Experiential Therapy in Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Many people are reluctant to talk about the feelings, behaviors and life experiences related to substance abuse in the traditional talk therapy setting. Often, people have buried their feelings deep inside or lost their connection with their self altogether due to substance abuse. Some feel uncomfortable confronting difficult, unpleasant emotions, while others find it challenging to express themselves verbally.

Our age- and gender-specific treatment programs establish environments where program participants feel more comfortable opening up among a group of others who share similar backgrounds or are in similar stages of life, but our specializations don’t stop there.

Guardian IOP clients experience the best of both therapeutic worlds: traditional, evidence-based treatment modalities, and more holistic, experiential therapies. Traditional forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, are rooted in evidence, and mounting research suggests the benefits of experiential therapy in addiction recovery.

Experiential therapy helps people tap into their feelings and process their emotions in non-traditional ways, so they’re more receptive to traditional forms of therapy and better equipped to manage their emotions in the future.

What Is Experiential Therapy?

Experiential therapy encompasses several different types of therapy that are immersive by nature, helping people to understand and process their emotions and responses through non-conventional situations.

Guardian IOP’s experiential therapy offerings include:

  • Recreation therapy, such group exercise, boxing, yoga, hiking, cycling, running, kayaking, swimming, surfing and beach trips.
  • Animal-assisted therapy, like equine therapy.
  • Artistic therapy, including music therapy, art therapy and journaling.
  • Holistic therapy, such as mindfulness training, meditation, breathwork and acupuncture.
  • Psychodrama, uses role-playing and dramatic expression to help clients work through past experiences. This encourages them to safely process and re-frame these traumatic events, and explore new, more productive ways to respond to problems.

Why Experiential Therapy Benefits Addiction Treatment

There are so many different approaches to addiction treatment, but experiential therapy is particularly useful because it helps people develop the same life skills, self-awareness and confidence as a traditional therapy would.

Experiential therapy offers a way for people to engage in treatment in ways that are enjoyable and relevant to them. If someone is averse to traditional talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, experiential therapy is an incredibly useful way to help them access their emotional library and become more receptive to conventional methods.

Learn More About Our Experiential Therapy

Our holistic approach to treatment addresses the whole person–not just the addiction. Through our experiential therapy program, we offer non-traditional, innovative ways to help Guardian IOP clients learn more about their addiction, their emotions and themselves, so they can continue to progress in recovery. We also offer complimentary transportation services for clients who live within a 5-mile radius of Guardian IOP. For more information about our experiential therapy services, contact a Guardian IOP Recovery Specialist at 855-517-1871.