Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy is a term that encompasses a number of therapeutic techniques that require engaging in some type of activity or action.  Everything from equine assisted psychotherapy to art therapy to psychodrama is considered experiential therapy. Despite the different approaches, most experiential therapy techniques will use tools and activities to recreate situations from past and current relationships, in an effort to identify the emotions that arise. With the guidance of a professional experiential therapist, the client can explore these feelings and begin to release these feelings. Individuals who have been through trauma, are dealing with an eating or behavioral disorder, working through anger or grief issues, as well as various addictions can benefit from experiential therapy. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experiential therapy experts today.

Meet the specialists

Talk therapy is the primary method of my counseling work. However, I maintain that there are "multiple ways to the same goal". We might talk about the content to see if that gets us there. We might also write about it, draw about it, walk about it (internet and tele-space willing*), close our eyes and meditate on it.

— Joey Salvatore, Counselor in Baltimore, MD
 

I was introduced to the radical immediate effectiveness of Experiential, Here and Now Therapy through the writings of Fritz Perls and the work of some of his students with whom I studied and trained in the early 1970's. Experiential Therapy simply means bringing awareness and attention to your experience in the present moment, as it unfolds, with the guidance and support of a skilled therapist, and reporting what you discover. It can be an effective path to healing.

— Peter Carpentieri, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

At RISE we utilize a variery of different experiential therapeutic techniques in individual, family, relational, group, and in our Holistic Trauma Program. Movement, Music, Nature, Somatic Exercises, Psychodrama, Team Building, Self Empowerment, art therapy, creative and self expression, and a variety of other therapeutic techniques depending on the clients needs.

— Bet Shaddinger, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Lauderdale, FL
 

Experiential therapists believe we need new experiences to heal from past experiences, especially when those past experiences have gotten stuck and unprocessed. Experiential therapy refers to treatment approaches that are more interactive, such as sand tray, art, music re-enactments, and others.

— Morgan Ticum, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Lenexa, KS

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I am highly influenced by Virginia Satir, who valued clear and direct communication, warmth, and compassion. In her practice, she modeled genuine human connection, which is a large part of my practice.

— Rowen Beaudoin-Colegrove, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in West Boylston, MA
 

We often work to sever our body/mind connection in order to protect ourselves from painful emotions that live in the body. I believe reconnecting ourselves to our bodies has incredible healing power. I often use mindfulness techniques to help rebuild this connection.

— Isaac Samuelson, Counselor in Chicago, IL

My style is "here-and-now", using the therapeutic relationship to give you a transformative experience of feeling seen and understood for who you really are. This is the foundation of change that has a ripple effect into the rest of your life, transforming your relationships.

— Carolyn Moore, Counselor in San Francisco, CA
 

This non-touch approach gives my clients the opportunity to step outside the box of traditional talk therapy and to move trauma outside of their energetic system through various exercises.

— Michelle Iankowitz, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Woodland Hills, CA

Therapy is not one-size-fits-all; people have a variety of needs and learn in a variety of ways. Experiential therapy is about crafting personalized therapy experiences based on the therapist's knowledge of the clients and the issues that they present in the moment. When I was in school, I found that this was the most comfortable approach for me--using the tools that I have gathered as a therapist to address clients' needs as they are presented rather than trying to plan too far ahead.

— Arin Brutlag, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Joplin, MO
 

Whether talking about what happened yesterday or in your family growing up, we will work with what you experience in the moment as you explore. That way the work is fresh, not a stale re-hashing of an old, stuck story. Using basic building blocks of gentle curiosity, compassion and honoring both what shows up as well as resistance to what shows up, deep transformation happens.

— Grace Silvia, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

I was introduced to the radical immediate effectiveness of Experiential, Here and Now Therapy through the writings of Fritz Perls and the work of some of his students with whom I studied and trained in the early 1970's. Experiential Therapy simply means bringing awareness and attention to your experience in the present moment, as it unfolds, with the guidance and support of a skilled therapist, and reporting what you discover. It can be an effective path to healing.

— Peter Carpentieri, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

Once we understand how the trauma is affecting you today we can do a deeper piece of work. Experiential therapy creates an internal shift and is more effective than just talk therapy alone. It breaks through unconscious resistances and gets to the root of the underlying traumas. By depicting your inner world visually through inner child work, Gestalt empty chair techniques, psychodrama techniques etc, you will experience new insights, release emotions, and new healthy beliefs about self emerge.

— Leanne Lemire, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Carefree, AZ