What is Experiential Therapy?
Experiential therapy is probably not what comes to mind when you typically think of therapy. As its name indicates, experiential therapy offers a hands-on activity and experience-based approach that involves individual and group outings and in-the-moment interventions, allowing your child’s therapist to observe them in real-world situations. These activities and experiences provide interactive opportunities for your child to open up and engage more freely with their therapist, feeling less pressure or resistance in a relaxed setting than they might with traditional in-office therapy methods, without being overly aware of the therapy itself.
Used in conjunction with more traditional “talk-based therapy", this approach addresses your child in the way or environment where they feel more comfortable and respond best. An experiential therapy session could take place at an art studio, horse stable, yoga class, coffee shop, include a hike or bike ride, indoor or outdoor rock climbing or playing basketball in the park.
Common Disorders and Symptoms Treated Through Experiential Therapy
Experiential therapy provides a variety of positive health outcomes for preteens, teens and young adults struggling with the following mental health and substance use disorders, symptoms or issues:
- Compulsive Behavior
- Substance Use
- Psychological or Physical Trauma
- Family Conflict / Communication Issues
Is Experiential Therapy Right for My Child?
The success of different therapeutic approaches depends on the needs of your preteen, teen or young adult. There are several different approaches that our mental health professionals can take to provide therapy. After talking with you, the parents, and with your child about their symptoms—our therapist will recommend and decide which approach would be best based on the underlying factors contributing to the condition. While different approaches work differently or better for certain children than others, in the end your teen should feel comfortable with the chosen approach to get the most from their therapy sessions.
Interested in Experiential Therapy? Get in Touch!
The best way to figure out which type of therapy treatment is best for your family is to talk with one of our mental health professionals. They will consider the symptoms, treatment history and goals you outline for what you and your child want out of therapy to recommend the best next steps specific to your situation.
If you think experiential therapy may be an effective treatment, we'd like to invite you to contact us and speak with one of our therapists at Potomac Programs.