Experiential Therapy

Experiential Therapy

ExperientialTherapy

ExperientialTherapy

Experientialtherapy is a type of therapy where clients have the opportunity toidentify and deal with subconscious psychological issues. This isthrough client-centered experiences such as guided imagery, props,role playing and other types of experiences recommended by thetherapist (Greenberg, 1998). Different psychological challenges thetherapists intends to address require different activities that areclient-oriented such as music, recreation, play therapy, expressivearts, and equine. Experiential therapy is based on the conceptualperspectives of Gestalt Therapy, which emphasizes on the personalautonomy and responsibility of the client’s psychotherapy (p.12). Another unique aspect that differentiates experiential therapy fromother forms of therapy is its examination of the client’s personalrelationships.

Thetherapists help the client to begin a process of self-discoverythrough introspection that aim to establish the impact of theirpersonal relationships on the present behavior (p.14). Personalrelationships of the client trigger emotional responses that couldlead to specific undesirable behavior. For example, eating disorders,drug and alcohol addiction, suicidal tendencies are psychologicalissues that mostly emanate from personal relationships. Thus, whenthe therapist guides the client into a process of self-discovery, themain aim is to identify the possible negative emotions that could bethe psychological reason for certain behavior. Experiential therapy,therefore, entails treatment that addresses the relationship issues,which are normally the root causes of different compulsive behaviors. This does not mean that clients engage in activities such as readingor talking, but the therapists allows them to recreate certainexperiences or situations that evoke similar emotions and feelingslike they would in a real-life situation.

Experientialtherapists recognize that emotions are part of human experience. Infact all human experiences involve some level of emotional responses.However, negative emotions are the cause of compulsive behavior thatarises from the psychological problems that a person goes through. The negative behavioral responses manifest on the outward of theclient because they have locked up emotions due to unresolvedinternal conflicts. Through experiential therapy, the client can letthe emotions be manifest on the surface so that therapy can helptreat the problem. For example, the therapists can tell the clientto recall all the negative events and internalize the negativeemotional responses they triggered. After they bring the emotions tothe surface, the client is once again guided by the therapist toinitiate solutions that could naturally “repair” the destructioncaused by the emotional upheavals and cause healing (p.15). Clientswho need experiential therapy usually have a past that causesnegative emotions. The clients usually have suppressed the emotionsto the extent that they block the mental mechanisms that causeemotional healing. Through experiential therapy, the locked emotionsare unlocked hence, freeing the client from traumatic episodes.

Theclient must have an internal shift of experience as result ofaccurately representing their internal felt sense. Theyconceptualize experience as a process, and the occurrence of changeis contingent upon the fact the fact ongoing experiences becomes realas they articulate their hidden emotions. The therapeutic changethat occurs after experiential therapy is a direct sense of what theyexperience whenever negative emotions trigger compulsive behavior.Each individual has the resource to discover the meaning and essenceof different experiences hence, they can also find lastingtherapeutic solutions that cause healing. Thus, the main principlebehind experiential therapy is for people to find out whatever issaid or done against their own concretely felt experiences (p.16).

Reference

Greenberg,L. S. (1998). Handbookof experiential psychotherapy.New York, NY [u.a.: Guilford Press. References