Experiential Therapies

Developed in the 1970s, experiential therapy is a category of therapy focused on an approach that encourages clients to identify and address issues through activities such as role playing, guided imagery, the use of props, and a range of other active experiences. Some examples of experiential therapy include recreation therapy, equine assisted therapy, expressive arts therapy, music therapy, wilderness therapy, adventure therapy, psychodrama and more recently, surf therapy.

One of the many advantages of experiential therapy is that the experiences and activities that form the core of the process provide opportunities for the therapist to observe their clients in a situation where the client is not focused on the therapy itself. For example, during an equine assisted therapy session, clients will likely be focused on completing an assigned task with a horse, and will be more likely to let his/her guard down than he or she would during a traditional individual or group talk therapy session.

Experiential therapy has been an effective component of comprehensive treatment programs for individuals who are struggling with a range of issues and disorders. It has been successfully integrated into treatment programs for adults and teens that are being treated for substance use disorders, behavioral disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, grief/loss, trauma, sex addiction and compulsive gambling.

Funding for Superstorm Sandy Recovery
Efforts through Generous Grants from:
American Red Cross Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc.

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