Why are Experiential Therapies Helpful with Addiction?
When it comes to treating addiction, no two treatment plans are exactly the same. This is because no two addictions are exactly the same. Treatment isn’t a cookie-cutter experience; rather, it is important to work closely with the client to find what will work best for them and their needs. In many cases, this will involve a combination of evidence-based therapies such as one-on-one counseling or group therapy, and experiential therapies. Keep reading to learn more about experiential therapies, how they are used, and how they can set you up for the best chances possible at long-term recovery.
Experiential Therapies: How Are They Used?
Experiential therapies are very different than evidence-based therapies. With evidence-based therapy, you normally picture a therapist’s office or a group meeting. With experiential therapies, you can find yourself at the beach, at the gym, at a barn, or at an art studio.
Using experiential therapy in conjunction with traditional evidence-based therapy can help set individuals up for a successful long-term recovery while working to rebuild skills and emotions they may have lost through their struggle with addiction.
Types of Experiential Therapies
Every treatment center offers different types of experiential therapies. Some of the experiential therapies included at Seasons in Malibu are:
- Beach walks
- Cooking classes
- Nutrition therapy
- Art therapy
- Personal trainers
- Martial arts
Setting Up Habits for Life
For most individuals suffering from addiction, drugs, and/or alcohol have been their coping mechanisms. It’s what they turn to in order to relieve stress, to help them deal with a negative thought or emotion, to make them feel better, to help with a bad day, or to cope in general.
By taking advantage of experiential therapies in treatment, individuals will learn new skills and healthy coping mechanisms that they can take with them for life. For example, an individual entering our treatment center may never have known that painting could be such a relaxing, positive way for them to express their feelings and emotions unless they came and tried it. Now, whenever the individual is feeling stressed or suffering from negative emotions, they will be able to turn to painting rather than drugs or alcohol.
In addition, treatment for addiction can be stressful. There are many tough conversations that can happen every day as new thoughts and emotions surface. Being able to have a stress reliever that is also enjoyable and fun can help make treatment a better experience.
Rebuilding Skills and Emotions
Experiential therapies can help an individual much more than just becoming a stress reliever. They can work to rebuild skills and emotions that have been lost throughout addiction. Some of these include:
- Trust. Through working with a team, therapist, or teacher, individuals can start to rebuild trust skills that may have been lost through addiction. Addiction can bring out the worst in people — it can make them lie, deny, and become untrustworthy. Through experiential therapy, individuals can begin making the switch and turning off those behaviors while also learning to trust others.
- Compassion. This is an emotion that is often lost throughout addiction. While high on drugs or alcohol, it can be easy to lose compassion for loved ones in order to obtain more substances. Experiential therapies can help rebuild this emotion.
- Positive mindset. By learning how to be in the here-and-now with experiential therapy, this can help individuals appreciate what is going on around them rather than looking forward to the next step. This helps build a more positive, appreciative mindset.
About Seasons in Malibu
All addiction treatment programs are different, even within treatment centers. What might work for you, might not work for the next person who walks through the door? That is why it is very important to be able to take advantage of not only evidence-based therapy but therapy than you find fun and stress-relieving.
Sometimes, the work of drug and alcohol addiction treatment can be very intense, and the campus at Seasons gives clients and their families the opportunity to do the work with as little extra stress as possible. Our philosophy is grounded in the understanding that in order for the client to heal, the entire system needs the opportunity to heal along with them. The pressure to “fix” the client can become overwhelming and unrealistic if we do not examine the underlying issues, dynamics, and environmental influences that might be contributing to substance abuse or ongoing mental health issues.
It is a priority for us that our life-changing drug and alcohol treatment be available to the people who need it. We are fully familiar with how much strength and courage it takes to pick up the phone and ask for help. Our counselors are invested in your well-being and are ready around-the-clock to guide you or a trusted friend or family member through the initial steps of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction.
With the intensity of the schedule and the focus on using your time well, no one mistakes drug and alcohol rehab in Malibu at Seasons for a vacation. Yet, our clients can do the work well and with rest and focus, our Malibu recovery center provides an opportunity to contemplate and rest and recharge with quiet and space.
For more information, visit seasonsmalibu.com