Adult Rock Climbing:
Grand river rocks
Adventure Therapy allows you to challenge yourself physically and mentally while building trust and self-confidence. Instead of talking in an office, we will climb together and have the chance to apply therapeutic practices in a real-life setting. Discover your strengths, practice mindfulness, and share what is going on in your life. Rock climbing offers a fun and functional context where we can explore healing, growth, and self-awareness.
What do I need to know?
*** UPDATE ***
If you are able to have your mental health needs met through video or phone based sessions please let us know. If you or someone that you have had contact with is experiencing any signs of flu or Covid19, you are required to notify your therapist and change your session to a video or phone based session. Thanks so much for your support in this!
* COVID-19 Protocols *
Grand River Rocks Kitchener (50 Borden Ave South, Kitchener) is following current Covid recommendations. At this time GRR is only allowing booking slots at certain times.
1) Please familiarize yourself with these on their website, www.grandriverrocks.com . This includes the use of masks whenever you are not climbing (please bring your own mask), to try and dress for climbing prior to your session if possible (to avoid extra contact in the washrooms), etc.
2) Parents/caregivers cannot stay in the building as the gym only can accommodate a small number of people at once during this time. I will be waiting at the front desk. If you are a parent/guardian, please feel free to walk your child to the front desk, or to arrange with Brandon beforehand if meeting outside or talking on the phone together is helpful.
3) You can book online, or we can manually book you in for your session. You however will need to complete the Grand River Rocks waiver which can be found here: https://grandriverrocks.com/kitchener/waiver/
3) Sessions are all 60 or 90 minutes and include a mixture of climbing and talk based work. You will only be able to enter right at your session time and so feel free to arrive a minute or two before your session begins
4) If you are a caregiver, and would like to speak directly with Brandon either outside in person, or over the phone, feel free to let him know and you can plan the first and last part of your session to connect over phone, or outside of the gym in person. Please consider a phone chat if the conversation is of a more private matter. Conversations outside can be at a distance from anyone waiting to enter, but cannot guarantee strict confidentiality.
5) All people will enter through the main entrance, and then will exit out the back entrance. The back entrance has a wooden staircase that meets the large parking lot. If you are a parent/caregiver your child will exit through this door with Brandon. Please make sure you are visible at least 10 minutes prior to the end of our session for a debrief.
5) If you have any other questions just let Brandon know!
What is this all about?
Rock climbing is a fun (and safe) way to challenge yourself physically and mentally. In our sessions together, we will use various adventure therapy practices to build confidence, overcome obstacles, practice life skills and discuss what is going on in your life. There are lots of spaces to take a break from climbing and just connect. We will tailor each session to focus on your goals. It is always up to you as to what you want to focus on, what type of climbing you want to do that day, as well as what conversations we have.
By experiencing climbing together, clients share that they feel a sense of accomplishment, success, encouragement, and trust as we both challenge ourselves. this time climbing allows an opportunity to practice managing risk, breaking goals down into small steps, working through fear, practicing mindfulness and learning about ourselves and life through climbing.
We will spend some time talking together but a lot of that time you will also be climbing! Our therapists are belay-certified and also registered therapists, meaning we can attend to your physical and emotional safety simultaneously. During our time together we will decide what type of climbing to do, choosing between bouldering, top-rope belay, and auto-belay climbs.
Check out this video for a quick tour of Grand River Rocks and an introduction to rock climbing.
How do I sign up?
You can book online or email if you can't find a time slot that works with your schedule. The climbing gym is often loud and busy. If less busy and/or quieter times are better for you, please let Brandon know, or generally book on weekdays before 5pm.
Once you've signed up, keep on reading below to find answers to (hopefully) all of your questions.
What do I need to do before going?
At least 24 hours before your session, you need to fill out an online waiver for the climbing gym. Anyone who is coming with you will also need to fill out a waiver (even if they aren't climbing):
The two forms you will need to complete for Get Out Adventure Therapy are:
1) Informed Consent Form (know what you’re signing up for)
2) Intake Form (help me get to know you)
These will be emailed to you after you book online. Please fill these forms out at least 24 hours before your session. By filling these forms ahead of time, you ensure that we use our time together for climbing not paperwork and we can plan ahead to make sure that you get what you want out of counselling
Where do I go?
How do I get I there?
There is plenty of parking at the climbing gym if you come by car. The nearest ION stop is Borden Station and there are lots of bus stops nearby. There is bike parking on the side of the building closest to the main entrance.
Please note, there are steps leading down into the gym. If you have accessibility requirements please contact Grand River Rocks with any accessibility questions.
What do I do when I arrive?
Please arrive at Grand River Rocks (GRR) 15 minutes before your session begins to gather your rental gear from GRR staff so that you are ready to climb. Just let them know you have a session with Brandon (Get Out Adventure Therapy) and they'll set you up with everything you need (harness, climbing shoes, chalk bag). Please make sure you change and use the washroom at this time so you are ready to begin your session on time.
For your first session only, plan to come 20 minutes early as you will need to complete a climbing safety orientation with GRR climbing staff. This only needs to be completed once.
Brandon will meet you near the front desk. Check out his photo so you can easily recognize him because the gym can be busy. Brandon's work cell phone is 519 721 4465 if you need anything the day of your session (but please note I won't be able to answer phone calls or texts when I am in session).
What should I wear and bring?
It's recommended to wear comfortable shorts or loose pants, a t-shirt, and maybe a light long sleeve shirt for the winter. The climbing gym is normally kept at a comfortable temperature, but can be very warm in the summer.
You are welcome to use your own clean, closed-toe shoes for climbing, but there are climbing shoes available free of charge for your session, along with all other climbing gear needed. Feel free to bring your own gear if you have it.
Please make sure you have a snack and water bottle with you. There is a water fountain, storage cubbies, and snack food available in a vending machine on site.
Is it safe?
Indoor Rock Climbing is dangerous and it is important for you to be familiar with both Grand River Rock’s waiver form, and the form from Get Out Adventure Therapy. Please familiarize yourself with these, and bring up any concerns or accommodations you require to ensure your own safety.
The informed consent for Get Out Adventure Therapy outlines the unique risks of Adventure Therapy including physical risks, interactions with the public, and no guarantee of confidentiality in this form of therapy (given the public spaces we use). It is important for you to speak with your healthcare provider to determine if indoor rock climbing is safe for you to participate in. Please let Brandon know of any concerns you have, or accommodations we can take to make our time safer.
What will the session be like?
Each climbing session is designed specifically for your needs, goals, and how your body is feeling that day. With that said, generally we will meet near the front desk and then we will find a semi-private space to stretch and do a check-in before we climb. This might include talking about how the week has been, what kind of stuff has been challenging, safety, and what type of climbing you would like to do that day.
During the climbing portion of the session, we will be talking, and engaging in simple exercises to work on life skills (like mindfulness, discomfort tolerance, frustration, communication, etc). There are times we will climb side-by-side, and other times where I will be belaying or encouraging you from below.
We will work together on your goals and address any specific issues that you're facing. We can incorporate Heartmath biofeedback, mindfulness practices, CBT practices, etc into our sessions. We will tailor our time together to meet your unique needs. Ask about our specialized programs for ADHD, First Responders, and Quitting Smoking.
The session ends with us cooling down together, talking about how the session went and what we should focus on during the next session.
What does it cost and how do I pay?
A 60 minute session costs $120 and a 90 minute session costs $160. The cost of your adventure therapy session may be covered by EAP or insurance plans. Please talk to Brandon for more information.
Payment is required at the end of your session by credit or debit. You will only need to present your card once. All future sessions will be automatically and securely billed. Payment is done in person, and can include credit, debit (with a CVV) or E-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I can't make it?
Our cancellation policy is to give a full refund if the cancellation is done 48 hours or more in advance. Cancellations less than 48 hours prior to your session will be charged 50% of your fee. Cancellations less than 24 hours prior to your session will be charged 100% of your fee. Life happens, we know, so let us know if you need to reschedule and we will always try and work with you.
What do I need to do after my session?
Directly after your session you are welcome to continue climbing on your own (using the auto-belays or bouldering). There are change rooms and showers available if desired.
Depending on if our climbing activity is different than your normal physical exercise, you may feel sore the following day. Make sure to consult with your health care provider if you have any concerns, or have
experienced an injury during your session. Please inform me if you have hurt yourself in any way during your session.
You are welcome to continue booking Adventure Therapy sessions online at your convenience, and pending our availability. As always, if you are having trouble finding session times that match your schedule please write me directly at