Experiential therapy is a type depression therapy that assists patients in uncovering unconscious issues. To accomplish this, the therapist uses interventions such as role-playing, guided imagery and props.
Experiential therapy is associated with Gestalt Therapy, an approach to therapy that is client-centered, that is to say the patient drives the therapy. Additionally, there are many forms of therapy that can be considered to be experiential, including art therapy, pet-assisted therapy and music therapy.
Experiential Therapy and Depression
Experiential therapy is similar to interpersonal therapy in that it helps individuals to look at interpersonal relationships and how those relationships affect mood and behaviors.
By identifying negative emotions associated with interpersonal relationships, the person can see what needs changing, Then the therapist recreates situations that triggered the problematic feelings and works on changing them.
Our feelings are a reflection of who we think we are and of our reality. Experiential therapy encourages people to uncover and experience feelings they have locked away. By experiencing them, they learn that feelings can’t hurt you. Additionally, identified feelings that were previously thought to be bad can be neutralized.
Experiential Therapy and Treatment
When someone undergoes experiential therapy, it provides them with the opportunity to become more self-aware. By releasing negative emotions associated to specific relationships, those feelings and relationships shift into a more positive realm.
By removing emotional and mental obstacles, the person can experience closure from previous traumatic events. The experiential therapist identifies these blockages and builds bridges over them. The focus is to help the person to understand what feelings are hurting them and then managing those emotions in a more positive way.
Experiential Therapy is beneficial in showing people how to deal with personal problems and find immediate solutions. In terms of depression, those solutions can replace negative behaviors with healthier expressions of emotions.
Depression Therapy and Experiences
Many people report that their experience in experiential therapy was the first opportunity they had to manage negative feelings in such a complete way. When they learn to replace negative emotions with positive ones, they can move forward in their recovery from depression and they learn how to better cope with problems that had been contributing to their feelings of depression.
Experiential therapy can produce a significantly higher amount of self-confidence by freeing the individual from old self-destructive behaviors and thoughts. In this respect, experiential therapy is present focused encouraging the patient to release the past.