When someone experiences a traumatic event, it can have an impact on the physical, emotional and spiritual state of that individual. The body and mind can begin to disconnect as a survival mechanism. While Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other Psychotherapies are effective, Experiential Therapy allows the individual to access different parts of the brain that are not totally accessed by talk therapy.
What is Experiential Therapy?
The idea behind Experiential Therapy is to take individuals who are being treated with Psychotherapy and to remove them from a clinical office setting. This allows individuals to live in the present moment outside of the office setting and takes their mind off the therapy itself. Just like other talk therapies, Experiential Therapy promotes fluent and open dialogue.
Experiential Therapy is just like it sounds—therapy by experience. This type of therapy involves movement and activity that allows individuals and clinicians to identify and access subconscious thoughts and memories.
How Does Experiential Therapy Work?
During an Experiential Therapy session, individuals have the opportunity to identify obstacles, boost self-esteem and confidence, claim responsibility and experience success. When individuals are performing an exercise, the exercise will require them to build trust, learn to work as a team member, inherit a sense of belonging and most importantly, ask for help when they need it.
Right after Experiential Therapy is a process group. In this group, individuals must take a moment to identify feelings that came up during the exercise and to acknowledge those emotions. This helps both the peers and clinicians understand his or her actions, decisions and reactions to provide feedback. Individuals who truly know themselves, understands what inspires them as well as what triggers them, are far better equipped to overcome their disease than most.
Individuals participating in Experiential Therapy also have the opportunity to learn healthier ways to fill their time. Most people in active addiction forget how to have sober fun. When the addiction is more severe, they may actually feel as though they can no longer find happiness in small pleasures and activities. Experiential Therapy and recreational activity can help individuals reprogram how their brain responds to positive stimuli and help them enjoy leisurely activity.
Experiential Therapy at HEAL Behavioral Health
At HEAL Behavioral Health, our focus is to treat the core underlying trauma that exists behind addiction. Without treating those traumas, there is no guarantee of ensuring a comprehensive recovery. We want individuals in our care to heal and function to their full potential.
HEAL Behavioral Health also offers several recreational activities for individuals in our care, such as air boating, bowling, field days, game night and various other events. The motivation behind the recreational activities is to help individuals understand that they can have “sober fun.” Once they leave the safe and structured treatment atmosphere, they must practice using the tools they have learned to continue their journey of sobriety past the walls of our treatment center. Allowing them to experience directed recreational activities can help them find similar experiences once they graduate from our program. The goal is to ultimately use the coping skills they’ve learned in treatment rather than fall back into bad habits.
Sustainable recovery can only be achieved by unraveling the underlying conditions that trigger relapse. We establish this with an evidence-based clinical program enriched with holistic therapies to promote wellness. The collaboration of medicine, psychology and true holistic treatment tends to every facet of healing.