What are Some Examples of Experiential Therapy Activities?

flower in sun

Experiential therapy gives people the opportunity to identify or address subconscious issues through various activities. A key benefit to this form of therapy is that the therapist may watch what the individual is doing during these activities to help get a better sense of who they are and what they may be going through. After the activity, the individual and therapist engage in a discussion about their experience and what thoughts, feelings, emotions, and realizations arose from it. In addition, experiential therapy could be a wonderful way to build up hobbies that one can extend into their own down time. The following are diverse types of experiential therapy:

  • Sand-tray therapy – Also known as “sand play therapy”, this approach involves the use of a tray of sand with various objects, including miniature people, animals, trees, stones, etc. Clients are asked to freely create a story with the materials and, as the story unfolds, a person learns more about the meaning behind the story.
  • Adventure therapy – Hiking, camping, biking, white-water rafting, indoor-rock climbing, and an obstacle course are a few key examples that provide adventure to participants. This helps people garner more initiative, improved problem-solving, self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and more.
  • Wilderness therapy – This type most often involves camping or backpacking in wilderness. Most often done in groups, this form of therapy typically is good for people who struggle with control, anger, and manipulation, because nature does not respond to
  • Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) – People get the chance to groom, harness, lead, and feed a horse while they learn more about how they conduct their daily lives. A 2015 study conducted by researchers from Norway found that participants who engaged in equine therapy had a significantly higher chance of successfully completing treatment than those who did not.


Experiential therapy is great for those who: have a tough time expressing themselves, are unable to talk about certain issues without raising their temper, have been abused in any way, have experienced other types of trauma, are reluctant or unwilling to talk about painful issues, have a dual diagnosis, and/or are very interested in learning something new. If you believe that experiential therapy may be a great fit for you, speak with someone from a reputable treatment center today. It could very well provide you with the tools you need to better understand your emotions and ways to work through them.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re seeking a treatment center that focuses primarily on mental health, call our parent property, New Vista Behavioral Health, at 855-398-7959. If you’re seeking treatment for either substance abuse or dual diagnosis, call us at 888-743-0490. There are many people that can help you develop the tools you need to succeed.