At Monuments, experiential therapy is one of our techniques used for helping our young men. As the name implies, this type of therapy involves experiences that allow the young man, through focus on the activities involved, to begin to identify emotions associated with success, disappointment, responsibility, and self-esteem.
Here’s some more about experiential therapy at Monuments.
What is experiential therapy?
This therapy uses expressive tools and activities, such as role-playing, props, guided imagery, and in our case, equine interaction, to re-enact and re-experience emotional situations from past and recent relationships. As our trained experiential therapists guide our young men, they can begin to release and explore negative feelings of anger, hurt, or shame as they relate to past experiences that may have been blocked or still linger.
How does experiential therapy work?
A core tenet of this type of therapy is that a person’s perception determines his or her behavior. It’s often necessary to release repressed negative emotions from the past, and this is done through re-experiencing those situations. Once this has been done, the young man is better able to experience positive feelings such as love, forgiveness, and calm in the present. This changes their perception of reality.
Different vehicles enable this type of therapy. At Monuments, one of our main methods is through the use of our renowned group of horses. Other methods we use involve wilderness experiences, role-playing, acting, and the use of props.
When is experiential therapy used?
Experiential therapy is often used in the treatment of trauma, eating disorders, behavior disorders, anger management, grief and loss recovery, substance abuse, and various types of physical and behavioral addictions and compulsive behaviors.
This type of therapy is not typically the primary form of treatment, but it is used in addition to traditional therapies such as behavior modification. The experiential therapy aspects of treatment help patients to shed memories or lingering feelings, and these can make them more vulnerable to relapse if they are not addressed and directly faced.
After years of burying thoughts from their past, it can be difficult for our young men to access these negative ways of thinking. But experiential therapy accesses the memory banks in ways that traditional therapy cannot. This is the stuff buried deep that our conscious minds don’t want to get back into or remember.
At Monuments, our main vehicle for experiential therapy is our equine therapy.
Do you have a teenage boy who suffers from addiction, substance abuse, or other conditions? Please call the expert team at Monuments, (800) 559-1980, and let’s see how we can help.