Talk therapy is one of the most common treatments for people dealing with mental health disorders and eating disorders and it’s highly effective, but it’s not the only option. More and more treatment centers recognize the value of other forms of therapy, including more holistic therapies like experiential and expressive therapies to help individuals who are struggling.
Experiential and expressive therapies include various therapeutic techniques rather than a type of psychotherapy. Individuals participate in activities that help them gain the skills they need to solve problems and learn new behaviors. Experiential and expressive therapies are typically part of a comprehensive therapeutic approach that includes talk therapy, mindfulness therapy, and others.
Experiential and expressive therapies can be very beneficial for individuals who have a difficult time with talk therapy. Some people have trouble verbalizing problematic issues because they’re so traumatized by them. Others become so agitated or angry when thinking about the problem that sessions can’t continue. It’s vital that these individuals have other safe ways to express their feelings when talking is too overwhelming.
Evidence-Based Treatment at Shoreline
How They Help
When individuals engage in experiential and expressive therapy activities, our therapists observe them. To the client it doesn’t feel like a therapy session, but it gives our therapists insight into each client’s psyche. Everything from a client’s facial expressions to what they say can provide therapists with a greater understanding of their mental state. When participating in activities, clients are usually more comfortable and relaxed, and their expressions and reactions are more likely to reveal their true feelings.
In time, they’ll see that they control their actions. No matter what emotions they feel, their emotions don’t have to overwhelm them. This contributes to greater self-awareness, better coping skills, and increased confidence.
At Shoreline, we also utilize other types of behavioral therapies based on each client’s needs and their individualized treatment plan, including: