Experiential therapy is an alternative to traditional psychoanalytic and behavioral “talk” therapy. It is a therapeutic treatment involving movement, action, and activities. There are many different forms of experiential therapy, such as recreational therapy, equine therapy, wilderness therapy, and adventure therapy. These techniques allow a patient to get address psychological issues through immersion in fun, active situations. Experiential therapy was first developed in the 1970’s and the benefits became immediately apparent. Leslie S. Greenberg, in “Experiential Therapy: Its Relation to Cognitive Therapy”, explains: “At the core of experiential therapy is the emphasis on working with a person’s moment-by-moment construction of reality through the medium of current awareness and current experiencing. Expanded awareness of inner and outer reality is seen as providing both new information and a new way of processing information that ultimately leads to improved orientation in the world and increased ability to choose and act constructively. This process, of increased awareness leading to choice, is a key process in experiential therapy.” The value of experiential therapy comes from allowing a client to take a hands-on approach to the process. Rather than simply speaking with a psychologist, the client is addressing their own issues through performing an action or activity. Experiential therapy allows a client to address emotions and develop an increased awareness of their feelings and sensations. An article from The International Journal of Action Methods, “The Effectiveness of a Multimodal Brief Group Experiential Psychotherapy Approach”, explains “the major goal of this approach is the resolution of unfinished business, mainly the working through of unexpressed emotions surrounding past relationships and events so on is able to live fully in the present.” In this way, clients are able to resolve issues through experiencing their emotions in actions, rather than just discussing them. Experiential therapy is an extremely effective way to allow a client to address aspects of their emotional nature, such as fear or anger, in a way that allows them to work through it through a controlled activity.
Recovery can be the next great adventure in your life story. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center in Laguna Beach, offers a variety of experiential treatment methods. Oceanfront offers hiking, yoga, and even equine therapy to support you in your recovery, all set against the backdrop of a beautiful beachfront environment. For more information about individualized treatment programs, please call today: (877) 279-1777