Pathway Session on Outdoor Recovery a Success

On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, we hosted Tim Walsh of Adventure Recovery (AR) for an in-person Pathway Session on how outdoor movement and skills can promote recovery. There was a good mix of recovery coaches and parents in attendance.

For some time it has been recognized that the brain can be impacted by community, moving in the outdoors, and spending time in recovery. Tim, AR’s Founder, did a good job of describing how neuroplasticity through outdoor adventure made a huge difference in his life. AR was started in 2014, and for it’s tenth year Tim has a strong group of outdoor guides and directors to meet the needs of his client base.

During the session, Tim emphasized the importance of being available to help those with BOTH substance use and mental health disorders. With Tim’s Executive Director Josh Flaherty, LMSW, and other clinical partners, AR is in position to help many with co-occurring disorders. Tim also has Nate Bennick on board as National Field Director and Senior Guide (with significant climbing expertise) and Ava Diamond, LCSW, in position as additional clinical support.

Tim’s journey of recovery, which is measured in decades, started because of his love of just being outdoors as a ten year old. He literally went outside every day, found some woods, built forts, and came home just before dark. Today, so many young adults he meets with have what he would term a “nature-deficit disorder”, where our human condition suffers physically, mentally, and spiritually.

However, both the scientific evidence and traditions going back centuries prove the importance of getting out in nature. The Japanese call it “forest bathing”. Thoreau called it “Life in the Woods”, when he spent his time in Walden. Ayurveda, an ancient health science from India, is couched in the natural rhythms of earth, and is thousands of years old. for an article on “nature-deficit disorder”, CLICK HERE.

Tim is an amazing example of recovery with his own “nontraditional” approach. It’s worked for him for three decades. His growing organization has helped thousands. For parents with loved ones struggling with Failure to Launch, a walk in the woods with Tim or another member of his team may be a catalyst to long-term recovery. Thanks Tim, for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us.