Backed by 50 years of research, outdoor adventure therapy is a proven methodology for treating young adults who have schizophrenia and are stabilized on medication.
Learning about outdoor treatment for schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that is often characterized by abnormal social behavior and at times the inability to discern what is real from what is not real. Schizophrenia can distort a way a person thinks, acts, perceives reality, and relates to others, which can cause difficulties at work, school, in society, and within interpersonal relationships. Schizophrenia is a life-long mental health condition that cannot be cured, but with treatment and support the symptoms of schizophrenia can be effectively controlled. If you are struggling with schizophrenia, do not give up. While things may seem difficult right now, the compassionate staff at Four Circles Recovery Center can help.
Four Circles Recovery Center is a leading outcomes-driven wilderness-based treatment center specifically designed for men and women, 18 to 30 years of age, who are primarily struggling with substance use concerns, but may also be facing additional mental health concerns such as bipolar disorder. We offer an innovative approach to treatment that integrates an adventure-based wilderness experience with professional clinical care and therapeutic programming. Our committed professionals recognize that substance abuse is often accompanied by dual-diagnosis issues, like schizophrenia, that need to be addressed to ensure lasting recovery and rehabilitation.
Helping a loved one get schizophrenia treatment
The unconditional love and support of family members can be very important to those who are struggling with schizophrenia. If someone you love has been diagnosed with schizophrenia you can make a huge difference by helping him or her find the right treatment program and by remaining involved in the treatment process. However, before you commit to helping your loved one through the recovery process you need to accept his or her illness and its difficulties, be realistic with your expectations, and remain hopeful. Here are some tips that you may find helpful:
- Educate yourself about schizophrenia
- Create a structured and supportive environment that relieves stress
- Help your loved one set reasonable goals and be client with the recovery process
- Support your loved one while encouraging them to be as independent as possible
Why consider treatment for schizophrenia at Four Circles
If the symptoms associated with schizophrenia are ignored or the disorder is not properly treated the resulting ramifications can be quite devastating to the individual and to his or her family members. Schizophrenics tend to struggle with the ability to function normally on a daily basis; in some severe cases those with schizophrenia will need help with basic tasks such as bathing, eating, and running errands. Because people who have schizophrenia have the tendency to isolate themselves, relationships with friends and loved ones can suffer. Additionally, it is not uncommon for people with schizophrenia to develop problems with alcohol or other drugs, which are often abused to help relieve symptoms. The longer that an individual goes without treatment the worse their symptoms can become. In severe circumstances individuals with schizophrenia may make suicide attempts, so any talk of ending one’s life should be taken seriously. The good news is that with medication, therapy, and a solid support network schizophrenia can be effectively managed.
Types of treatment for schizophrenia at our center
At our treatment center, the rehab model is designed to engage clients by immersing them in the natural world where they are inspired to cultivate self-reliance by being faced with compassionate yet uncompromising accountability. This model allows clients to reap the benefits of a therapeutic wilderness center while offering the opportunity to practice skills learned in real world settings. Finally, all treatment provided at Four Circles is gender-specific, with separate tracks designed to meet the specific needs of both male and female clients.
The young men and women at our treatment center are encouraged to attend offsite wilderness expeditions, which are led by a clinical treatment team member. Wilderness expeditions complement the work we do at our lodges and all include several hours of behavioral health therapy, group counseling, and outdoor guidance to ensure a long-lasting recovery from schizophrenia. Upon returning from their wilderness expeditions, participants integrate back into the community through meetings, service projects, and therapeutic groups before heading out on their next therapeutic wilderness expedition.
Rehab at our treatment center consists of four levels, each of which has a number of specific guidelines and assignments for clients to complete in order to move through the level system. We use a variety of clinical and holistic approaches that allow us to meet each client’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs while also helping them to establish a strong foundation for sustained recovery. The following are among the many rehab methods employed at Four Circles in the treatment of schizophrenia:
Medication management: It is very common for individuals with substance abuse or drug addiction to also be struggling with a mental health disorder. Many times these co-occurring disorders will require the use of medication to help alleviate distressing symptoms. However, all medication needs for co-occurring mental health concerns are always decided on a case-by-case basis. For any client who requires medication management, Four Circles has contracted a psychiatrist and nurse practitioner, and both are available within 24 hours. If the need arises, clients can be pulled from the field for an office visit.
Individual therapy: All clients at our treatment center will participate in individual therapy sessions on a weekly basis. Individual sessions allow clients personalized time with a therapist where they will be able to set achievable goals for their recovery, address specific concerns, and work through any distressing emotions surrounding their pain medication abuse.
Group therapy: Four Circles offers a number of group therapy sessions, including our nightly process groups with a para-professional wilderness guide and weekly process groups, which are conducted by a fully licensed therapist. Clients are also required to participate in a two-hour experiential challenge group on a weekly basis.
Family therapy: We firmly believe that family participation is an integral part of the treatment experience for those who are recovering from substance use disorders. Families who have loved ones at our treatment center will receive ongoing coaching and therapeutic contact through weekly phone sessions with a primary therapist. Additionally, we hold a two-day onsite workshop for all family members to help them with the healing process.
Adventure trips: In order to help clients foster a spiritual connection to their recovery journey, Four Circles provides regularly scheduled adventure-based counseling trips, which may include the following opportunities:
- Whitewater rafting
- Mountain biking
- Rock climbing
- Fly fishing
Additional therapeutic activities: In addition to participating in the therapeutic methods listed above, all clients also have the opportunity to utilize a variety of additional therapies, which are designed to help enhance the recovery process. These therapies may include:
- Nutritional education
- Martial arts
- 12-step (AA and NA) meetings
- Yoga therapy
- Psycho-educational skills training
- Motivational interviewing
- Life skills training
- Career/vocational/psychological testing
- Solution-focused therapy
Continuing care and levels of treatment for schizophrenia
Prior to completion of treatment, all clients will participate in a one-week healing ceremony where they will engage in solo experiences that will help them prepare for the future. Once this rite of passage ceremony is completed, clients will return to base camp where they will work on aftercare planning, develop a relapse prevention plan, and create a support system that will sustain the progress they have made. Since we understand that recovery is a lifelong process that extends beyond a client’s time at Four Circles, we work closely with each client, their families, and referral sources to create a detailed discharge and aftercare plan.
Four Circles offers a Sober Living Transition Program for adult males, ages 18 to 28, who are in the process of transitioning from a primary abuse treatment program into independent living. This program is at least 14 days in length and provides clients with a number of therapeutic methods including individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and medication management. Additionally, adventure-based trips are taken every weekend.
Finally, our treatment center also offers a 28-day Relapse Prevention Program specifically for individuals who are in transitional living or have completed a primary treatment program that are in need of this additional level of care or have relapsed while in step-down care.
Whatever your schizophrenia concerns may be, the highly qualified, compassionate staff at Four Circles can help you overcome your problems and provide the building blocks for a life of sobriety. If you are struggling with schizophrenia, Four Circles Recovery Center is here to help.