Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Sometimes talking about an issue with a counselor simply isn't enough; integrating an active, creative outlet into a traditional therapy session can be more effective for the client. Though it can be difficult to define, experiential therapy can incorporate a large number of therapeutic modalities, such as psychodrama, art therapy, music therapy, animal therapy, dance therapy, wilderness therapy, poetry therapy, and play therapy, to name a few. These therapies are designed to tap into the client's own creative processes to foster health, communication, and expression; promote the integration of physical, emotional, cognitive, and social functioning; enhance self-awareness; stimulate empowerment; and facilitate change.

When the counselor and the client process the experience - a discussion that may take place during or after the activity - the patient receives specific feedback regarding specific actions or behaviors. At the same time, the patient has the opportunity to identify and evaluate the behaviors that she exhibited during experiential therapy, as well as the thoughts or prior experiences that may have prompted those behaviors in the first place. Experiential therapy shifts the client's focus from talking about the issues to moving through the issues; thus, the client will probably be more likely to be authentic and unguarded.

Experiential therapy has been successfully integrated into treatment programs for adults, couples, and teens who are being treated for substance abuse, addiction, behavior disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, grief/loss, trauma, sex addiction, compulsive gambling, bipolar disorder, and depression.

Recommended Resources:
Book: Becoming The Person You Can Become: The Complete Guide For Self-Transformation. Alvin R. Mahrer, PhD. Bull Publishing: 2001.
Book: The Creative Arts In Counseling. Samuel T. Gladding. American Counseling Association, 4th edition: 2010
Website: The Process-Experiential Website


Bridging Harts Institute & Psychotherapy
203 S. Alma St. Suite #300
Allen, TX 75013
T: (972) 562 5002
Email: info@bridgingharts.com


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