There are many paths that lead to mental health and wellness and the culinary arts is one of them! Pacific Quest is using culinary arts therapy to help treat troubled young adults with addiction and all associated issues.
Autumn is a great time to carve out a place for the culinary arts therapy–Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are just around the corner, and the healing nature of food brings people together. There is therapeutic value to the art and science of food.
Culinary Arts Therapy: What is it?
Culinary arts therapy uses cooking and working with food, in all aspects, as the means of therapeutic programming: it combines the art and science of growing flowers, vegetables, fruits and trees with the most current theories in human behavior, neuroscience and counseling psychology.
Cooking and the culinary arts work as a form of therapy because food has culture, history and stories. Food fosters relationships that tie us to our sense of purpose and to each other.
Some of the bountiful benefits of culinary arts therapy includes: increased communication abilities, freedom of expression, self-esteem, team building, enhanced brain development, and helping people connect with themselves and each other on a deeper interpersonal level.
Culinary Arts Therapy For Troubled Young People
Our generation of young people is troubled; they have an increasingly greater number of worries, stresses, social and environmental risks in a time of great change. They also live in a time of growing awareness about better mental health options. Cooking skills and culinary arts programs are effective (necessary) interventions, which not only provide the opportunity for practical application of life skills, but also the opportunity for social connectedness among peers.
When troubled young people have the ability to relax and engage in something creative, fun and inspiring, they feel freer, more vulnerable, honest and ready to connect. At Pacific Quest we are creating environments where words and actions are matched, leaving students with empowering life skills that are transferable beyond the garden and kitchen.
Culinary arts therapy is an invaluable source for troubled young people, it provides:
- Insight into personal behavior
- Learning about social skills/cues
- Increased awareness about health and nutrition
- Improved communication skills
- Stress management
- Time management
- Increased self-esteem
- Brain development through using the sense
How Pacific Quest Includes Culinary Arts
Cultivating culinary arts therapy at Pacific Quest means more than just cooking and therapy. Pacific Quest participants generate insight and practical skills by actually growing food for their community and creating beauty within the natural environment. The stages of change within the individual and process of growth in the garden are ALL interconnected. We believe the art of gardening has much to teach us about the art of cooking and the important connection between it all.
At Pacific Quest taking advantage of locally grown foods in Hawaii we teach the basics of nutrition and how your body uses food as fuel. Students learn how to cook and prepare food using the freshest and most natural ingredients.
Whether they are: organizing a nursery, prioritizing crop rotations, planning a planting schedule, designing garden beds, charting compost temperatures or experimenting with new and creative ways of increasing efficiency and sustainability, young adults at PQ test new skills and insights in a uniquely experiential way, on a daily basis.
End The Struggling: Connecting With Culinary Arts Therapy Intervention
Culinary arts therapy intervention for troubled teens and young adults helps to end the many struggles they face by fostering an appreciation and understanding of food. “Culinary Arts” intervention and therapy can be part of treatment for those who struggle with issues such as:
- Eating Disorders
- Learning Disabilities and ADHD
- Stress relief
- Improved social skills
- Balance and coordination
- Sensory awareness
- Improved physical health
- Enhanced ability to plan and organize
- Time management skills
- Relief from boredom
- Improved memory, attention and focus
- Self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment
Our life-changing outdoor wilderness therapy program that includes culinary arts therapy, among many others, helps students to make better choices and live healthier, more productive lives.
Pacific Quest offers internationally recognized intermediate treatment options to families from around the world. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Pacific Quest goes beyond traditional wilderness therapy programs, cultivating change by teaching sustainable life skills in a clinically innovative and nurturing environment.