Experiential therapy is meant to break the mold of traditional “talk” therapy by engaging participants in activities, movement, and recreation. This allows you to break down some of the barriers in the way of healing, and bring emotions and other issues to the surface. Hiking, biking, obstacle courses, and a whole range of other outdoor activities are perfectly suited for addiction recovery because they allow you to address recovery issues while gaining increased inner peace and strength from nature.
A Sensory Experience
Spending time outdoors engages your senses of hearing, sight, touch, and smell, which promotes cognitive healing. Your brain has been through the ringer throughout the course of addiction, and providing it with sensory experiences stimulates it to begin repairing itself. Whenever you’re out in nature, pay close attention to the world around you. What do you hear? Use your eyes to locate the source of the sound. Take deep breaths and draw in the fresh air and smells around you. Run your hands along the trunk of a tree, deliberately processing the texture of it. These sensations will light your brain up and get things moving in there again.
Nature is Wherever You Are
The experiential therapy sessions provided by the rehab center are engineered to get you out and engaging with nature, but you can have these experiences any time. Taking a walk around your neighborhood, or just sitting on the porch in the evenings will give you opportunities to connect with the earth and soak up its healing powers. Even if you live in a big city, you’ll find that it’s teeming with natural activity if you pay close attention. An afternoon in Central Park can be just as healing as one in the mountains when you allow nature to have an effect on you. Find opportunities every day to get outside, no matter where you are. Take a break from the office and eat your lunch outdoors, or go for a morning bike ride with your kids. You’ll quickly notice that these sessions of outdoor time are a surefire way to boost your recovery.