Experiential therapy is a powerful way to help people identify changes they need to make in their behavior patterns and overall way of thinking to help them deal with the issues that led them to substance abuse and addiction.
There are a number of different therapeutic methods that would fall under the realm of experiential therapy, including the cognitive behavioral therapy that is one of our main approaches at Monuments. Experiential therapy helps our patients do rather than simply listening to or hearing what changes they need to make in their patterns of thinking and behavior.
Here’s some more about how experiential therapy works.
What is experiential therapy?
Experiential therapy is not just one form of therapeutic intervention, but a number of different types of therapy and interventions that focus on actual involvement with different types of experiences that go beyond traditional “talk therapy.” Experiential therapy is designed to manufacture experiences that result in participants experiencing certain feelings, attitudes, and beliefs that would normally be below their immediate level of awareness. The stimulation of these experiences is therapeutic for the patient.
Experiential therapy employs techniques that use expressive tools and activities to re-enact and re-experience emotional situations from past and recent relationships. Tools used may be role playing, props, arts and crafts, music, animal care, guided imagery, or various forms of recreation. At Monuments, we especially like to use interaction with our stable of horses, along with various wilderness recreational opportunities for our experiential therapy.
Some types of experiential therapy
There aren’t hard and fast definitions here, but the goal is for the individuals to directly experience their emotions. The focus is on the experience, understanding, and reconceptualizing of one’s emotions and how they affect behavior.
- Drama therapy — Acting out a personal story is an effective way to see the behaviors from almost an outside perspective.
- Music therapy — Using music to instill positive changes in behavior.
- Art therapy — Using artistic pursuits, such as painting or sculpting, to develop awareness and reduce negative experiences.
- Play therapy — Therapeutic play is used to resolve psychological difficulties.
- Equine therapy — By caring for and interacting with our horses at Monuments, patients are able to look beyond their own behaviors and change negative patterns of thinking.
- Wilderness therapy — Our setting in the desert of Utah provides the perfect opportunity for our patients to experience various outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing, which provide therapeutic benefits.
Do you have a teenager who you think may be dealing with addiction? Call the team at Monuments, (800) 559-1980, and let’s discuss your situation and see if we could offer the solution you need.