Research suggests that mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. More people than ever are in need of support and therapy services.
As more people seek therapy, more research is done to find effective therapy methods. One lesser-known type of therapy is experiential therapy. This style of holistic therapy differs from talk therapy and has several unique benefits.
We’re here to talk about experiential therapy, so you can determine if it’s right for you. Read on to learn more.
What Is Experiential Therapy For?
Experiential therapy is a type of holistic therapy that immerses the patient in an experience. It’s more active than standard talk therapy, and it works well either in addition to talk therapy or as a replacement for talk therapy for people who aren’t seeing improvements.
But what is experiential therapy for?
It can be used for a wide variety of mental health conditions. It can help with standard mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, as well as things like PTSD, Native American addiction treatment, eating disorder treatment, and more.
The only real exceptions are people who are experiencing psychosis and people who have cognitive disabilities, and these should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
What Are the Types of Experiential Therapy?
Experiential therapy has a lot of subcategories. There are several types of therapy to choose from, and a therapist will work with their patient to determine the right one.
Common forms of experiential therapy include:
- Art therapy
- Drama therapy
- Music therapy
- Outdoor therapy
- Play therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy (often equine therapy)
Not every type of experiential therapy is going to work for every patient. Experiential therapy may just be one small part of a patient’s overall treatment plan, or it may be the primary form of treatment that they use.
What Are the Benefits of Experiential Therapy?
So why would someone choose to use experiential therapy as an alternative to (or in combination with) standard talk therapy and medication?
In theory, experiential therapy is good for emotional processing (similar to EMDR). This may help someone work through past trauma without having to recount their memories to their therapist.
Some forms of experiential therapy can give patients a new perspective on the situation, like psychodrama.
Experiential therapy can be a good creative outlet. If a patient is writing or creating “plays” in therapy, they’re flexing their creative muscles (which also gives them another coping tool).
While experiential therapy won’t be effective for everyone, it has fantastic results for those who are well suited for it. It turns therapy into an enjoyable experience.
Experiential Therapy: Is It Right for You?
Experiential therapy is a type of holistic therapy that treats patients in unique ways. Art therapy, animal-assisted therapy, drama therapy, and all other types of experiential therapy can be helpful for treatment-resistant patients or any patients who just need to approach their situations from a new perspective.
If you think experiential therapy may be right for you, contact a local mental health professional.
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