Backed by 50 years of research, outdoor adventure therapy is a proven methodology for treatment of self-harm in young adults. Find lasting recovery from self-harm today at our wilderness treatment center.
Learning about outdoor treatment for self-harm
For many individuals, self-harm, also known as self-injury, is a way to deal with inner turmoil or distress that they may otherwise be unable to cope with. Self-harm is an act of deliberately causing harm to one’s body, through methods including cutting, burning, breaking bones, or piercing the skin. While many may believe that self-harm is an attempt at suicide, it’s not. Most individuals who self-harm are simply looking for a distraction from intense emotions. If you are struggling with self-harm, you are not alone. The compassionate staff at Four Circles Recovery Center can help. We can help you get you get clean and sober, while also teaching you healthier ways of coping with your emotions.
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 self-harm. We offer an innovative approach to rehab that integrates an adventure-based wilderness experience with professional clinical care and therapeutic treatment. Our committed professionals recognize that substance abuse is often accompanied by dual-diagnosis issues, like self-harm, which also needs to be addressed to ensure lasting recovery and rehabilitation.
Helping a loved one get self-harm treatment
If you have learned that a loved one is intentionally harming him or herself, your first reaction may be shock. If you are unfamiliar with this type of mental health disorder you may be confused about what you can do to help your loved one. Below are some tips that may help you begin to approach the situation:
- Deal with your own feelings first. Before talking to your loved one about his or her self-harming behaviors make sure that you have come to terms with your own feelings surrounding this behavior.
- Learn about self-harm. Expanding your knowledge about this disorder can help you better understand why your loved one may be hurting himself or herself. Learning more about self-harm can also better inform you of some of the treatment options available that may be able to help your loved one.
- Do not be judgmental or critical. Do not threaten or punish your loved one for their behavior. These actions will only make the situation worse.
- Encourage your loved one to seek help at a treatment center. Offer to help find a treatment center and accompany him or her to appointments or center visits.
Why consider treatment for self-harm at Four Circles
While self-harm is an attempt by individuals to deal with internal distress and the existence of emotional pain, the problem is that the relief achieved through self-harm is only temporary and is most often followed by intense feelings of shame and guilt. Many individuals who self-harm may think that this behavior is helpful, but in fact in the long-term it can cause many more problems than it actually solves. If an individual always self-injures as a way to cope with distressful emotions they will never learn more effective, and safer, coping skills. Furthermore, if you never really deal with the underlying reason for the self-harm it can lead to the development of additional mental health concerns such as depression and suicide. It is also extremely common for those who self-harm to abuse alcohol or another drug, which may worsen the situation. While people who engage in self-harm may only mean to leave small cuts or wounds, they may end up hurting themselves badly enough that medical attention is required. In some cases self-harm can lead to permanent damage including scars, bones that didn’t heal correctly, loss of feeling in certain areas of the body, and nerve damage.
Types of treatment for self-harm at our center
At our wilderness 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 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 self-harm. 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 self-harm:
Medication management: It is very common for individuals with pain medication abuse or 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 during rehab, Four Circles has a contracted 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: Through rehab, we offer 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 rehab experience for those who are recovering from substance use disorders. Families who have loved ones in our program 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, our wilderness treatment center 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 self-harm
Prior to completion of rehab, 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 our wilderness treatment center, we work closely with each client, their families, and referral sources to create a detailed discharge and aftercare plan.
Our treatment center also offers a Sober Living Transition Program for adult males, ages 18 to 30, 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, Four Circles 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 self-harm concerns may be, the highly qualified, compassionate staff at our wilderness treatment center can help you overcome your problems and provide the building blocks for a life of sobriety. If you are struggling with self-harm, Four Circles Recovery Center is here to help.