What Is Experiential Therapy?
Experiential activities include:
- Creative art therapy
- Music therapy
- Equine therapy
- Adventure courses
- Drama therapy
How Does Experiential Therapy Support Addiction Recovery?
Backed up by scientific research, experiential therapy offers numerous benefits for addiction recovery. These therapeutic experiences complement other treatment methods, such as behavioral therapies and support groups to provide holistic healing. They help you lay solid foundations for your recovery journey that stand the test of time.
Some benefits of experiential therapy include:
- Increased self-awareness, strength and resilience
- Healthy, practical coping skills
- Improved communication skills
- Better emotional intelligence
- Team bonding
- Relief from emotional dysregulation
- Greater distress tolerance
Learning by Doing
In its “Principles of Effective Treatment”, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that the best recovery programs offer a variety of different treatment approaches, and no one treatment works for everyone.
Some people learn best ‘by doing’ - by engaging with the world through hands-on activities. Experiential activities offer the chance to develop new skills by practicing them, whether on an adventure course or in a drama studio.
Experiential therapy also helps you reinforce skills you have learned in talking therapies, so they become natural and intuitive. Upon completing treatment, you can apply these skills to everyday situations, including stressful or complicated circumstances.
Staying Engaged in Treatment
Effective recovery treatment takes time. You may need several months to make the meaningful changes required to secure long-term recovery. Finding the motivation and inspiration to stay in treatment is a crucial part of your success.
Scientific research suggests that experiential activities can play a prominent role in keeping clients engaged in their treatment program. A recent study suggested that practical experiences can provide a “break from the normal treatment” and increase both treatment satisfaction and duration of stay.
Expressing Difficult Emotions
Experiential therapies offer the chance for clients to express themselves non-verbally - through art, music, or body language. Often, creative activities help us bypass rational thought processes and access the thoughts and feelings underneath. During experiential therapy, a professional therapist is always by your side to help you manage this process safely.
Experiential Therapy and Dual Diagnosis
We often use music as a distraction or a way to relieve emotional distress. In addiction recovery, creating and listening to music can offer a healthy way to cope with negative feelings and thought patterns, helping you stay away from drugs and alcohol.
People who have lived with addiction often struggle with feelings of shame or low self-esteem. These feelings can prevent people from moving on from past events and developing the self-belief to overcome challenges ahead.
Research suggests that horse-assisted therapy can help people build a positive image of themselves that is responsible, useful, and accepted. This sense of self-worth provides people with the strength and determination to continue their recovery journey and seek the fulfilling life they deserve.
Adventure Courses and Outdoor Activities
Finding the inspiration for your recovery journey is a crucial part of addiction recovery. You need to remain committed to your goal of sober living to overcome the challenges you face on the way. Participating in exciting experiences such as white water rafting, high ropes courses, or hiking can remind you of the fun you can have while sober and inspire you to achieve long-term sobriety.
Contact Us Today
If you are struggling with addiction, we’re here to help. At Empowered Recovery, we can assist you in developing the skills you need to reclaim your life and achieve life-long recovery. Contact us today to take the first steps towards a life free from addiction. Your recovery is important to us. Everyone deserves to pursue their aims, have fun in life, and achieve their full potential.
At Empowered Recovery, we offer a wide range of evidence-based treatment methods in an individualized program to suit you. We help you develop the skills you need to reclaim your life once you have left our center and support you every step of the way.
Call us today to take the first steps to a life-long recovery and fulfilling life free from addiction.