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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I did work with children early on and love integrating the experiential side of things through use of animal-assisted counseling, sand tray, and other techniques to help bring issues more into more the moment and address them appropriately.

— Jorge Flores, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

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 Minneapolis, MN
 

Experiential therapy helps clients to move through layers of understanding their coping styles, emotions, expectations, and beliefs to understand what is at the core of the self and determine more fully what they really need and want. The therapist can help clients process these layers of self through slowly inviting clients to create a deeper understanding of why they behave how they do and create changes.

— Kathleen Smith, Marriage & Family Therapist in Washington, DC

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
 

I practice from an experiential theoretical orientation meaning I see our experiences as important for understanding what and how we have learned as well as ways we continue to learn in the present for the future. Experiential therapy includes the practice of experiencing life and implementing consistently the skills and practices discussed in counseling.

— Natasha Moharter, Counselor in , CA

EFT involves a therapeutic style that combines both following and guiding the client’s experiential process, emphasizing the importance of both relationship and intervention skills. It views emotion as the fundamental datum of human experience while recognizing the importance of meaning making, and views emotion and cognition as inextricably intertwined.

— Michael Bricker, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
 

When we work together experientially, the aim is to bring your attention and energy into present time, transforming your relationship to the weight of your history, liberating you to make subtle but incredibly powerful “inner choices” that invite and empower your full potential as a human being.

— Christo Brehm, Psychotherapist in Eugene, OR

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
 

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

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
 

I am a firm believer in practicing either in the sanctity of the therapy session or in real life activities that help us work through trauma, distress and emotions. Often when we engage in experiential activities such as guided imagery or guided language about a worry or concern, we uncover deep feelings and beliefs that we did not know existed, or were suppressed. It can be liberating to put therapy into action with concrete experiential activity and uncover deep meaning and truth.

— Allyn Latorre, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO
 

Therapy should provide profound and lasting healing, not merely symptom management. I practice an evidenced-based approach to healing called Emotion-Focused Therapy. EFT aims to activate your emotions, to help you to explore them, and in some cases change them. You’ll learn which emotions are adaptive, pointing you towards new experiences and growth. You’ll also learn to change painful emotions and memories.

— Aimee Ruscio, Psychologist in Washington, DC

Experiential Therapy brings the "story" of what's happening into life. Using carefully crafted re-enactments of specific situations w/another person - the argument you had last night, the talk you need to have with your boss, the conversation you wish you had w/ a parent - or connections between different parts of yourself - the parts that are "responsible" & the parts that are carefree. The endgame is to FEEL and KNOW your experience in the HERE and NOW, versus THINKing about things could be.

— Randi Kofsky, Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA
 

I was introduced to the radical immediate effectiveness of Experiential, Here and Now Therapy through the writings of Fritz Perls and the work of some of his students with whom I studied and trained in the early 1970's. Experiential Therapy simply means bringing awareness and attention to your experience in the present moment, as it unfolds, with the guidance and support of a skilled therapist, and reporting what you discover. It can be an effective path to healing.

— Peter Carpentieri SEP, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA