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What is a Ropes Challenge Course?

ropes challenge course

What is a Ropes Challenge Course?

Ropes Course? Challenge Course? Ropes Challenge Course? Whatever the name, this adventure therapy method is changing the face of recovery.

Ropes Challenge Courses: An Introduction

Modern day ropes challenge courses (also referred to as ropes courses or challenge courses) started to come of age in the 1980s, but their origins trace back to Ancient Greece. Back then ropes course were used to train the military. And highly intensive challenge courses continue to be employed by world militaries to this day. However, ropes challenge courses are increasingly being used by the general public as a form of fun and adventure. They’re also becoming more prevalent in therapy. In fact, it’s even called adventure therapy.

There are generally two types of ropes challenge courses — the High Course and the Low Course. The High Ropes Challenge Course can either be a pre-fabricated, professionally installed course, built of utility poles, cables, and bolts, or a course that is hand-built in a wooded area, where ropes and wire are attached to different trees. The Low Course, in contrast, consists of a series of real and imaginary obstacles designed to challenge groups and individuals to work together in order to accomplish a given task.

Healing Properties’ Ropes Challenge Course adds a third element to the equation — the Ground Initiative. The Ground Initiative incorporates various motivational methods to set the stage for the High and Low Courses. It also serves to introduce the participants — to each other, as well as to the challenges to come.

HP’s Ropes Challenge Course Activities

HP clients participate in challenge course activities with both highly-trained experts and our clinical staff. You’re provided with close instruction, oversight, and coaching. This ensures all mental barriers can be challenged and worked through to resolve. Remember, physical fitness is not a prerequisite to ropes course participation. Nor is it a condition of adventure therapy success. Indeed, HP’s Ropes Challenge Course allows you to develop new skills, stretch your limitations, and work through discomfort, regardless of your condition. Better still, our week-long ropes challenge course provides a welcome escape from any present turmoil and stress.

Identifying Stressors

Healing Properties’ ropes challenge course will bring to light many stressors including relationship exploration, family or origin dynamics, conflict resolution skills, listening and assertive communication skills, and self-esteem issues.

Group Considerations

Following each day of ropes challenge course activities, you and your peers will form a process group to reflect upon specific successes and identify areas for improvement.


Our ropes challenge course requires you to utilize a high level of communication both on and off the course. That means out on the field, as well as within the daily group therapy sessions. You’ll not only be encouraged to share and reflect upon your personal thoughts, insight, feelings, and awareness learned at the end of every day, but you’ll also learn how each can be applied to your life, as well as the lives of your peers.

Ropes Challenge Course Benefits

Healing Properties’ week-long Ropes Challenge Course provides many personal benefits, including:

Increase Motivation

This social and interactive experience of our ropes course will help you learn to have fun while in early recovery. Learning to have fun is very important while you are in early recovery. In fact, research shows that having fun can provide stress relief from negative life events, generate optimism, and give you a sense of normalcy and control. Most importantly, our ropes course helps you increase motivation, learn to look forward to the future, and prove you actually do possess the skills needed to attain new goals.

Boost Confidence

Our ropes challenge course is beneficial to addiction recovery, as well as anxiety and other mental health conditions. Mastering the ropes course will give you a tremendous boost in confidence. The learned skills will also help aid your cooperation, goal-setting, strategic risk-taking, and problem-solving. You’ll learn to build trust in yourself, as well as in others. And you’ll celebrate the newly-acquired interpersonal growth.

Other ropes challenge course benefits include:

  • Personal growth
  • Boosting confidence
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Practicing teamwork and cooperation
  • Exhibiting Leadership
  • Utilizing creativity
  • Assertive communication
  • Healthy trust and boundaries
  • Relationship building with peers
  • Increased ability to problem-solve
  • Stress management skills
  • Mindfulness meditation techniques
  • Communicating in a group setting
  • Learning self-schemas
  • Utilizing problem-solving
  • Optimistic outlook
  • Facing and overcoming fear(s)
  • Planning to reach an outcome
  • Better awareness of self
  • Expansion of comfort zone
  • Surrendering to the group
  • Accepting your feelings
  • Supporting others
  • Celebrating small milestones
  • Listening skills
  • Additional coping and behavioral skills
  • Ropes Course Characteristics

    Healing Properties’ Ropes Challenge Course is coordinated with Florida Atlantic University’s staff and takes place on FAU’s sprawling campus. The course charts a clear set of daily goals, expectations, and themes. And each are tailored to you and your peer group.

    Characteristics of our week-long ropes course include:

    Ground Initiatives

    The Ropes Course Ground Initiative includes both Energizers and Ice Breakers. These activities help you to understand yourself, as well as your peer group, outside of the treatment arena. You’ll learn to lower your defense mechanisms and let down your protective walls. These walls have long-been used to protect us from uncomfortable feelings, as well as mental health, medical problems, vocational issues, financial difficulties, and other stressors. Lowering — or even raising — these walls clears the way for healthy and productive relationships.

    Portable and Low Elements

    These initiatives are designed to help you and your peer group work specifically on leadership, communication, team work, and problem solving. You’ll utilize a high degree of communication skills, including both listening and speaking. And you’ll be coached along by both clinical staff and course facilitators every step of the way. The various activities will help you apply your strengths to your weaknesses. And as each member works on their own weaknesses the group as a whole becomes stronger.

    High Elements

    High elements are what most people think of when they think of a ropes challenge course. And they begin when team communication is thoroughly achieved. High initiatives happen between 20 and 50 feet in the air and largely focus on group support. Each group member will be assigned a specific duty, and it will be each member’s responsibility to aid others’ individual achievement.

    HP’s Ropes Challenge Course

    Healing Properties‘ Ropes Challenge Course has become a boon to our one-of-a-kind addiction treatment program, as well as a healthy complement to our long-standing emphasis on community. It’s also help expedite recovery in ever more revealing and insightful ways. Remember, we’ve been treating addicted men since 2002. And we’ve built up a considerable Recovered Alumni network. Our Ropes Challenge Course helps strengthen the bonds between recovering and recovered alike.

    If you or you loved one is seeking effective and comprehensive addiction treatment, please give us a call. We’re here to help.

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