Mindfulness, Adventure therapy, SUD
Mindfulness-based therapy causes neurological changes that reduce reactivity to drug cues through modulation of regional activation, functional connectivity, and gray matter concentration. These neural mechanisms of mindfulness translate to reduced reports of craving, increased psychological well-being, and the development of acceptance, awareness, non-judgment, and non-reactivity. All of which attribute to the effectiveness of mindfulness-based relapse prevention as a therapeutic treatment for Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Adventure therapy programs who provide psychological therapy in wilderness contexts should consider the integration of mindfulness-based therapy into their practice for the treatment of SUD. Mindfulness-based therapy and adventure therapy approaches have many coinciding program qualities that provide a groundwork for incorporating the approaches into one another. Their utilization of group therapy, exercise, and time-intensive practice make them highly compatible. Additionally, their ability to supplement one another’s limitations provides additional support for combining these practices. Both effective treatments for SUD, adventure therapy and mindfulness-based therapy may have even greater effects in preventing drug craving and relapse if these two approaches are combined. The neural mechanisms of mindfulness reduce reactivity to drug cues by psychological improvements in acceptance, awareness and non-judgement, which when applied in conjunction with the restorative effects of nature and adventure therapy will provide holistic, long-term recovery for clients with SUDs.
Oberbillig, Kelly, "The Compatibility of Mindfulness-Based Therapy and Adventure Therapy for Effectuating Change in SUD Populations" (2018). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 70.
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