"Act it Out: Psychodrama-at-Sea"
Psychodrama is an intense, action-based therapeutic method where participants use dramatization and the role playing of pivotal scenes from their lives to gain better personal insight. In this visceral and powerful method, the result is usually extremely emotional, dramatic and cathartic.
"By Land or By Sea: Team Camping"
The participants make a shelter and fire as they camp overnight on a deserted beach. Led by our clinical and support team, they will forage for materials to make a shelter and fire. This also falls under the empowerment category: "YES! I can do this! And, if I can survive and create a camp in the wilderness, I can also overcome my addiction!"
"Piscatorial Therapy: Healing Through Fishing"
The participants work together and struggle to haul in fish. But fishing isn’t just a way to pass the time on the weekend anymore; it’s being researched and developed as a legitimate form of therapy. The therapeutic effect derives from the fact that fishing brings together mental relaxation and, very often, social camaraderie. Often called “piscatorial therapy”, a 2009 study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern Maine, the University of Utah, and the Salt Lake City VA, documented the significant improvement in PTSD symptoms and sleep quality for vets who took part in a two-day, three-night fishing retreat. And a psychiatric hospital in Scotland found "piscatorial therapy" more effective than meditation for their clients.
"The Big Wave: Surfing Therapy"
Surfing becomes a therapeutic tool and a metaphor for recovery. Mavericks surfing legend and recovering addict Darryl Virotsko has created a surfing program that teaches addicts that riding a wave is like getting sober--you've got to LET GO and trust in something greater than yourself. According to Darryl, a big part of the surfing--and recovery--process is learning that "I" am not in control: “Every time I’ve surfed Mavericks, I’ve gone under a wave and I’ve said, ‘Please just let me come up. I’ve been talking to the ocean my whole life. It’s bigger and way more powerful than me.” These insights are incorporated into our Seahab surfing program.
On a deserted beach, participants are asked to scavenge for materials to make a stretcher. In this group bonding exercise, all the participants are then asked to collectively carry one of the group members 100 yards. As they struggle with this, the clinical team reminds them that the heavy weight that they're carrying is similar to the addiction ball-and-chain that they've been hauling as well as the heavy burden that they've been on their families. The exercise helps strengthen group cohesion--while also physically illustrating an important point.
"The Way of Karate: Fighting to Live"
On a deserted island, former National Karate Champ Dr. K teaches the participants karate and self-defense techniques. These principles of self-discipline, self-control and mental focus are essential life skills in staying clean and sober.