Another critical element of success after treatment is the ability to generalize skills from one environment to another. Of course, we want each young man in the program to do really well here. But, of course, what matters most is doing really well outside of here. This requires the ability to utilize healthy coping strategies, open and respectful communication methods, problem-solving skills, and the like beyond the structure of residential treatment.
An important part of the program also entails learning healthy recreational skills. Prior to treatment, many of our boys fell into patterns of isolation, withdrawal, and secrecy.
Some may have looked “happily engaged” on the surface, but internally were struggling with destructive habits and a lack of healthy creativity.
An important part of Kaizen is the adventure program, designed to introduce or reignite interest in healthy, pro-social recreation.
Mountain biking, skiing/snowboarding, kayaking, fishing, rappelling, paintballing, hiking – these kinds of activities engage young men in a multi-sensory way, providing not only healthy outlets, but can help establish new coping mechanisms. Neurologically, “what fires together wires together,” and introducing alternate neuropathways through wholesome activity may provide long-term options for healthier living. It’s also not accident that the adventure program is instrumental in developing the first two cornerstones – strong sense of self and healthy relationships – as well.