Experiential Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Experiential Therapy in Substance Abuse Treatment

Experiential therapy in substance abuse treatment can be incorporated into different types of counseling, such as talk therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, etc.) as well as in combination with therapeutic methods such as adventure therapy, play therapy, wilderness therapy, dance therapy, rock climbing, creating art, gestalt therapy and more.

Under the guidance of a licensed and trained therapist at Malibu Detox, you will engage in hands-on activities that allow you to engage your mind and body. This will help you identify and address any problems that may be suppressed by your subconscious, allowing you to handle issues from your past and present in a better way. In our experience, experiential therapy coupled with talk therapies provides more meaningful gains than traditional talk therapy alone.

By acquiring new skills and tackling new challenges, you will gain the confidence to cope with challenges in your life as they come about. You will no longer feel that you are being held back by your past but that you are free to live your life to the fullest.

Conditions/Disorders Experiential Therapy is Used For

Experiential therapy is regularly used as a component in treating various substance use and mental health disorders, including:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety & Other Mood Disorders
  • Anger Management
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Grief & Loss
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Phobias
  • Trauma

How Experiential Therapy Works

Generally people tend to be more reserved during traditional talk therapy sessions as they can appear to be more structured. By participating in treatment exercises outside of a traditional office setting, you are likely more inclined to be yourself. This way, your therapist can get to know you for who are you really are and as a result can assist you in the most effective way. At Malbu Detox and Residential Treatment Cener, we characterize addiction as a three-dimensional condition: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Experiences often tap into the emotional and spiritual elements of recovery, unfolding how clients move from their heads to their hearts and completely feel their emotions instead of using drugs or alcohol. It’s a way to work through negative, destructive feelings, understand them, and move forward. Once you work through negative emotions or feelings, you’re open to accepting positive feelings of forgiveness, love, and peace.

Experiential Therapies at Malibu Detox

Experiential therapy is likely not what comes to mind when you think of therapy. Unlike traditional therapy, experiential therapy does not occur in a conventional office setting. Instead, an experiential therapy session could take place at a horse stable, art studio, or beach. Some of our experiential therapy options include:

Experiential Therapy in Substance Abuse Treatment

Experiential therapy in substance abuse treatment can be incorporated into different types of counseling, such as talk therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, etc.) as well as in combination with therapeutic methods such as adventure therapy, play therapy, wilderness therapy, dance therapy, rock climbing, creating art, gestalt therapy and more.

Under the guidance of a licensed and trained therapist at Malibu Detox, you will engage in hands-on activities that allow you to engage your mind and body. This will help you identify and address any problems that may be suppressed by your subconscious, allowing you to handle issues from your past and present in a better way. In our experience, experiential therapy coupled with talk therapies provides more meaningful gains than traditional talk therapy alone.

By acquiring new skills and tackling new challenges, you will gain the confidence to cope with challenges in your life as they come about. You will no longer feel that you are being held back by your past but that you are free to live your life to the fullest.

Conditions/Disorders Experiential Therapy is Used For

Experiential therapy is regularly used as a component in treating various substance use and mental health disorders, including:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety & Other Mood Disorders
  • Anger Management
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Grief & Loss
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Phobias
  • Trauma

How Experiential Therapy Works

Generally people tend to be more reserved during traditional talk therapy sessions as they can appear to be more structured. By participating in treatment exercises outside of a traditional office setting, you are likely more inclined to be yourself. This way, your therapist can get to know you for who are you really are and as a result can assist you in the most effective way.

At Malibu Detox and Residential Treatment Center, we characterize addiction as a three-dimensional condition: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Experiences often tap into the emotional and spiritual elements of recovery, unfolding how clients move from their heads to their hearts and completely feel their emotions instead of using drugs or alcohol. It’s a way to work through negative, destructive feelings, understand them, and move forward. Once you work through negative emotions or feelings, you’re open to accepting positive feelings of forgiveness, love, and peace.

Experiential Therapies at Malibu Detox

Experiential therapy is likely not what comes to mind when you think of therapy. Unlike traditional therapy, experiential therapy does not occur in a conventional office setting. Instead, an experiential therapy session could take place at a horse stable, art studio, or beach. Some of our experiential therapy options include:

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a clinical and evidenced-based therapy that uses various techniques to help patients achieve their goals, work through challenging emotions, and learn to express themselves. In this type of experiential therapy, one of our music therapists may use song lyrics to help the participant express emotions or work with different instruments, such as guitars or drums, to help connect the mind and body.

Art Therapy

Art therapy uses expressive arts and guided imagery to create an outlet for emotional release. Guided by trained art therapists, patients will feel a sense of peace and empowerment during art therapy. We incorporate various art therapy forms such as painting, sketching, crafts, and ceramics. Art therapy sessions may involve the freedom to create any desired artwork or may have participants create art based on a therapeutic topic or theme.

Surf Therapy

Surf therapy combines adventure therapy with group surf instruction for relaxation, recovery, and stress management. Surf therapy provides a creative outlet and allows participants to improve their physical fitness. This type of therapy is also shown to create mindfulness and promote meditation techniques in nature.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine therapy allows participants to interact with horses through activities like grooming, feeding, walking, and bathing. This type of therapy allows for trust-building, emotional connection, and communication skills development. Equine therapy has become increasingly popular for its extensive benefits in those with physical limitations and mental health concerns.

Popular Experiential Therapy Techniques

Experiential techniques are often action-oriented, thereby forming an experience. For example, in equine-assisted therapy, the participant may be asked to put a saddle on a horse, facing the idea that the horse can’t be manipulated into cooperating. Other exchanges between the individual and the horse can offer perspicuity into addiction and healing, with themes of powerlessness, modesty, and blaming, and—at the same time—genuine, authentic feelings of fulfillment and happiness.

At Malibu Detox, experiential therapy is used alongside traditional evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and more. Various experiential therapies can also be combined, such as music and art therapy or other forms of experiential therapies.

Find Life-Long Recovery With Malibu Detox

This therapeutic approach can serve as a catalyst for meaningful transformations, ultimately helping individuals achieve sustainable, long-term health and recovery. If you are struggling with substance use disorders, we’re here to help. Malibu Detox offers comprehensive treatment modalities, including experiential therapy facilitated by licensed, certified therapists. 

When you’re stuck in the cycle of addiction, you can experience hopelessness, isolation, and frustration. Reaching out for help and finding the right program for you is a major first step in your recovery journey. Whether you need detox, medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment, dual diagnosis treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, sober living, aftercare services, or treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, we can help. All substance abuse and mental health programs at our treatment centers in Southern California include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, support groups, mental health services, and more.

Contact our Malibu, California addiction treatment centers today at (424) 234-2027 to discuss your personalized addiction treatment plan. We accept most major and private insurance plans and will work with you to navigate your coverage to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. Our admissions staff looks forward to speaking with you.

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