Experiential Therapy for Addiction Treatment in Costa Mesa

Experiential Therapy for Addiction Treatment in Costa Mesa

When people think about therapy for addiction, they may assume that all treatment plans involve sitting around and talking about their substance use disorder. While this can certainly be part of the plan, it does not have to be the entire plan. Addiction treatment in Costa Mesa at Clear Life Recovery can include a variety of therapies, including experiential therapy. We’re going to take a closer look at experiential therapy, what it involves and its potential benefits.

What is Experiential Therapy?

Experiential therapy has been around since the 1970s, proving benefits for people seeking help for a drug or alcohol substance use disorder.

Unlike sitting in a room with a counselor, experiential therapy takes an interactive approach. It involves a variety of activities and movements. When people take part in experiential therapy, they are challenged to go deeper into their thoughts and feelings, resulting in positive changes. With experiential therapy, people can identify their emotions and learn to explore their feelings.

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These feelings can range from anger to hurt or shame.1 Some of these feelings may relate to past experiences that they may have blocked for one reason or another. These experiences may have led them to use drugs or alcohol in some cases. The idea is that by releasing nrepressed negative emotions people can better experience positive feelings and change their perception of reality.

Types of Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy can vary in its form. It is client-centered so that each person finds the type of therapy they are most drawn to and the one that works best for them. Experiential therapy can include any of the following:

  • Recreation therapy
  • Outdoor activities
  • Equine therapy
  • Arts therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Martial arts

Other types of experiential therapy may include role-playing and acting or guided imagery. Some people may also participate in activities that re-enact emotional situations from past and recent relationships. People can experience any of these therapies alone or in groups.

Benefits of Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy can help patients in different ways than traditional therapy. Unlike conventional therapy sessions where patients sit around and talk about their problems, experiential therapy challenges people to see obstacles before them and learn how to overcome them. This helps to build self-esteem and personal accountability.

Patients may struggle during experiential therapy activities but learn to see their progress through hands-on therapy sessions. People begin to see that they can trust themselves to get over hurdles. This can help them eventually get over the hurdle of becoming sober.

Other benefits include:

  • Learning how to work in a team
  • How to appreciate your strengths
  • Developing tenacity
  • Learning how to explore feelings
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Building self-awareness

When experiential therapy is done in a group setting, people also learn how to build confidence, strength, and character.

As people take part in different types of experiential therapies, they learn how to appreciate other activities that don’t involve drugs and alcohol. They learn how to socialize while doing these activities, which can help form new friendships with like-minded people and develop new hobbies.

One of these new hobbies is art, through practicing art therapy. People can learn how to express themselves through art when doing so through words is difficult or nearly impossible. Art therapy during addiction treatment can help people to express themselves safely and, as a result, get the emotional healing they need.

Through emotional healing, people can learn what may have triggered their substance use disorder. When this happens, they can learn to avoid these triggers and prevent relapse in the future. 

Addiction Treatment in Costa Mesa

At Clear Life Recovery, patients can participate in experiential therapy as part of their treatment program. Clear Life Recovery offers programs in music and art therapy and different types of recreation therapy and equine therapy. People can also take part in food and nutrition activities. The goal is to offer something that is suitable and helpful for a broad audience. In this way, people can decide which activity they most enjoy and which would be most helpful. 

Using the right combination of therapies can help people get the most out of treatment. Since everyone’s addiction is different, the types of therapies will differ. At Clear Life Recovery, people can combine experiential therapy with other treatments such as family addiction therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and group addiction therapy.

For more information on experiential therapy and other treatment programs at Clear Life Recovery, please contact us. Let us show you how different treatment programs can help you get on the path to sobriety and stay there.

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/experiential-therapy