Counselors and psychologists use experiential therapy for mental illnesses like behavior disorders, trauma, and eating disorders. This kind of treatment is also useful for helping people recover from grief, trauma or loss. Because of the way it works, this kind of therapy is a popular part of substance abuse recovery programs.

What Is Experiential Therapy?

two people on a hike in the woods experiential therapy programAn experiential therapy program helps any problem that involves breaking free of negative feelings and perceptions about the past. This might be unhappy or painful feelings about an addiction, trauma, a past relationship, grief or something else. Furthermore, to help people recover, a trained therapist guides the client as they explore these negative feelings of hurt, anger or pain. They can also help the client release negative emotions and discover blocked feelings.

Experiential therapy uses a variety of tools to help people recover. In an experiential therapy program, clients may do activities like role-playing, guided imagery, music, props or animal care. Some programs use arts and crafts to help clients re-enact emotional events from the person’s past.

The Idea Behind the Process

The theory behind experiential therapy is that someone’s perception of the past can determine how they act in the present. This is why an experiential therapy program focuses so much on releasing negative feelings from the past. By changing negative emotions, individuals can change their perception of reality.

With substance abuse treatment, this kind of therapy works to prepare the individual for life outside of treatment. Unlike detox, it does not directly treat the medical or physical aspects of substance abuse. Instead, it helps clients learn how to rethink their lives, relationships and feelings about certain events. It is especially useful for people who have problems talking to other people during traditional talk therapy.

Of course, researchers know that experiential therapy and other expressive therapies are a powerful way to develop insight and reduce denial issues. Expressive therapies help people develop insight and achieve a more cooperative, positive approach to treatment. Adventure therapy and similar options help clients solve problems as a group. This kind of program also helps individuals work as a team, express their feelings and develop trust.

Specific therapy options like using dogs in treatment are also useful for helping clients, therapists and other group members develop a close bond. This bond is a therapeutic alliance that helps everyone involved reach their treatment goals. Additionally, equine therapy offers similar benefits. Through these kinds of treatment options, individuals are able to progress in their treatment better and form stronger connections to other people in their recovery program.

Starting Addiction Treatment and Going Through Detox

No matter what type of treatment someone needs, there are a variety of addiction rehab programs that can help. These treatment programs offer everything from residential treatment to experiential therapy options. Clients can get help going through detox safely before they continue on to additional therapy programs.

Finding the right rehab does not have to be a challenge. At a treatment center, clients can find unique options such as:

If you or a loved one is struggling to treat an addiction, you do not have to go through the process alone. High-quality, evidence-based treatment can help you begin your personal journey toward a sober lifestyle. Through Pillars Recovery, you can immediately start the detox, rehab and therapy programs you need to achieve your goals. Learn more about everything we have to offer by calling us at 8667820247.