Updated: Feb 24, 2020
What are the benefits of experiential therapy? I don’t even know where to start. When I was in college I took a class to figure out what I should major in. I took some aptitude tests, wrote down the things that I liked to do and didn’t like to do. Did some job shadowing and came to a major and career that I had never even heard of before called Therapeutic Recreation. “Are you kidding me?” I thought. “Using recreation, something I absolutely love in all forms, to help people? Sign me up!” I graduated a few years later, not without some flack from my roommates wondering why I was doing things like spelunking and camping rather than writing papers and analyzing books. I worked as a Recreation Therapist for a few years and absolutely loved it. There is nothing like a good rappel down a 75 foot waterfall to help you work through anxieties or trust issues. There is nothing like hiking to the top of a mountain to tell yourself that you can do hard things. There is nothing like being able to take a paraplegic skiing for the first time and pushing boundaries of what they thought was possible, then using this experience to push boundaries in other areas of their lives. This is what recreation can do for us. We literally have a chance to re-create ourselves.
This July, 2020, we are putting on an epic event for you and your partner. We know that as we fill our lives with work, kids, and other responsibilities, it is all too easy to fall into a rut of self-neglect. As we plow ahead with an attitude of "just try harder!", often our most intimate and important relationships suffer. Before we know it we come home one day and are hit with a realization that we feel like more of a roommate than a spouse, friend, or lover. We know it is important to intentionally plan our family lives, just as we do other aspects of our life. Whether you are on the up side of your relationship and want to keep climbing, or you feel stuck in a rut, looking at your relationship through an outsiders eye is helpful in keeping that relationship moving forward. What we have planned for you is an amazing experience geared to helping you reconnect, regroup, and keep moving up. As couples go through development of their relationship there can often be roadblocks that make it difficult to move to the next step of their relationship. Can you reconnect, regroup, and recharge on your own? Sure. Do you need to do it on a river trip? No. So why would you? Here are 4 reasons why this will be the best investment you can make on you and your relationship with you spouse.
1. Away from Distractions. We all know life can get busy and the beautiful kids we have invited into our lives take up a lot of your time and effort. We have work, volunteer duties, house cleaning, grocery shopping, birthday parties, and the list goes on. Out here in the canyon you have a gorgeous canyon to rejuvenate and reconnect in without distractions of everyday life.
2. The Canyon. Thousands of people make trips to raft down the Cataract Canyon every year and it's a wonder why. You will experience steep sandstone canyon walls, beautiful desert starry nights, optional hikes to Native American sites, relaxing swims in the river, and then a day of rip roaring rapids down the river.
3. Rafting with Therapists. No. We will not be there analyzing your every move, making you feel like you were under a therapy microscope. The purpose of bringing a therapist along is so they can get to know you and your partner in a more personal way that one hour therapy sessions every week don't allow. This will allow the therapist to help understand your relationship and how it works in various situations. They will also be able to support and guide you to the next stages of your relationship.
4. Adventure. For some this may be terrifying. For some you may think, "heck yes!" sign me up. Getting yourself out of your comfort zone ignites growth and confidence. Even if you are "all in" with setting your raft sailing down rip-roaring rapids you can't help but feel a little anxious in the Colorado River rapids.
This event is a 4 day, 3 night river trip on which you will be able to create life long memories that you’ll be talking about for years to come.
What to expect?
Before gathering in St. George, UT expect to hear from one of our therapists for an introductory session where we get to know who you are and what you expect to get out of this trip.
Day 1: We will leave from St. George, UT at 6:00 a.m. and together we will travel to Moab where we will meet up with our river guides get us to the river destination and go through safety procedures and orientation. We will embark on our journey and float down the river until the evening. We will then set up camp and get to know each other while the river guides cook a delicious dinner. After dinner we will have a fireside chat and open up our group trip with a group session.
Day 2: We will wake up to a hearty breakfast and set out back onto the river. This day will be spent motoring through red sandstone cliffs, swimming, relaxing, off-river hiking to Native American Petroglyphs and other points of interest. We will then set up camp while the river guides prepare a great dinner. Parent and couple sessions will be conducted during the course of the day.
Day 3: After a delicious breakfast we will continue our journey through a 14-mile stretch of rip-roaring rapids. Camp that night is often filled with laughter and stories of the excitement of going through the rapids. We will have one last fireside chat talk about our journey together.
Day 4: Make it into Lake Powel, relax, and swim some more with your new group of bonded friends. We will then unload the boats and travel back to St. George from our drop off point. We plan on arriving back to St. George about 8:00 p.m.
Upon returning home the therapist will do a follow up session to check in and process your experience with you.
What to Bring?
On a wilderness adventure, happiness is bringing less -- not more. The items on this list should meet your needs throughout your trip. The night before departure, you will receive two dry bags for your gear: a small one for personal items you’ll want to access during the day, and a larger one to hold your camping gear and a change of clothes. The larger dry bag will be secured to the raft and inaccessible during the day. It will come with a sleeping bag, pad, and ground tarp already inside, leaving room for a small nylon gym bags’ worth of clothes (about 12”x12”x24” - be mindful of this limited space as you pack). Do not bring backpacks or suitcases to the river. Choose clothing that will keep you comfortable through a full day under the sun and can get wet. Most guests meet at our office ready for rafting, but a changing area and restrooms are available if you prefer to travel in regular clothing and change there.
Sun hat (and string to keep it from blowing off)
Quick drying shorts and/or swimming suit
T-shirts (Long sleeve is a good idea for sun protection in the hot summer months)
River sandals or two pairs tennis shoes (one to get wet, one for camp)
Lightweight long pants
Socks and underwear
Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
Recommended Personal Items:
Plenty of sunscreen and lip balm (at least SPF 15)
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Biodegradable soap (such as Ivory)
Insect repellent (although the bugs are not bad in Westwater Canyon)
Small towel & personal hygiene items
Disposable moist towelettes
Kleenex (small travel packs)
Medication if needed
Extra pair prescription glasses or contact lenses
Sunglasses with safety strap
Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
Sport water bottle
Camera with extra batteries and storage media
Money for T-shirts, maps and stops at stores
Medium Ziploc bags – 5 or 6 for handy storage
What we provide.
Coast Guard Approved Type V lifejacket
Small dry bag for use on the river during the day
Large dry bag to store things you’ll need at camp
All rafting, safety, and camping equipment
Transportation from St. George to the river and back
Hearty and delicious meals
Cold water and lemonade on the boats
The best licensed guides in the industry
Experienced master’s level therapists
Memories to last a lifetime!
What will the weather be like?
Moab’s Canyon Country is known for its fantastic weather. In the spring and fall, daytime temperatures range from 60-80 degrees F, dropping to 30-50 degrees at night. Expect summer temperatures between 85 and 105 degrees during the day and 55-75 degrees at night. Rainstorms tend to be rare and short-lived in this area, but a light rain jacket may be handy for cool mornings or late afternoon showers. We recommend that you check the local weather before departing to see what is forecast during your trip. Always be prepared for the sun; wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin.