Recovery from drug and/or alcohol abuse goes beyond just abstaining from a substance, it’s about treating underlying roots or co-occurring mental illnesses. One method for discovering and treating these conditions is through experiential therapy.

What Is an Experiential Therapy Program?

women talking about experiential therapy programExperiential therapy is a technique that utilizes therapeutic arts, psychodrama, and other recreational activity in order to re-enact or trigger emotional situations from a past or present relationship in a person’s life.

These activities may include:

  • role-playing or acting
  • props
  • arts and crafts
  • music
  • animal care
  • guided imagery

How it Works

Theoretically, through the re-enactment of emotionally charged events, a therapist can guide individuals into the experience in order to identify feelings associated with success, disappointment, responsibility, and self-esteem. Under the guidance of a therapist, individuals explore and reassess negative emotions toward situations or people.

The fundamental principle of an experiential therapy program is that perception shapes behavior. By re-experiencing an argument or emotionally triggering event, an individual can learn to let go of repressed emotions; and in turn, gain a new perspective. In this way, the release of negative emotions associated with the past allows an individual to focus on the positivity related to the present.

Experiential therapy is used in a variety of different therapeutic settings such as clinical, medical, individual, and group.

Experiential therapy is used to treat:

  • trauma
  • eating disorders
  • behavior disorders
  • anger management
  • grief and loss recovery
  • substance abuse
  • various types of physical and behavioral addictions
  • compulsive behavior

Experiential Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Some people are uncomfortable sharing with a therapist. An experiential therapy program allows information to be shared in a less direct way, which can allow a person to dive more deeply into the heart of their situation than would otherwise be possible.

Further, individuals can gain and build a more concrete understanding of the “self.” Increasing one’s insight greatly benefits the recovery process. Insight allows a person to go within and analyze personal narratives and associations surrounding addiction or other mental illnesses.

Experiential Therapy at First Step Center of Arizona

In addition to offering an experiential therapy program, First Step Center of Arizona provides individualized care for each client at its inpatient residential treatment center. With only 10 beds, our all-male clientele benefit from receiving a personalized program tailored to meet specified needs.

We offer programs and therapies like:

First Step Center also offers:

First Step Center understands the heartache surrounding addiction and believes that everyone deserves the chance to get well. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, or if you’d like to find out more about experiential therapy, contact First Step Center of Arizona now at 866.832.6398.