Experiential Therapy | Addiction Treatment | Futures of Palm Beach
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Experiential Therapy for Substance Abuse Treatment

There are a number of different types of therapy that can be effective additions to a well-rounded drug addiction or drug abuse treatment program. Experiential therapy encompasses a wide range of therapeutic interventions. Which one is right for your loved one? It depends upon their goals for their recovery, their past experience and mental health issues, and their personality. If you are interested in learning more about the diverse medical and therapeutic treatments that are available to your loved one here at Futures, contact us at the phone number above today.

What Is Experiential Therapy?

Compared with talk therapy, experiential therapy is physically active in nature. Patients use different activities and movements to explore their past experiences in order to evoke the associated emotions and begin to work through them. Experiential therapy is not a single therapy. Rather, it is a style of therapeutic intervention that includes a number of different therapy treatments. Some examples include:

  • Recreation therapy. Sports and exercise are utilized to aid patients in therapeutic development.
  • Artistic therapies. Music therapy, cinema therapy, arts therapy, writing therapy, dance therapy, photography therapy – all these and more can help patients to explore their experiences and feelings.
  • Wilderness and adventure therapy. Getting outside, taking risks, and pushing limits can help patients to improve their confidence and ability to handle the strong emotionality associated with intensive therapy.
  • Psychodrama. Role-playing in order to replay past experiences, rewrite past trauma, and propose new ways of handling situations and relationship issues can help patients to work through relationship issues that are holding them back whether or not the person is still an active part of their life.

Addressing Unhealthy Emotions

Often patients may not realize they are living with extreme emotions due to different events in their lives or perceived experiences, emotions that can be debilitating like:

  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Shame
  • Low self-esteem

When these emotions are evoked out in the world, many patients turn to substances like alcohol, marijuana, painkillers, and other drugs to escape before the feelings become overwhelming rather than dealing with them. Using drugs and alcohol as a coping tool for heavy emotion can ultimately lead to addiction – as well as a host of unresolved mental health issues. In treatment, however, experiential therapy can be utilized to evoke these emotions in safe place and allow the patient to work through them positively.

Does Experiential Therapy Work to Help Addicts Stop Abusing Drugs?

Experiential therapy has been proven effective in helping patients to evoke and navigate through difficult emotions caused by trauma, abuse or mental health disorders, according to the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Because drug abuse and addiction are often used to “self-medicate” the uncomfortable or painful emotions related to childhood and past experiences, it is necessary for patients to actively process those issues in a healthful way and move past them during drug addiction treatment. This will allow them to lessen the pain associated with the experience, which will in turn decrease cravings. Additionally, it should provide them with new positive coping skills that will allow them to more healthfully deal with negative or triggering situations as they arise.

What Does Your Loved One Need to Fight Substance Abuse?

Discuss the needs of your addicted family member with a counselor when you contact us at the phone number listed above. We’re here to help.