Treatment of behavioral health disorders works when the underlying causes are resolved. But identifying those causes often requires many different approaches because of the complexity of the human mind.
For example, after experiencing trauma, people often suppress painful memories so that they can continue to function, reducing conscious recall over time. But such unconscious memories can still have very powerful influence over present-time conscious behavior and mental health. Experiential therapies are meant to help deal with problems like these.
So what is experiential therapy? The primary goal of experiential therapy is to bring forth unconscious self-expression. According to the American Society for Experiential Therapists, experiential therapy allows one to fill in cognitive and emotional gaps in memory. By processing memories in a supportive and therapeutic environment, painful thoughts and feelings can be reconciled. Only then can healthy perceptions about the past, present and future fully develop.
Many different experiential therapy techniques exist, and behavioral health care centers vary in this regard. At Sovereign Health of Arizona, we individualize our experiential therapies according to individual patient interests and needs. Some of the experiential therapy activities Sovereign Health of Arizona offers include equine, expressive arts, yoga and recreational therapy.
Equine therapy is an evidence-based form of experiential therapy that has been shown to be both effective and enjoyable for our patient population. Working directly with horses and forming relationships with them over the course of treatment helps patients improve relationship skills, such as trust, nonverbal communication, and healthy boundary-setting. Women learn to be more mindful of their own behavior while being aware of the behavioral cues of others.
Women recovering from trauma and addiction often need help to re-learn healthy ways to express themselves. Expressive arts therapy gives patients an opportunity to express themselves and share their thoughts and feelings with others. The expressive arts include many different approaches, such as art, music, dance, psychodrama, and bibliotherapy.