Experiential Therapy Explained

Addiction programs such as Adventure Treatment can help patients get in touch with their true emotions while receiving self-confidence and positive reinforcement.

Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is a complicated process. There is no one treatment option that is right for all people struggling with addiction. At the same time, it’s also important for treatment programs to be multi-faceted and treat patients with a variety of approaches. Traditional methods of treatment such as talk therapy are important but a holistic approach to treatment should heal the soul along with the mind.

This is where experiential treatment becomes so critical in a person’s recovery from alcoholism, hard drugs use or prescription drug abuse. Experiential treatment takes a patient beyond just talking about their experiences and touches the deeper memories and emotions that a person has associated with the past. Addiction touches every aspect of a person’s life and it can be difficult for an addict to experience the most basic human emotions without having their feelings be wrapped up in their time using drugs and alcohol.

Experiential treatment in an addiction treatment program attempts to change how addicts experience emotions. Patients are given task-oriented projects to complete. These can be as simple as working in the kitchen or as complex as completing an outdoor obstacle course. No matter what the patient is asked to do, they are typically assigned projects which will test them mentally and physically but which can also lead to great rewards if they are successful.

Drug addiction is a disease of comfort. People who are struggling with addiction often don’t seek treatment because they are used to the lifestyle they have created while using drugs or alcohol; even if they understand the poor decisions they are making, it is still easier to continue to live a familiar life rather than stop using and breaking their comfort level and have to deal with the real world.

Experiential treatment during drug rehab is all about pushing people outside of their comfort zone and making them confront new tasks. Being put into stressful situations typically makes people struggling with addiction uncomfortable. Giving addicts tasks to perform such as climbing a mountain or caring for a stable of horses forces people to confront the range of emotions they have covered up through their drug and alcohol abuse, helping them to make a breakthrough.

Leading addiction centers use both indoor and outdoor experiential therapy as a facet of their treatment plans. Through goal-oriented tasks, patients get in touch with their hidden feelings and can gain the inner confidence needed to tackle the arduous process of addiction recovery.