Sometimes the phrase “cultural immersion therapy” gets tossed around the internet, but technically, there’s no such practice. However, we’ve found cultural immersion to be an incredibly therapeutic element of our outdoor adventure therapy program. Here are some of the commonly asked questions about cultural immersion and the role it plays in the Pure Life Adventure curriculum.
What Is Cultural Immersion?
Cultural immersion within a therapeutic setting is an extra element that gives students a rich understanding of culture besides their own by engaging in all aspects of family life. With cultural immersion, our students will spend time in nature with a Costa Rican family. They will engage in the family’s daily life, from harvesting and preparing food to perform daily chores. The host family they will be working with doesn’t adapt the chores, food, or experiences to meet what the student is comfortable with, but rather we expect our students to step outside what they know and are familiar with to learn and grow. By becoming immersed in a culture that is not their own, they have an opportunity to observe basic human characteristics we all share in addition to assessing their own needs versus wants.
What Are The Benefits Of Cultural Immersion?
Have you ever been in a room where you are the only one who speaks your language? Or be the only one of your gender? Been the only one who doesn’t understand what is going on around you? If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, you may remember the need to adapt and reach outside your knowledge and understanding to sort out your surroundings, ask a question, seek help or ask directions. When we are forced into a circumstance we’ve never been in before we have no choice but to learn, adapt and grow. Cultural immersion is choosing to put yourself in a situation that is new, different, or even uncomfortable. It is during times of discomfort or when facing the unknown that we create opportunities to learn about ourselves and create a new level of self-awareness. We can’t improve who we are by remaining stagnant and maintaining situations that are familiar.
As humans, when we don’t expose ourselves to experiences different than our own, we limit our understanding and capabilities. By choosing a cultural immersion option, a new culture can be extremely helpful in aiding young adults living at home to achieve their independence. When we interrupt our daily routine and comforts, we can then begin to build new ways of looking at and responding to the world around us.
One of the most beneficial aspects of cultural immersion for young adults is providing a new and truthful experience of a world outside their societal norm. Cultural immersion will take a deep dive into what the world looks like for millions who don’t have the creature comforts, technology, or ease that our modern life typically provides. At times, it can be a shock to realize that simple things such as access to clean drinking water are actually a luxury they take for granted. By exposing young adults to different cultures and lifestyles can help them reassess their own life and priorities. Many young adults who immerse themselves in a different culture are profoundly impacted by the loyalty, focus on family, and overall happiness that the members of the community have. During this cultural immersion process, participants often explore and strengthen their core values in addition to gaining a deeper appreciation of an unfamiliar place.
What Are Some Examples of Cultural Immersion?
Our cultural immersion and nature therapy program will bring young adults inside the home of a local Costa Rican family. Typically, when staying with the local family, they may sleep on the floor of the home with the rest of the group. All local families that work with our therapy group will provide a safe and clean environment. Host families will ask that the therapy members pitch in and assist with the daily chores inside and outside of the home. Chores could include harvesting food, helping prepare meals, repairs on the homestead, and much more. The intent of cultural immersion is to experience life for the Costa Rican community in its truest form. We hope to help young adults gain perspective and understanding of what life looks like outside of their first-world life and experiences.
Along with cultural immersion therapy, Pure Life incorporates additional types of therapy for a well-rounded experience. Young adults will have the opportunity to learn new skills such as whitewater rafting, surfing, and repelling. Our licensed therapists will work with students weekly on their physical health by introducing an organic diet, daily exercise, and meditation. We will also include weekly talk therapy on an individual and group basis. Pure Life is more than just therapy. Pure Life is a life-changing experience that will not only improve your young adults’ mental health but also teach coping strategies to build confidence and life skills for continued success.
If you’d like to learn more about cultural immersion therapy with Pure Life Wilderness Adventures, contact us at any time. Your mental health is our top priority. We want to help build a safe and healthy path towards mental strength and self-confidence.