Morningside Recovery offers many activities that provide not only sober fun for our clients, but also the incredible opportunity to utilize new therapeutic tools in real life situations outside of the confines of a clinical group. The outdoors and physical group activities provide a healthy and fun outlet to achieving positive therapeutic goals and revelations in a transformative atmosphere. Our comprehensive treatment program incorporates fun group activities each week for the undeniable therapeutic benefits of fresh air and new experiences. Every weekend the staff leads groups on a variety of recreational activities, such as whale watching, paint ball, and even snowboarding. On a daily basis, clients can take walks, surf, and bike to the beach to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. A short list of the many group activities includes trips to Disneyland, kayaking, miniature golf, hiking, professional sporting events, sailing and other experiences that are both enjoyable and lend themselves to therapeutic ends.
Pleasurable group activities help clients who may be suffering from substance abuse. Some people who have a long history of chemical dependency, particularly with methamphetamine or opiates, suffer from anhedonia (acute depression) early in their recovery, which group activities help to alleviate. Participating in group activities in the “here and now” shifts client’s attention to their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, and helps them become aware of how their substance abuse altered their response(s) to life experiences. Activities for substance abuse groups that connect to substance abuse therapy can be especially effective in dealing with mood disorders, as clients are not only encouraged to explore their emotions in safe environment, but are uplifted by the activity in and of itself. Neurologically, adrenaline and endorphins are released, which energize and improve the individual’s mood whether they’re overcoming anhedonia or not. Moreover, during and after the group activities, clients are given the opportunity to work through their day’s experience and any associated emotions that they want to share and process in therapist-led discussion.
Below are some of the activities that Morningside clients may enjoy throughout the year:
- Barbecues – Often held on Newport Beach/Balboa Peninsula, supervised by staff.
- Boat Charters – Great deep sea fishing and whale watching.
- Indoor Wall-climbing and Outdoor Ropes/Ziplines teamwork therapy.
- Stand up Paddling – In Newport Harbor or in nearby Laguna Beach.
- Touch Football – Usually played on the beach.
- Local NBA, MLB and NHL games.
- Swimming/surfing – The sandy beaches on the edge of the Pacific Ocean – Offers incredible serenity, and surfing lessons are available. Newport Beach is, of course, home of The Wedge.
- Volleyball – Generally open to all who are fit enough to participate.
- Laguna Beach Sawdust Art Festival – A mix of fine art and crafts – July and August.
- Movies – The historic Lido Theatre offers both mainstream and independent films. Also, it’s one of the homes for the Newport Beach Film Festival.
- Painting or drawing – A therapeutic group activity.
- Bowling – A fun and simple group activity.
- Kayaking – A group activity opportunity to enjoy the scenic, serene Newport Harbor/Newport Beach’s “Back Bay”.
- Hiking – Local nature excursions in the nearby canyons and foothills where wildlife is abundant.
- An updated full listing of Orange County Fairs & Festivals is found over on the Orange County Register.
At Morningside Recovery, we advocate experiential activities for their numerous therapeutic benefits as well as their encouragement of bonding and social growth. The more a client participates in these group activities, the better and stronger their relationships become with their peers. For many, these friendships are not only vital to their immediate recovery, but last long after they leave treatment. In short, the positive impact of new and shared experiences is truly invaluable to every client’s well-being and therapeutic path.