Addiction Rehab & Mental Health
Experiential Therapies are based on the idea of connecting with the client through empathy. At Morningside Recovery, this means therapists create a therapeutic alliance to discover positive intentions and resources in clients. For example, a client's stubbornness can be seen as way for them to stick to sobriety one day at a time. Experiential Therapies blend therapies like Gestalt therapy and family therapy with role playing and outdoor therapy. Research has demonstrated that Experiential Therapies are effective at treating depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse disorders, and eating disorders.
At Morningside, therapeutic activities can include meditation on the beach, hiking, snowboarding, whale watching or any other life-enhancing experience. Morningside takes advantage of all the world-class activities available in Southern California examples: surfing, Catalina Island, Disneyland). The outdoors and physical activity have the transformative presence that is central to Experiential Therapy. Activities can be used to re-experience an old event in which the accompanying emotions were not expressed at the time. The festering emotional pain is no longer repressed and allowed to heal. The re-experience can be an opportunity for a client to feel those feelings in the moment, work through them, and defuse them once and for all. At Morningside Recovery, therapy deals with feelings such as anger, inadequacy, jealousy, loss, grief, and shame. In therapy, clients are able to let the pain go, and relief begins. Experiential Therapy also takes into account the feelings that are unfamiliar and often scary, feelings of contentment, hope, trust, excitement, and gratitude.
The relationships and peer group culture that form at Morningside Recovery are also an important therapeutic element. In a cohesive group, clients participate and attend more fully, more openly, and there exists a strong pressure towards conformity (alignment to purpose), enabling participants to make changes even when frightening emotions are experienced. Morningside staff tirelessly fosters cohesiveness in all treatment groups, and clients often cite the group as their favorite aspect of treatment. The helpful and supportive peer culture at Morningside is at the core of treatment for even the most vulnerable clients.
During and after the activity clients process the experience so that learning transfers from a specific experience to other life experiences. This learning deals with feelings such as anger, inadequacy, jealousy, loss, grief, and shame. Later, during individual therapy, clients are able to let go of the pain, and relief begins. Activities also explore positive feelings of contentment, hope, trust, excitement, and gratitude.
The process of Experiential Therapy can be a fascinating journey. Where other attempts to recover have failed, where there is resistance to treatment and denial of illness, the therapeutic alliance available at Morningside Recovery can succeed. The therapist-client relationship is honest and open, creating or restoring a positive emotional climate in the family. Free from unresolved emotions around relationships, the client is free to live in the present. The goal is to build up feelings of love, hope, serenity, and joy.