Ropes Course Helps with Recovery
The Cirque Lodge experiential program helps to enhance and anchor down the clinical work we do. One of the unique areas of this program is our indoor ropes and climbing facility. It is one of the unique and effective venues used in this treatment experience. Through experiential therapy, residents learn ways to have fun in recovery, but also connect with vital aspects they are searching for with healing. Because it is indoors, we never lose a day of engaging activity to bad weather!
The Ropes Course
The Soundstage at the Studio is a massive 17,000 ft. room. It has 50ft ceilings. It houses our ropes course. (As you can see in the picture) The ropes course consists of two large tri-pods made of lumber. These things are connected by a series of climbing apparatuses, beams, wires and swings. All of these challenges are a part of our ropes course experience. However, not all challenges take place high up in the air. There are also a number of low ropes activities and team-based challenges to get our cognitive functions working appropriately.
High Ropes - There are many different elements, challenges to the ropes climbing. We provide a series of 39 climbing events separately used during experiential time. There are also other climbing challenges, a zip line that goes to the floor, a climbing wall and a giant swing. Despair and fear are two emotions where alcohol and drug addiction tend to thrive. We try to challenge individuals to address these fears. A way that we challenge that fear is through these activities. It can take some courage to be up in the air and to take that leap of faith. The staff that is involved in our experiential program is certified and experienced in working with residents on these climbing events. They help to make it a safe and rewarding experience.
Low Ropes - The low-ropes series of challenges in the ropes course allow us to get thinking again, problem solving in fact. It is hard to explain, but our experiential team has come up with a number of different, team based challenges. Different basic things are used in these challenges like logs, bricks, blocks of wood, ropes and boards. The residents are presented with a problem that they must think through using these items. It helps to bring out leaders in the group and to address relationship and social issues. It helps residents to learn how to problem solve while supporting one another. The ropes course also houses an indoor archery range and Native American style teepee that we use in experiential therapy sessions.
Teaching Aspects to Ropes
There are many different aspects and teaching opportunities with these activities. The ropes course provides different lessons for the recovery process, healing and how we communicate with others. At the beginning and end of each activity there is the processing part, where residents discuss what they got out of the activity. These are things that residents can take with them and apply to their recovery. They are just one more coping strategy available to assist with a long-term recovery.
Another aspect to teaching residents is how to enjoy themselves, not just in an addiction treatment program, but through recovery and through life. Alcohol and drug addiction thrive in the negative. By introducing positive activities, our residents can find ways to have healthy fun again. Having fun in sobriety is a very powerful relapse prevention tool. Through the activities, residents are shown positive and healthy ways that they can have fun as they continue to work their program.
It takes several effective approaches to treat alcoholism or drug addiction. With the combination of clinical work, recovery (12-step) work and dual diagnosis, the experiential program at Cirque provides a unique and effective approach to addiction recovery. It enhances the body, the mind and the spirit. It helps to engage clients in the recovery process. Now, not all of this takes place in our ropes course room, but it does play a part in this unique recovery experience.