Activity Therapy for Addiction & Mental Illness

Also referred to as recreation therapy, activity therapy is used for treating addiction, mental illness, and other disorders by utilizing a wide variety of activities, such as music, art, horseback riding, and more. These activities are known to improve the physical and emotional well-being of individuals undergoing treatment for an addiction or mental health disorder. When offered under the care and supervision of a certified activity therapist, recreational therapy is an effective form of drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Keep reading below to learn more about the recreational therapy activities available at our Banyan Lake Worth rehab.

What Is Active Therapy?

Recreational or activity therapy dates back to the early 1900s but didn’t gain much traction until the last few decades. When the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) was formed in 1984, it set the standards for this form of therapy utilized in substance abuse treatment. As a result, it became a more popular form of treatment.

According to the ATRA, the principles of activity therapy for addiction include:

  • Assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, and documentation are the foundation of activity therapy
  • Building powerful relationships
  • Mentoring and developing professionals
  • Therapy offered in a diverse setting

Also known as recreation therapy, this form of care uses fun group therapy activities and recreation that address the needs of the individual. Furthermore, treatment plans are highly individualized at our Lake Worth drug rehab, as every patient undergoes a clinical assessment to determine the best course of action for their care. When it comes to creating addiction treatment plans for our clients, we take into account their lifestyles, beliefs, and rehabilitation needs.

The main goal of our activity therapy program is to enhance a person’s sense of independence and healthy living. Recreational therapies benefit both the mind and body, inspiring physical improvement while improving mood. As a result, this therapy helps reduce or even eliminate some of the symptoms and side effects linked to mental and behavioral conditions like addiction.

Types of Activity Therapy Offered at BHOPB

Before beginning treatment, therapists will build a treatment plan that meets the individual’s needs. As a result, no two people will have the same form of care. Recreational therapy for drug and alcohol abuse consists of many different activities, such as:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Community outings and events
  • Creative writing (poetry, journaling)
  • Dance, movement, or drama therapy
  • Games
  • Interaction with animals (ex., Equine therapy, volunteering at an animal shelter)
  • Meditation
  • Music therapy
  • Outdoor activities (hiking, rock climbing, fishing)
  • Sports like basketball, baseball, football, and swimming
  • Team building exercises
  • Yoga

Although these therapy activities are beneficial during treatment, they can also be habits that patients can carry on throughout their recovery.

When Is Using Activity Therapy a Good Idea?

Recreational therapy for substance abuse uses a variety of different therapy activities to address the emotions and symptoms that may hinder a person’s recovery. For instance, drug and alcohol abuse is often linked to depression, anxiety, or trauma. These conditions can make achieving and sustaining long-term sobriety nearly impossible if left untreated.

However, recreational therapy addresses these issues and offers a variety of benefits, including:

  • Challenging patients to push themselves and overcome difficulties helps build a sense of accomplishment surrounding mental and physical challenges
  • Development of relapse prevention skills for recovery
  • Encouragement for patients to face fears, heal emotionally, and cope with challenges without using drugs or alcohol
  • Encouraging patients to take care of their physical and mental health
  • Improved leadership and team-building skills
  • Improved motor functioning and cognitive abilities
  • Improved self-awareness and problem-solving skills
  • Increased confidence, resilience, and self-esteem
  • Introduction to new, sober hobbies and activities that patients can use to fill their spare time and/or cope with future challenges
  • Learning to trust others by participating in team-building and trust-building activities
  • Motivating patients to live healthier and more independent lives
  • Peer support
  • Providing patients with an outlet to cope with stress and/or have fun
  • Reducing a person’s sense of isolation, anxiety, depression, and stress

Using activity therapy is a good idea when an individual needs additional support in learning how to cope with common challenges in sobriety. When used to treat addiction, recreational therapy exposes patients to new activities and provides a break from the more intensive work done in programs like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

It’s important to help individuals in recovery find new activities to fill their time and change their lifestyles. If you or someone you know needs help coping with addiction recovery or adjusting to a sober life, the activity therapies offered at our BHOPB detox center can help.

Contact Our Palm Beach County Rehab Today

At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we know that recovery involves more than just physical care and counseling. Oftentimes, it involves simply learning how to cope with sobriety one day at a time. That’s why we offer services like activity therapy to teach patients how to sustain and enjoy sobriety.

For more information about our mental health or addiction treatment in Palm Beach, contact BHOPB today.

Related Reading:

How Sobriety Changes Your Body

Coping With Boredom in Addiction Recovery