Common Types of Experiential Therapy
There are many different types of engaging activities that people can take
part in for experiential therapy. Some of these engaging activities may
require people to engage with animals. Other types of experiential therapy
may require people to tap into their creative sides.
Regardless of the type of experiential therapy, the purpose is the same.
To help shift the perspectives of patients, help patients gain a better
sense of self, and open patients up emotionally.
Some common activities that therapists make people take part in during
experiential therapy include:
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Canine therapy
- Rock climbing
- Hiking and other outdoor activities and games
- Creating poetry
- Role-playing, otherwise known as Gestalt therapy
When individuals take part in different types of experiential therapy,
they may have to call on different experiential therapy techniques. In
fact, some common experiential therapy techniques directly align with
certain types of experiential therapy.
Common Experiential Therapy Techniques
Experiential therapy techniques are the psychological methods that therapists
often use on patients during experiential therapy. Like with all things,
some experiential therapy techniques are more common than others.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy is an experiential therapy technique that
directly aligns with the equine-assisted type of experiential therapy.
For those that don’t know what equine-assisted therapy is, it’s
using horses to help create engaging and therapeutic activities.
What may surprise many people is that more often than not, people who take
part in equine-assisted psychotherapy don’t ride horses. Instead,
they feed, groom, and walk the horses around
Forcing individuals to take care of horses causes them to tap into their
emotional and mental states. This can then give therapists an insight
into the emotional and mental states of patients.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, otherwise known
as EMDR, is a therapeutic practice that makes individuals think about
past traumas while being guided visually with a pen or finger. EMDR therapy helps people
manage the negative thoughts and emotions that arise within them when
dealing with trauma. Due to EMDR therapy, many people can be triggered
into thinking about past trauma without it consuming them or causing them
to start abusing substances.
Adventure therapy uses outdoor activities to make patients live in the
present and open themselves up emotionally. Common types of experiential
therapy that are also considered forms of adventure therapy include rock
climbing, hiking, and other outdoor games. Adventure forms of therapy
force patients to be responsible, communicate, make their own decisions,
and problem solve. Oftentimes, adventure forms of therapy occur in
group therapy formats.
Creating art is one of the most popular experiential therapy techniques.
This is because creating art can help individuals express the thoughts
and emotions that are laying dormant in the minds. Creating art can also
help individuals work through their negative thoughts and emotions in
a productive manner.
Who Would Benefit Most From Experiential Therapy
Many individuals would benefit from receiving experiential therapy. Individuals
that struggle to step outside of themselves and connect with their emotions
while in addiction treatment could benefit from experiential therapy.
Individuals that also struggle to connect with their therapists and fellow
addiction treatment patients could also benefit from receiving experiential therapy.
Who Would Not Benefit From Receiving Experiential Therapy
Individuals that are not of an age or level of maturity to properly engage
in certain forms of experiential therapy would not benefit from them.
For example, a young child may not be mature enough to handle practicing
animal-assisted forms of therapy on their own yet. Therefore, such individuals
would not benefit from this form of experiential therapy.
Individuals that are genuinely psychotic also should not engage in experiential
forms of therapy. This is because they would not be able to get the emotional
and mental benefits from it. Also, being psychotic while engaging in experiential
therapy activities that require problem-solving and trust is dangerous.
Individuals with severe cognitive or physical limitations should also not
engage in experiential therapy activities. This is because doing so could
be very dangerous. This is especially true when it comes to experiential
therapy activities that are very physical or require higher levels of
Individuals that genuinely have no desire to engage in certain forms of
experiential therapy due to fear, extreme shyness, sensitivity to criticism,
or something else should never be forced to do so. For example, a person
that contains an intense fear of animals should not receive animal-assisted
forms of experiential therapy. Instead, therapists could introduce such
people to more creative forms of experiential therapy such as art or music therapy.
Receive Experiential Therapy At Grace Land Recovery
Grace Land Recovery, we specialize in numerous different treatment modalities, one of which
is experiential therapy. Therefore, individuals that struggle to connect
with others or their own emotions can take advantage of the different
forms of experiential therapy that we offer.
Because Grace Land Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center, individuals
that want extra assistance in the treatment of their co-occurring disorders
can also take advantage of our experiential therapies. Individuals can
even pair our experiential therapies with their other forms of addiction
therapy to maximize the results of both.
To learn more about Grace Land Recovery and the other unique forms of addiction
treatment and therapy programs as well as services that we offer,
contact us today! Our phone lines are open 24/7. For those that would rather visit
our facility in person, our treatment center is open Monday – Friday,
9 am – 5 pm