The classic Kevin Costner movie Dances with Wolves has a central theme, which focuses on the strong bond Costner’s character develops with members of a wolf pack. Some therapists have taken that relationship to the next level as part of addiction treatment. Wolf Therapy is an unconventional but impactful method that takes patients out of their comfort zone and toward a more meaningful, lasting recovery.
Wolf Therapy builds on the deep connection between humans and wolves, animals that have long been regarded by Native Americans as great teachers or “pathfinders.” Wolf Therapy creates a primal bond between human and wolf by helping patients manage their emotions of fear and awe in the presence of these wild, intelligent creatures. Many treatment centers work with wolves that have been mistreated by humans or abandoned by their pack. This way, the animals and their human counterparts can share in the healing together.
While playing with wolves is not for the timid, the activity can provide unique insights into team-building. Watching wolves engage in their complicated pecking order can remind us of our own complex, interpersonal relationships. In short, those weighing treatment options who love nature and have a sense of adventure should perhaps consider taking a walk on the wild side with Wolf Therapy.