What is Experiential Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

What is Experiential Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

No two addiction recovery journeys are ever the same. What may help one recovering addict effectively overcome addiction may not help another person. That’s why seeking a drug rehab that offers a range of treatment services and individualized treatment plans is so crucial to ensure you receive tailored support according to your exact recovery needs.

Experiential therapy in addiction treatment is a broad term to describe hands-on, engaging activities to help recovering addicts. Experiential therapy can be a great option, especially for patients who feel uncomfortable with more traditional treatment options. 

At Rise in Malibu, we are a luxury drug rehab in Malibu that offers an extensive range of treatment options to best meet the recovery needs of as many patients as possible. We provide individualized treatment plans to best meet patients wherever they may be on their recovery journey. 

Ready to start your recovery journey? Contact us today!

What is Experiential Therapy?

Experiential therapy is nontraditional therapy that involves more engaging and hands-on activities for patients struggling with addiction. Unlike more traditional therapy options like talk therapy or attending a group therapy session, experiential therapies are typically active activities such as outdoor activities, interacting with animals, art therapy, music therapy, and more.

The goal of experiential therapy in addiction treatment is to help addicts work through repressed emotions and ultimately help patients overcome addiction and maintain sobriety. Experiential therapy is especially beneficial for patients who may feel uncomfortable in traditional therapy settings, such as talking one-on-one with a therapist. 

The significant thing about experiential therapies is they typically involve challenging physical activities like rock climbing or hiking. Or they are tasks that require intensive focus, like art therapy. These activities not only help manage a patient’s stress and reduces their cravings to abuse drugs, but they allow patients to work through repressed emotions or trauma from their past to ultimately create positive growth and change in their life.  

How Is Experiential Therapy Different Than Traditional Therapy?

It’s critical to understand that both experiential therapy and traditional therapy options are better or worse than the other; however, different therapy options may be more or less effective for different patients. While traditional therapy options, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), are extremely common in an addiction recovery setting, some patients may not feel comfortable/ may not find CBT as effective. That’s where alternative treatment options like experiential therapy come in!

The primary difference between experiential therapy and traditional therapy is experiential therapy is much more interactive and hands-on than most traditional therapy options. Whether it be a physically demanding activity or an activity that requires extreme focus, like art therapy, experiential therapy offers a more physically engaging approach to addiction recovery.

Plus, it’s important to note that many patients may receive a combination of both nontraditional experiential therapy services and traditional therapy options. For example, a patient may benefit from attending one-on-one counseling sessions and engaging in art therapy.

Common Experiential Therapy Examples

Experiential therapy in addiction treatment involves a range of hands-on activities, from demanding physical outdoor activities to more focused-based and creative activities. Some common examples of experiential therapy include:

  • Music Therapy
  • Sculpting
  • Rocking Climbing
  • Animal Interactions
  • Wilderness Therapy
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Art Therapy 
  • Gardening
  • Ropes Courses

While it’s unlikely that a drug rehab will offer all of the above addiction recovery experiential therapies, many addiction treatment centers typically offer at least one more of the above activities. Plus, many patients typically receive a combination of both alternative experiential therapy as well as traditional therapy to best meet the needs of their recovery journey. 

Top-Rated Malibu Drug Rehab

Experiential therapy in addiction treatment offers recovering addicts the ability to overcome addiction by engaging in hands-on activities, otherwise considered nontraditional or alternative therapy options. These addiction recovery experiential therapy options can be highly effective for patients who may find more traditional therapy options uncomfortable or ineffective.

At Rise in Malibu, we offer a range of drug and alcohol treatment options for patients to receive the best possible care for their recovery needs. We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all treatment approach. That’s why we offer individualized treatment plans so patients can receive tailored support and guidance every step of the way on their recovery journey. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you on your recovery journey. 

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