Many treatment centers are now including Experiential Therapy (ET) in their addiction recovery programs, and there are many benefits to this particular kind of therapy. What exactly is ET, and how can it help us? ET, which is sometimes referred to as Occupational Therapy or Recreational Therapy, refers to various kinds of therapy and therapeutic techniques where patients are engaged in activities that teach specific skills such as conscious communication and problem-solving. Many of the therapies are conducted in group settings, so we benefit from the group team-building, trust development and other group exercises, in addition to our individual work.
ET helps us to actively examine the underlying issues fueling our addictions and mental health issues. Before recovery, we are very often lacking understanding and mindfulness around our issues. We know we are struggling, but we don’t know why, nor do we know how to change it. We are caught up in recurring cycles that we feel powerless to stop. We feel out of control and weak, confused, hopeless and overwhelmed. With ET, we increase our self-awareness and our understanding. We work to identify and examine our unhealed traumas, our toxic behavioral and relationship patterns, our unresolved conflicts, and our repressed emotions. We learn more about all the ways in which we’ve been negatively impacting our health and well-being. We examine all of our recurring life issues, cycles and patterns and develop more mindfulness around them. With ET therapy, we are using actual real-life experiences to process our emotions, and we learn to work with them in more productive ways and to develop healthier coping skills. We learn to apply mindfulness to our behaviors and our decision-making, and we learn better communication skills and conflict resolution. We learn how to manage our difficult thoughts, emotions and experiences with more clarity, insight, calm and peace.
Some ET activities offered are massage therapy, music and art therapy, and fitness activities such as rock climbing, hiking, ropes courses, softball, swimming and yoga. There are also volunteer opportunities and service projects, along with special-interest classes. All of these activities teach different skills that are both practical in our everyday lives and valuable for our mental and emotional health. For example, we might learn effective communication skills which we can apply in real-world applications such as our work and leadership opportunities, in our relationships with loved ones, and in how we navigate the different issues and conflicts in our lives. ET provides many educational benefits that we can apply to our recovery work and to our daily lives moving forward in sobriety.
Corner Canyon Recovery’s foundation is client-centered, relational, and empathic to the addict and their family and loved ones. We create an atmosphere of caring and respect which enables clients to feel comfortable and to settle in quickly and do the work that is necessary for recovery. Call 866-399-3469 today.