EXPERIENTIAL THERAPY IS A TECHNIQUE THAT USES ACTIVITIES AND EXPRESSIVE TOOLS TO HELP PEOPLE EXPLORE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS. THE THERAPIST MAY USE ART, MUSIC, GUIDED IMAGERY, RECREATION OR MUSIC TO HELP PEOPLE LOOK AT THEIR FEELINGS. THEN, THE INDIVIDUAL CAN RELEASE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS LIKE SHAME, PAIN OR ANGER.
HOW EXPERIENTIAL THERAPY WORKS
Through experiential therapy, individuals can develop better self-esteem. This type of therapy can work a variety of issues, such as trauma, anger management, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders. It also helps people learn how to deal with painful or negative feelings. Through therapy, individuals learn how to have better relationships and experiences in the future.
Often, addiction therapy services include this therapy to help individuals deal with past trauma. It is a chance to work through repressed emotions. Of course, many people feel uncomfortable just talking to a therapist in a traditional setting. With an experiential therapy program, the individual gets an environment where they feel safe and comfortable about opening up.
This type of program may include wilderness, adventure or recreation therapy. Guests may take sculpting classes or enjoy music therapy. As a result of experiential therapy, the individual develops a stronger sense of self. They can finally come to terms with past traumas and repressed emotions. Through the right experiential therapy program, the individual can healthily cope with these issues instead of using drugs as an escape.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Unfortunately, many people use alcohol and drugs to numb their painful memories. When they become sober, those memories and feelings resurface. Talk therapy helps the person focus on these feelings, but this can be an uncomfortable experience. Hands-on activities give the person something else to focus on.
Experiential therapy gives the person a more comfortable way to open up with less pressure. Meanwhile, mastering a new activity helps them gain self-confidence. Through learning a new skill, the individual has a chance to talk about feelings of anger as they work to achieve success.
This is just one type of therapy that can work for addiction treatment. Talk therapy and other programs are still necessary. Through experiential therapy, individuals can open up about their feelings. Then, they can carry those breakthroughs to a group or individual therapy session. All of this emotional work is important for long-term sobriety.
THE BENEFITS OF THERAPY
One of the major benefits of experiential therapy is that it helps people get in touch with their feelings. Individuals have to understand and cope with those feelings if they want to prevent a relapse. It is impossible to come to terms with negative emotions if someone cannot talk about them.
Hands-on activities help people constructively direct their emotions and energy. In addition, these activities help to occupy the person’s mind. Previously, the individual devoted countless hours to drugs or alcohol. Now, these healthy activities help to fill those hours in a better way.
In some cases, this kind of therapy also helps the individual’s physical health. Yoga and recreational therapy help the individual improve their strength and fitness levels. Meanwhile, therapies like meditation help the individual to focus and achieve mental clarity.
STARTING THE RIGHT REHAB PROGRAM
The right setting can help individuals recover from an addiction. Through peer support and evidence-based therapies, guests can begin healthy, successful sobriety. Depending on the rehab, guests can find unique therapy options such as:
- Art and music therapy
- Yoga and meditation
- Recreational therapy
- Nature therapy
- Nutrition assessments and plans
- Music therapy
- Qigong and massage therapy
No one has to live with the pain and suffering of addiction forever. At the Pearl of the Sea Retreat in St. Augustine, Florida, guests can take the first step in overcoming their addiction. This healing, beachside retreat offers a range of rehab services and support for all types of substance abuse. If you’d like to find out how we can help you begin your sobriety today, then call us today.