Experiential Therapies

experiential therapies

Experiential therapies are practical activities that support addiction recovery.

They provide the opportunity for many people to develop and reinforce skills, grow as a person, and improve motivation and well-being. 

At Tulip Hill, we offer experiential therapies alongside traditional talking therapies to provide a holistic healing experience that treats the entire person. In doing so, we help you create strong foundations on your recovery journey so you can overcome challenges and achieve long-term recovery.

experiential therapies

What Are Experiential Therapies?

Experiential therapies revolve around experiences. They allow you to learn by engaging with the world around you. Under the guidance of a professional therapist, you can partake in experiential activities alone or as part of a group.

 Some experiential activities include:

  • Art therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Drama therapy 
  • Play therapy
Tulip Hill has truly dedicated and devoted professionals with whom I’ve worked with myself. I would trust sending any family member to this facility, as client care is certainly their main priority. 

– Kesley, Former Client

How Do Experiential Therapies Support Addiction Recovery?

Experiential therapies help clients address a range of psychological and emotional concerns that underlie addictive behaviors. They can help clients to overcome:

  • Substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Behavioral health conditions

When encountered, experiential therapy supports the recovery journey in several important and often life-changing ways. These include:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Building resilience
  • Healthy, practical coping mechanisms
  • Improved communication skills
  • Enhanced emotional intelligence
  • Team-building skills
  • Relief from difficult emotions

Reinforcing New Skills

Experiential therapies enable many people in recovery to reinforce skills mastered during talking therapy sessions through practical experiences. As everyone learns in different ways, many people find that they are able to develop skills best through hands-on activities. 

Reinforcing skills in this way helps you internalize them so you can rely on your new ways of thinking and behaving under pressure or in difficult situations. It enables you to feel secure and comfortable with the skills and coping mechanisms you have learned, leaving you ready to apply them to your everyday life.

Building Resilience

Experiential activities can also help you build resilience. In certain activities, such as adventure courses or equine therapy, you may have to overcome fears or anxieties to reach the final goal. This could be a high step on a ropes course or putting your trust in a horse not to harm you.

For many clients, overcoming these challenges can help them develop an invaluable sense of self-belief and self-worth. It can help them believe in their ability to get through difficult times and reach their goals - including recovery. For example, research has shown that equine therapy can help clients construct a positive self that is accepted, useful, and responsible.

Improving Communication Skills

Learning to communicate honestly and effectively is a fundamental part of addiction recovery. It helps you build strong and supportive bonds with those around you so you can get through difficult times and enjoy fulfilling friendships and relationships.

Many experiential activities involve group programming. Here, you participate in activities alongside other people in recovery. These activities allow you to develop your communication skills through collaborative problem solving, creative activities, or sharing inspiring experiences. 

Furthermore, group experiences provide the opportunity to practice communicating honestly and effectively in real-world scenarios where you may feel under pressure, shy, or out of your comfort zone. This gives you confidence in your ability to work well with others when you leave rehabilitation and return to a sober life, laying the foundations for long-term recovery.

These unique interactions help you develop a rich and deep range of communication skills that support your recovery journey.

Expressing Difficult Emotions

Creative therapies, including art therapy and music therapy, can help you express difficult emotions that you may be unable to verbalize. This is because these particular activities enable clients to explore deep-rooted issues without the need for words. 

When we create art or music, we use parts of our brains that bypass our rational minds. This gives us access to thoughts, feelings, and memories that we may have hidden from ourselves. 

During creative therapies, a licensed therapist supports you throughout the process with sensitivity and expertise. The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) recognizes the valuable benefits of creative therapies in addiction recovery.

Staying Engaged in Treatment

Remaining in treatment for an adequate amount of time is crucial to recovery success. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many people require at least three months of intensive addiction treatment to achieve long-term recovery.

Addiction recovery programs must be enriching and engaging so that clients can remain committed and invested in their recovery throughout treatment. Here, experiential therapies can play an invaluable role. 

Research conducted by the Addiction Science & Clinical Practice has found that engaging in hobbies such as art, music, or gardening increases the satisfaction of the recovery program and leads to a prolonged stay in addiction rehabilitation.

Motivating and Inspiring

Recovery can be challenging - it requires commitment and motivation. You need to know that sober life is worth it. You also need to have something that inspires you to get you through the most challenging times.

Many people find inspiration for recovery through experiential activities. They may help you rediscover an old passion, develop a new one, or show you aspects of sober life that are exhilarating and meaningful. You may rediscover the joys of life through outdoor activities in nature or unearth new hobbies.

Irrespective of the therapy encountered, you can continue participating in these activities after your rehabilitation program has ended. This will help you remain committed to sobriety as you enjoy a sober life.

Experiential Therapy and Co-Occurring Disorders

According to SAMHSA, almost 50% of people struggling with a SUD live with another mental health condition. Co-occurring disorders, including depression, anxiety, and trauma, can make treating a SUD difficult. They can also decrease your energy, affect your motivation, and prevent you from effectively communicating with yourself.

At Tulip Hill, we treat co-occurring disorders alongside addiction to help you overcome underlying causes of addiction and benefit fully from recovery treatment. 

To support you as you look to engage positively with the world around you, we employ experiential therapies to help you focus on activities outside of yourself and your conditions. 

Upon completing experiential therapy, many clients find it easier to work with counselors. Many also respond better to talking therapies.

Contact Us Today

If you are struggling with addiction, we’re here to help. We offer an individualized program that combines talking therapies, complementary therapies, support groups, and experiential therapies to provide holistic healing for the entire person. We tailor each treatment plan to your unique needs, providing you with the treatment that works best for you.

We pride ourselves on our professionalism and expertise, and we appreciate the value of family in addiction recovery. As a result, we include your loved ones in your treatment experience from beginning to end.

Call us today to take the first step in your recovery.
  • Wonderful environment. The staff is exceptional. The care they show clients is above and beyond what anybody could expect. I genuinely give credit to Tulip Hill for helping me to start down a NEW part of my life. Thank you, Tulip Hill!

    - Chad, Former Client

  • They truly are an amazing place. I was able to learn and cope with emotions. The staff actually cares and understands how to help. I would definitely recommend treatment here!

    - Lanny, Former Client

  • They have done a FANTASTIC job with Tulip Hill Recovery. Highly recommend them for anyone seeking drug and alcohol treatment.

    - David, Former Client

With the right help, you can beat addiction

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1800 S Rutherford Blvd #103
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

228 West Baltimore Street
Jackson, TN 38301

About Tulip Hill
Tulip Hill is a family-owned rehabilitation center with first-hand experience in addiction recovery. 

We believe a dual diagnosis approach that treats the mental health conditions underlying addiction is the best route to long-term sobriety.

1800 S Rutherford Blvd #103
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

228 West Baltimore Street
Jackson, TN 38301
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