All Kinds of News for July 10, 2019
At Trails Momentum, a wilderness and adventure-based program for young adults, one of the main components of the program is helping young men and women develop relationships through strong group dynamics. The program has recently started to integrate more processing groups and team-building exercises into the regular schedule, to better support students with social anxiety.
Adventure activities provide an opportunity for students to talk about their experiences or to reflect on a theme. In a group setting, they are amongst peers who have struggled with the same issues, so it creates a safe space for them to process their anxiety and to show empathy toward others.
Clinical Director Mara Mueller points out, “young adults today are connecting on the Internet instead of face to face and, as a result, have severe social anxiety, especially in group settings. For some of our students, this can be the first time they really look at how they show up in the world and offline.”
In recent group activities, processing topics have ranged from types of communication styles, how to manage conflict with others, taking responsibility for emotions, vulnerability, and foundations of healthy relationships. When divided into smaller groups, young adults are better able to establish a sense of safety and belonging in the group that encourages them to share more.
“As they share and relate to their peers, their worries and fears are normalized rather than judged, which helps alleviate some of the anxiety. There is low pressure to talk or have insight into their feelings, which many students do not have coming in,” Mara shares.
Having shared experiences through adventure activities helps to build the relationship, allowing for conversation to flow more easily. As each group spends a lot of time together, they realize how important it is not only to make friends, but to treat everyone with respect and kindness in order to maintain the healthy group dynamic.
“A powerful group dynamic encourages young adults to hold up mirrors for one another, creating accountability, as well as allowing them to support one another through moments that feel overwhelming,” says Mara. “That is the power of authentic connection.”
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is an outdoor adventure and wilderness-based therapy program based in Hendersonville, North Carolina for young adults, ages 18 to 25, who want to work on gaining independence and improving self-awareness. The program takes a strength-based approach using adventure therapy to build a stronger group dynamic. Its small and nurturing community helps young adults with social anxiety gain confidence and a sense of belonging. Learn more about campus life and our relationship-based approach by calling (877) 296-8711.