Experiential Therapy: Healing Emotional Wounds
Written by Family First Adolescent Services,
in Section Treatment Trends
Untreated Emotional Wounds [A Life Sentence]
Emotional wounds are stubborn and persistent. If left untreated they can shadow us throughout life - encouraging negative behavior, mental illness, and unhealthy coping mechanisms (such as drug addiction and alcoholism).
When struggling to deal with emotional wounds, we often convince ourselves that we can outrun them. “Maybe if I can get away from the friends, family, and locations that nurtured the emotional wounds, they’ll vanish,” we think to ourselves.
But anyone who has struggled with addiction or a mental health disorder can confirm that you can’t outrun it. Before long it begins to fester - and the fire of negativity and addiction starts to rage.
This is why it’s so important to work towards healing emotional wounds at an early age. Humans don’t become emotionally elastic as they get older. To the contrary: we become solidified in who we are, what we do, and how we go about doing it.
If you are the parent of a teenager who is struggling with addiction or a mental health disorder, it is urgent to get them the necessary treatment from a qualified mental health professional. The more we feed our emotional wounds with negativity, the more they solidify their place as a permanent monkey on our back.
There are many approaches and treatments for adolescent addiction, depression, or anxiety:
- Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Intensive Outpatient
- Residential Inpatient
- Family Programming
- and many more
In this post, we will be focusing on the benefits of experiential therapy in treating adolescent addiction and mental health disorders.
What Is Experiential Therapy?
Experiential therapy has been around since the 1970s. It is a therapeutic practice that uses activities such as role-playing, animal care, arts and crafts, music, or various forms of physical activity. It promotes team building, self-discovery, and resilience through action.
The idea is that the participant is able to focus on the conscious and subconscious emotions associated with engaging in physical and/or creative activities. The activities are guided by trained experiential therapy professionals. This is beneficial because it helps the participant deal with the resulting emotions in a healthy and productive manner.
Benefits of Experiential Therapy
Experiential Therapy is highly beneficial to those who struggle with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, anger management, trauma, and addiction. It is particularly helpful to adolescents. In our modern world, it’s easy for teens to be sedentary and distracted.
Adolescents need a healthy outlet for physical and emotional energy. Tapping into their bodies and minds allows them to fully engage in a moment, along with its physical and emotional impacts.
The physically active nature of experiential therapy helps clients to let their guard down in a participatory way. Experiential therapies often reveal behavioral patterns and motivations, therefore illuminating the underlying issues which need healing.
Types of Experiential Therapy
At Family First Adolescent Services, we offer a variety of experiential therapies to engage teens in emotional and physical healing. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the types of experiential therapies out there. Just what we offer. The teens we help find them to be fun, engaging, and beneficial.
- Yoga & Meditation
- Ropes Course
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Equine Therapy
- Indoor Skydiving
- Surfing & Paddle Boarding
- Planet Air (Trampoline Park)
- Animal Sanctuary
Taking the First Step Towards Healing
We know you want what’s best for your child. It tears you up inside to see what they’re going through. To see how they’re hurting themselves. And to feel responsible for it. The fact that you are reading this is proof that you love them and have a deep desire to help.
If your teen is addicted to drugs or alcohol or suffering from a mental health disorder, we encourage you to reach out to a qualified mental health professional that specializes in the treatment of adolescents. Family First Adolescent Services is here to help. We specialize in treating teenage boys who suffer from drug addiction, alcohol addiction, mood disorders, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Our individualized treatment plans provide solutions for the whole family. We offer a variety of experiential therapies that are designed to help your teenager begin to heal and understand their emotional wounds - through taking positive and proactive action. We offer the most comprehensive residential treatment program for teenage boys in the country.