, ADD/ADHD, depression, grief and substance abuse. Learn more about adventure-based counseling.
For some teens and young adults, traditional therapy doesn’t work. Many teens and young adults don’t have the foundational resources to effectively problem solve by simply talking to someone, such as a trained professional, for an hour or two every week. Incorporating kinesthetic activity and experiential learning can make the critical difference for some children who learn best by doing.
Through wilderness therapy and horticulture therapy, Pacific Quest helps teens and young adults engage in challenges that stimulate feelings similar to ones they experience in real life situations and then teaches students the critical thinking skills to process these emotions in positive, productive ways.
By combining a neurodevelopmental treatment technique with horticulture therapy, the Pacific Quest team uses the calming effects of nature with individualized therapy and teaches various practical skills, such as goal setting, time management, organization, community living, exercise and self-care. In addition, this type of adventure-based counseling offers students many opportunities to learn how to work effectively with others, to communicate in positive ways and to deal with the natural consequences of their choices.
What sets Pacific Quest apart from other types of adventure-based counseling programs is the inclusion of horticulture therapy. By giving students the responsibility of growing fruits, vegetables and flowers and working with their peers, they have the opportunity to see what positive growth looks like while strengthening their social, cognitive and physiological functioning. This type of experiential learning empowers students to be caregivers and see the tangible results of their efforts. Through individual and group therapy, teens and young adults can apply what they learned in the garden to real life situations. Learn more about horticulture therapy.
At Pacific Quest, the students’ mental, emotional and physical well being is our primary focus. Each program is no more than 20 minutes from a hospital or medical center, and our location on the Big Island of Hawaii offers students the tranquil setting they need to feel at peace while working towards their goals.
Our team strives to build each child’s confidence, so we treat each student with respect and care. We know the best way to build someone up is not by tearing them down through harsh words or physical exhaustion. We are definitely not a boot camp but rather a place that gives teens and young adults the tools they need to grow into their best selves.
Raising children is the toughest and most important job there is, but kids don’t come with an instruction manual. By reaching out for help to the team at Pacific Quest, you are doing what’s best for you and your whole family. The skills your teen or young adult will learn at Pacific Quest will benefit them for many years to come.