Experiential therapy is a term that describes a variety of treatment approaches that use experiences to create insight into feelings, thoughts or beliefs that may otherwise remain unexplored. This type of therapy can include the use of art, music, or movement and can be used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy to foster a deeper awareness of self. Experiential therapy is rooted in Gestalt therapy, which places emphasis on the deeper meaning of those behaviors or feelings that happen in the here and now. Experiential addiction therapy may help improve an individual’s ability to understand relapse triggers, relationship patterns and recovery needs and develop more effective tools to manage their future recovery. Experiential therapy can enhance creativity and foster a deeper connection between a person’s mind, body, and spirit.
Cottonwood offers a variety of experiential therapy groups. Experiential treatment modalities may include art therapy, drumming circles, movement therapy, labyrinth walks, psychodrama, or meditation. These groups provide a unique therapeutic framework for those individuals who may have difficulty identifying and expressing emotion or who may not have the ability to effectively communicate about painful life experiences such as trauma or loss. The venue of experiential therapy allows these individuals to tell their life story through a narrative of art, music, or movement. New insights gained in the context of experiential therapy are often integrated at a deeper level because they have been neurologically paired with a creative experience. Individuals may also be less defensive or guarded when participating in experiential therapy, thereby increasing their willingness to authentically explore personal issues such as addiction, depression, or trauma.