Though not necessarily a primary focus of experiential therapy, the activities
clients participate in may also provide them with new ways of filling
leisure time during their daily activities.
Benefits of Experiential Therapy
As patients progress through structured experiential therapy activities
under the guidance and supervision of an experiential therapist, they
have the opportunity to experience successes, identify obstacles, develop
improved self-esteem, and take greater responsibility for their actions.
Change, emotional growth, and personal empowerment are all among the benefits
of participating in an effective experiential therapy program. Because
experiential therapy patients are often focused on the task or activity
at hand – rather than on the therapeutic aspect of the experience
– they are more likely to behave in a more unguarded and genuine manner.
When the experiential therapist and the patient process the experience
– a discussion that may take place during or after the activity
– the patient receives specific feedback regarding specific actions
or behaviors. At the same time, the patient has the opportunity to identify
and evaluate the behaviors he / she exhibited during experiential therapy,
as well as the thoughts or prior experiences that may have prompted those
This may be particularly important for individuals who are in treatment
for substance abuse or addiction, as part of the recovery process involves
finding healthy and productive leisure activities to fill the hours previously
occupied by searching for, acquiring, and using alcohol or other drugs.