When you discuss therapy during drug rehab, the majority of people believe that it involves talking and little else. This misconception may prevent some who need help from ever reaching out to a therapist. In fact, there are times when sitting one-on-one in an office to talk about issues doesn’t work. That’s why it’s important for facilities to include various experiential therapy approaches.
What is Experiential Therapy?
Rock climbing, navigating ropes courses, doing art, participating in a musical setting, and hiking are fun activities. When looking at rehab facilities, you may believe that these amenities reflect a country club setting for the wealthy. In reality, these are examples of therapy programs that can help participants who can’t open up in talk therapy. Alternative settings can help some people struggling with substance abuse feel safe and comfortable.
There’s solid science behind these interactive opportunities. To begin with, many of these activities feature a physical component that requires a program participant to overcome something. In the case of hiking, it’s an incline. This setup creates a stressor that the individual nevertheless must overcome without the help of drugs.
Building Confidence while Assessing the Past, Present and Future
In the past, someone in recovery might have reached for drugs as a way to relieve stress. After undergoing professional addiction treatment, this same individual applies personal strength to a challenging situation. In some cases, added peer recovery support works in favor of the participant’s ability to complete a task. These activities teach someone in recovery that they can succeed. It also teaches individuals that getting help from others is okay.
Because teaching is hands-on rather than provided with words by a therapist, the message might be easier to receive. It’s interesting to note that experiential therapy also works well for people struggling with addictions as well as dual diagnoses. The experience builds self-confidence and strengthens the ability to rely on others for input. After a stay at a high-quality rehab facility, this understanding can make the difference between stumbling and preventing a relapse.
Hands-on Activities are Only a Part of the Process
Of course, it’s not possible to rely on experiential methods alone to undo months, or even years, of substance abuse. At Ashley Addiction Treatment, our well-rounded treatment program benefits all of our patients. Elements of our program include:
- Individual and group counseling with licensed therapists and counselors
- Gender-specific paths to healing that take the differences between suffering men and women into account
- Holistic care that seeks to heal the whole person and not just the part that defines the addictive personality
- Mindfulness training to help program participants eliminate anxiety-causing thought processes
- Medical care, including an onsite detox program that sets the foundation for recovery
If you or a loved one needs help, don’t let your concerns about talk therapy get in the way. Experiential settings might be exactly what you need! When you’re ready to stop using and start living, call Ashley Addiction Treatment at 866-313-6307.