Learning the ropes of recovery: "If I fell, they had me"

Posted on 11/04/19 11:46:am


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For some, taking part in a challenge course may just seem like a fun chance to get outdoors and try something new. But for patients in residential care at Rogers Behavioral Health in Oconomowoc, it's something more. It's a valuable opportunity to gain confidence, step outside of their comfort zone, and see the real-life benefits of a strong support system.

"In recovery, it is important that we get out from where we're comfortable, because where we were comfortable was pretty miserable," says Deana Grall, experiential therapy manager at Rogers.

As patients navigate the rock wall, zipline, and other course obstacles, they are guided and coached by a trained experiential therapist who helps them make strides toward recovery. The course is complete with challenges for a variety of ability levels to ensure that all patients have the chance to benefit from the insights the course provides.

The zipline, for example, mirrors taking a leap of faith toward goals or the changes a patient is hoping to make in their life. While some are initially hesitant or frightened to try the course, they often find a great sense of pride in their ability to face their fears and do something new. "We talk a lot about the learning zone. That's where you start to feel, but it's also where we start to learn about ourselves. When we push our limits, we see what we can do," explains Deana.

The challenge course also provides a deeper understanding of the importance of a support system – both during treatment and in life back at home. While the patient participates in the course, the team on the ground works to keep the person safe and to catch them if they fall.

"Patients will tell us, 'The reason I was able to be successful is because I had someone up there with me and I also had a huge support system on the ground holding me up if I did fall. If I fell, they had me,'" Deana says.

Understanding the importance of trusting in yourself and others ultimately helps patients find success in recovery.

Experiential therapy in residential treatment in Oconomowoc

Experiential therapy, including the challenge course and other therapeutic activities, is an important part of treatment for patients in residential care in Oconomowoc. To schedule a free, confidential screening, call 800-767-4411 or request a screening online.


Call 800-767-4411 or go to rogersbh.org to request a free screening.