Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy is a term that encompasses a number of therapeutic techniques that require engaging in some type of activity or action.  Everything from equine assisted psychotherapy to art therapy to psychodrama is considered experiential therapy. Despite the different approaches, most experiential therapy techniques will use tools and activities to recreate situations from past and current relationships, in an effort to identify the emotions that arise. With the guidance of a professional experiential therapist, the client can explore these feelings and begin to release these feelings. Individuals who have been through trauma, are dealing with an eating or behavioral disorder, working through anger or grief issues, as well as various addictions can benefit from experiential therapy. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experiential therapy experts today.

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Since artmaking is inherently experiential, my graduate training incorporated an understanding of how experiential therapy works to create shifts in people at physical, emotional, and intellectual levels. Experiential therapy involves the use of in-session experiences to initiate positive and integrative changes in the mental images that become a client’s thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. The experiences that are introduced are specific to the client’s unique nervous system patterns.

— Megan VanMeter, Art Therapist

You’ve been shaped by your experiences, good, bad, and otherwise. Art therapy is an inherently experiential and embodied way to re-work what’s not working and give you greater mastery of what’s going on inside so you can demonstrate greater mastery to the outside world. I am a board-certified art therapist and would love to help you create a new relationship with your experiences! See www.meganvanmeter.com for details about how I help helping professionals in Arizona, Indiana, and Texas.

— Megan VanMeter, Art Therapist
 

Recognizing that the therapeutic relationship is itself intended to be restorative.

— Eric Wittkopf, Therapist in Roseville, MN

In Experiential Therapy, the client uses their body to recreate or create neurological pathways that eventually can override 'destructive' behaviors that at one point in time were constructive and permitted the client to survive.

— Sibley Fleming, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Marietta, GA
 

Hakomi and Somatic Experiencing are types of experiential therapies, which means working in the present moment experience of what is happening in your body. Sometimes it's helpful for my clients to take a break from using language in order to listen to their bodies.

— James Reling, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Experiential therapy is a holistic approach by which we engage the entire body in the therapeutic process. This engagement leads to the utilization of more regions of the brain which then leads to better integration.

— Kellita Thompson, Marriage & Family Therapist in Brentwood, TN
 

Experiential therapy is a body-based approach to healing and growth in counseling. Rather than just talking about issues, I integrate experiential processing into our work to help my clients gain deeper insight in an impactful way. This may involve senses or physical sensations tied to past memories.

— Allison Freeman, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Belmont, NC

Experiential therapy is about feeling the room and giving each client an experience that suits them best. It's basically "meeting each client where they're at", including mood, disposition and pace.

— Courtney Latham, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Wayzata, MN
 

We focus on being present and identifying the ongoing factors that require attention in the session. We then work actively to bring about change in the moment, addressing issues as they arise.

— Finley Anderson, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

Hakomi is a type of experiential therapy, which means going beyond talk-therapy to focus on the moment.

— James Reling, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Talk therapy alone is ineffective without experiencing your growth through applying skills to gain consciousness, awareness, and insight, along with skills and processes to work with the conditions of our lives that challenge us. One must "experience their life" to make actual change.

— Roderic Burks, MS, MS HSc, MA, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

Experiential therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that includes recreational activities, various expressive modalities, and other physical and emotional activities. Through hands-on activities or role-play, children, teens, and adults can learn to identify and focus on their feelings. The goal is to improve overall well-being and functioning and overcome negative emotions.

— Jon Soileau, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Kansas City, MO
 

Experiential therapy is about what is happening in the moment. So, whatever we are talking or thinking about, we notice the experience it is bringing up for you and work with those feelings or body sensations. It's about healing in the moment with all the support that being with a caring therapist offers.

— Emilee Kerr, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Santa Rosa, CA

Since art therapy is inherently experiential, my graduate training incorporated an understanding of how experiential therapy works to create shifts in people at physical, emotional, and intellectual levels. Experiential therapy involves the use of in-session experiences to initiate positive and integrative changes in the mental images that become a client’s thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. The experiences that are introduced are specific to the client’s unique nervous system patterns.

— Megan VanMeter, Art Therapist
 

When appropriate, I use experiential exercises into sessions. Examples are roles plays, visualizations, guided imagery. These are used to assist a person in going deeper into an experience and to bring it more to life to enable them to work through it rather than talk about it and around it, which generally does NOT lead to healing. In relationships, it deepens connection with oneself and with others.

— Laura Carr, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

I make use of experiential techniques often during my meetings to invite processing of emotions, feelings, thoughts, and narratives, especially those that occur between myself and the participant(s). My study and research of experiential techniques have led me to incorporate these practices with my narrative framework to spur awareness and recognition within participants.

— Kenneth Ferguson, Marriage & Family Therapist in Oklahoma City, OK