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Experiential Therapy

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a person works through issues in an experiential therapy programMost clients are familiar with popular complementary and alternative treatment types, such as music therapy or yoga therapy. However, Casco Bay Recovery includes treatments such as experiential therapy in our addiction treatment therapies. Our experiential therapy programs have roots in the hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow, the Gestalt therapy of Fritz Perls, and the client-centered therapy of Carl Rogers. Perls and Rogers, in particular, developed therapeutic approaches that are very highly experiential.

If you are looking for a health care facility offering varied addiction treatment therapies in Portland, Maine, contact Casco Bay Recovery. Call 844.956.3520 or reach out to our team online.

What Is an Experiential Therapy Program?

An experiential therapy program can be difficult to define formally, but we usually use it as a form of an adventure therapy program. There are many misconceptions regarding experiential therapy. However, it’s vital to remember that most experiential therapeutic methods recreate real experiences. These experiences allow clients to access and merge into their awareness the attitudes, beliefs, and feelings that generally reside in their subconscious minds. Experiential therapeutic methods include Gestalt therapy, dynamic therapy, and even variations of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Alternative forms of care, such as animal-assisted therapy, art therapy, and music therapy, are also part of experiential therapy.

Experiential therapy is not one form of addiction therapy but several different types of therapy that focus on involvement with different experiences. These treatments promote creativity, emotional processing, interactions with others, and reflections that go beyond the boundaries of traditional psychotherapy. Experiential therapies, in particular adventure therapy, may help make clients more aware of their internal thought processes.

What Are the Benefits of Going Through an Adventure Therapy Program?

Adventure therapy, in particular, is a powerful experiential therapeutic method that helps clients handle conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief
  • Loss
  • Trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance use disorders

It can be an exciting but still productive element of a mental health treatment program.

This type of experiential therapy promotes development, growth, and rehabilitation. It also enhances clients’ physical, social, and psychological well-being through structured activities that involve direct experience. Adventure therapy can be a form of experiential therapy for addiction.

Often, adventure therapy is not a one-on-one form of care but in a group or family context. It uses the environment to encourage change by using both experience and action with cooperative games and activities, problem-solving initiatives, high adventure pursuits, and wilderness expeditions. After each activity, the group debriefs and processes what they’ve learned or uncovered together. This action involves a discussion where trained facilitators help clients internalize the experience and relate it to their therapeutic goals.

How Does Experiential Therapy for Addiction Work with Other Addiction Treatment Therapy Options?

When it comes to addiction treatment therapy, it’s important to remember that experiential therapy is not the primary form of care for our clients. Instead, we use experiential therapeutic methods to support and add to traditional and empirically validated treatments.

Experiential therapy can be useful in treating substance use disorders. In many cases, it can provide support for clients that find it difficult to interact with others in more common psychotherapy approaches. Many types of experiential therapy can help reduce issues with denial, develop insight, and foster cooperation in treatment. This treatment is essential because many clients struggling with substance use disorders have difficulty relating to and trusting others. For instance, adventure therapy offers clients the opportunity to trust others and involve other people in their problem-solving techniques. Clients also have a chance to learn how to become better at expressing themselves.

Begin Your Treatment at Casco Bay Recovery

If you are looking for a health care facility offering varied addiction treatment therapies in Portland, Maine, we can help. Contact Casco Bay Recovery by calling 844.956.3520 or use our convenient online form.