Alcohol and Drug Treatment through "Surf Therapy" at Sober College

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Barely south of the Santa Monica Pier in Southern California was the mid-May setting for "Mindful Surfing" at Sober College. Students from all over the United States, participating in drug and alcohol treatment examined their fears, feelings and reactions in this unique one-of-a-kind experience.

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I'm blown away right now. This is the most fun I have had, since I can't remember when. I can't believe this is actually therapy. Usually, I am sitting in a room talking to a therapist of having a group. I learned about my approach to new situations and how fear can take over for me. For once, I really can't wait to come back and have therapy again.

Seven Sober College students, participating in alcohol and drug treatment, met on the beach with Dr. Nancy Sobel, a Los Angeles based psychologist. The group was gathered to participate in a workshop called "Mindful Surfing," created by Dr. Sobel, who is an avid surfer. The purpose of the experience was to integrate the skills of mindfulness training with surfing to help participants develop healthy coping styles in facing their addiction.

Sober College, headed up by Founder, Robert Pfeifer, who is a licensed drug addiction counselor explains, "Most young adults coming to us have previously been through alcohol and drug treatment and have been in numerous forms of therapy. It often makes them resistant to trying it again and getting the real benefit from opening up," states Pfeifer. "Of course not only are they having the time of their life (and they are sober doing it), but there are some real lessons from this experience that can be given to them with the help of a skilled professional like Dr. Sobel."

Dr. Sobel concurs, "I can't even begin to identify the number of metaphors and therapeutic opportunities we get from an encounter like this. This group does not emphasize the development of athletic skill. The point is not necessarily to ride a wave. It is about your approach to learning, your openness, using your breath and being fully present in the moment. Every time I have surfed, I have learned more about myself. Creating this workshop is the blend of personal and professional experience that I am overjoyed to share with these students. "

For one participant, Eric, a graduate of four previous drug treatment programs, this was a first. "I'm blown away right now. This is the most fun I have had, since I can't remember when. I can't believe this is actually therapy. Usually, I am sitting in a room talking to a therapist of having a group. I learned about my approach to new situations and how fear can take over for me. For once, I really can't wait to come back and have therapy again."

About Sober College:
Sober College, headquartered in Southern California, is a small private institution providing alcohol and drug treatment environments for young adults age 17 to 29. The Sober College curriculum builds core competencies in life skills, employment, academics, emotional well-being and fitness. For further information visit our website at http://www.sobercollege.com?cpao=129 or call 800-465-0142.

Media Contact:
Robert Pfeifer
818-415-3456

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Robert Pfeifer, MSW
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