Learn About: Experiential Therapy


There are many different therapy approaches, techniques and modalities used in dual diagnosis and addiction treatment. One of the types of therapy used at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center is experiential therapy.


What is Experiential Therapy?

Experiential therapy is a type of therapy, developed in the 1970’s, that aids clients in identifying and addressing underlying, hidden or subconscious issues through experiencing. These experiences can differ, but most often they are through role-playing, the use of props, physical activities such as rock climbing, hiking or ropes courses or through guided imagery. Some examples of experiential therapy would be equine therapy, music or dance therapy, recreational therapy or art therapy. The purpose of experiential therapy is often to help clients identify who they are, teach them ways to take personal responsibility in and for their lives and help them examine personal relationships. Experiential therapy is used widely in treatment for dual diagnosis, addiction, eating disorders and psychological issues. Clients engage in experiential therapy in order to access and identify emotions; recreating past scenarios or working with others during experiential therapy in order to trigger negative emotions that lead to negative or compulsive behaviors and then being able to process those emotions and feelings in a safe therapeutic environment.


What are the Benefits of Experiential Therapy?

When a client engages in experiential therapy, they are able to learn to deal with stressors that arise for them, experience and learn how to process successes and failures, identify obstacles and engage in problem-solving, develop self-esteem and other character building traits and finally learn to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. Perception of themselves, learning to adapt and work in a group, identifying patterns, emotional growth and maturity, personal empowerment, increased ability to manage stress, greater ability to live in the present moment, improved communication skills and an increased sense of adequacy and competence are all benefits of experiential therapy.


What are some types of Experiential Therapy?

  • Equine Therapy
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Psychodrama
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Play Therapy

With what Disorders or Issues is Experiential Therapy most Effective?

  • Addiction
  • Dual Diagnosis or Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Trauma
  • Eating Disorders
  • Behavioral problems or issues in adolescents
  • Family conflict or communication issues


If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at Contact us today. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.

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