A common perception of therapy is a person sitting on a couch in a room with a therapist who hands them tissues during their session. For some, this perception is a reality, as this can be what basic talk therapy looks like. But, there are countless types of therapy available that take clients outside of the four walls of a room and put them into different environments. Experiential therapy is one of those types of therapies.
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Experiential therapy is a type of treatment that utilizes expressive tools like physical and hands-on activities that help bring about understanding and healing. This particular type of therapy is used for several different purposes, as it helps treat symptoms of depression, anxiety, trauma, and even phobias. Experiential therapy is also highly beneficial as a well-relied upon therapy for those who struggle with substance use disorders.
Depending on the severity of one’s substance use disorder, any number of therapies could be applied to his or her individual treatment plan. This is because when experiencing an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, individuals often find themselves behaving inappropriately (e.g. deceitful, self-absorbed, manipulative) because their main goal is to keep using. Additionally, someone addicted to drugs and/or alcohol might also be dealing with serious consequences of their use, such as unemployment, homelessness, or health problems. Therefore, when someone reaches out for help, a variety of different therapeutic modalities will likely be applied to his or her treatment plan in an effort to address the many issues that they have been experiencing.
Our experiential addiction therapy in Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the most popular forms of therapy for those who are ready to put a stop to their substance use disorder.
Types of Experiential Addiction Therapy
Experiential addiction therapy is an out-of-the-box approach to addiction treatment that has proven to be highly successful for those in recovery. Despite there being several different types of experiential therapies, the main goal of each one is to help individuals access their emotions in more meaningful ways. It can be difficult to sit in a one-on-one therapy session with a therapist and get down to the core of one’s feelings, however when doing something like painting or sculpting, these emotions can become more accessible. Some of the most common types of experiential therapy include those below.
Animal-assisted therapy connects clients with animals such as horses or dogs in an effort to create positive treatment outcomes. One of the most common issues that those in recovery have is anxiety. Studies have shown that when in the presence of animals, humans gain a sense of relaxation and calm, allowing them to focus on other areas of their recovery. Interacting with animals, such as by playing catch with a dog or grooming a horse, can release oxytocin in the brain, which allows individuals to feel connected to the animals and other people, thus helping forge stronger relationships. Quite possibly the most beneficial aspect of participating in animal-assisted therapy is that the animals that individuals work with are unable to judge them. It is common for recovering individuals to feel guilty or shameful of their behaviors, however being in the presence of animals can help them get through those emotions without being embarrassed to do so.
Adventure therapy is a highly popular form of experiential therapy, especially in adolescents and young adults. Whitewater rafting, ropes courses, and rock climbing are all considered experiential addiction therapy. When participating in these types of activities, individuals are not only able to experience natural highs, but they are also able to start working on and improving certain aspects about their personalities that have been impacted due to their substance abuse. For example, participating in a ropes course with another individual can help develop stronger communication skills, as well as help each individual work on building their trust in others and their own personal self-confidence. Whitewater rafting can help develop teamwork skills, allowing individuals to see that through a partnership with others, challenges can be overcome and great things can be achieved.
Our experiential therapy in Koxville provides individuals with the opportunity to partake in art therapy. Whether it is through painting, sculpting, or other artistic activities, individuals can utilize their creativity to help forge expression. It can be very easy to keep emotions bottled up inside, especially when doing something so new and out-of-character as partaking in rehab. However, when given the opportunity to create something, many individuals find it much easier to express how they feel by doing rather than talking. When an individual creates something, he or she can then work with a therapist to pull at their expression in an effort to identify, address, and learn how to manage that feeling in a positive way.
Experiential therapy is not just limited to one group of people, as there are several different types of this therapy available. For example, while whitewater rafting might be a better fit for young adults while something like poetry therapy or music therapy can be a great fit for middle-aged individuals or seniors. Other types of experiential addiction therapy in Knoxville, Tennessee include, however, are not limited to, play therapy, psychodrama, yoga, wilderness therapy, and equine therapy.
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If you are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, the very thought of participating in any type of therapy can be completely overwhelming and even frightening. However, making the decision to at least give recovery a try can be the best decision that you have ever made.
The longer that you continue to use, the more likely you are to suffer repeated consequences of your use. You do not need to keep yourself on the dangerous cycle of substance abuse, even if you feel as though there is no way you could ever stop. Reaching out for help can connect you to people that can guide you towards a happier, healthier, addiction-free life.
Do not wait any longer. Reach out to our experiential therapy in Knoxville, TN today and get the help you deserve.