When you think of therapy, talk therapy is probably what comes to mind; a group of people sharing difficult memories, experiences, or situations in a supportive, like-minded environment. Like talk therapy, experiential therapy aims to treat conditions and disorders like:
- Substance use disorders
- Mental disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, and psychosis)
- Behavioral disorders (ADHD, PTSD, OCD)
- Bipolar disorder, mood disorders, anger issues
- Eating disorders
- Grief and loss
- Relationship problems
Unlike talk therapy, however, experiential therapy is an immersive experience that involves expressive tools and activities to help people cope with painful or harmful memories and any shame or guilt attached to them.
What is experiential therapy?
Experiential therapy emphasizes action. When the body is actively engaged, we have greater access to psychological elements we would otherwise suppress. Action can also be a precursor to healing change. The best candidates for experiential therapy are those who struggle to express themselves verbally. Experiential therapy employs tools such as role-play, psychodrama, music, poetry, arts and crafts, and outdoor excursions to help people re-enact or recreate traumatic or negative situations in a safe environment.
Using this method, those recovering from a substance use disorder and/or mood disorder can express complex thoughts and emotions in a safe space while developing new ways of responding to the trauma, shame, or guilt. At Alpine Recovery Lodge, our skilled clinicians guide clients through these difficult emotions and teach them healthy coping mechanisms, preparing them for sober living after addiction treatment.
Types of experiential therapy
Our skilled clinicians use several types of experiential therapy to help people heal from their substance use and mental health disorders, including:
- Drama therapy
Roleplay is the most common type of experiential therapy. It involves re-enacting painful experiences to help you release negative or suppressed emotions.
- Music therapy
Music therapy is an evidence-based use of music interventions to help people reach their physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual goals. It uses several activities like listening to upbeat melodies, playing instruments, drumming, writing songs, and guided imagery.
- Art therapy
Art therapy uses creative processes and tools (e.g., painting, sculpting, drawing) to help those struggling with addiction and/or mood disorders work through internal conflicts and become more self-aware.
- Outdoor therapy
Outdoor, wilderness and adventure therapy combine outdoor excursions, adventure activities, and therapy sessions.
If you’d like to learn more about the types of experiential therapies we offer and how they can help restore your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual balance, call Alpine Recovery Lodge at 801-901-8757.
Our licensed clinicians have additional training and experience helping those struggling with substance use disorders using several types of experiential therapy. We’re ready to help you achieve sobriety and long-lasting recovery using the methods that are best suited to your unique needs and goals.