Why experiential therapy?
There are times within the recovery process at which individuals require a dynamic, impactful shift to facilitate change. This requires that people get out of their comfort zones and experience themselves, their relationships, their traumas and their lives from a new perspective. Experiential therapies can either be the principal therapeutic technique employed or serve as one component woven into the fabric of a comprehensive, multidimensional treatment strategy.
When individuals experience intense physical, emotional or relational pain they often dissociate – they “check out” or “numb out” at some level. What happens is that part of the pain is being processed in the conscious mind while other aspects of the hurt are being driven into and enclosed within the subconscious mind. Although this process is a natural form of self-protection, it causes significant aspects of the hurt to be inaccessible and therefore impossible for the conscious mind to resolve. As a result, when a person ages, the self-protective mechanisms constructed to manage the pain interfere with and often sabotage one’s productivity and fulfillment from work, relationships and life. Oftentimes the mind is divided, one part of us trying to live life in the moment, the other part trying desperately to protect ourselves from being re-hurt. Some people re-enact or re-create their wounds in their daily lives. These wounds act like barbs that they get stuck on and become the subconscious focal points of their existence. Some clients are consciously aware of the wounds and completely re-organize their lives in an attempt to avoid re-experiencing the pain - even to the point of adversely impacting their relationship and career choices. These internal dynamics lead a person to feel within themselves confusion, being dazed, disconnected, split, disoriented, disintegrated and fragmented.
Experiential therapy is an activity or process which enables a person to reconnect with either the entirety or the remnants of their painful memories, and process them in a way which facilitates rapid re-integration and holistic alignment of the whole person - physically, emotionally, relationally, professionally and spiritually - like an engine operating smoothly and efficiently on all cylinders. The end result is empowerment, fulfillment, joy and peace.
Experiential activities which we incorporate into our treatment programs:
- Equine-assisted psychotherapy
- Art therapy
- Theophostics – the use of spiritual imagery and relationship
- Multimodal sensory and psychoeducational processes (including right and left brain integration)
- The SCINDO (i.e. Murray) Method – the re-experiencing and re-integration of the fragmentation/splitting process associated with trauma
The InterAct treatment team incorporates experiential therapies into our treatment programs whenever diagnostic impressions, assessment information, and client goals permit. It is our belief that the use of experiential therapies dramatically accelerates recovery.
Our clinical experience demonstrates the profound impact experiential therapies have on a client’s recovery, particularly in terms of:
- Reduction and/or elimination of problematic symptoms – including behavioral, relational, emotional and physical
- Reduction and/or elimination of intrusive memories/emotions associated with trauma
- Rapid stabilization and improvement of relational difficulties encountered with spouses, family members, business associates and peers.