Vita Recovery

Experiential Therapy Miami

Experiential Therapy Miami FL

We believe in an immersive mental health and addiction treatment approach at Vita Recovery. We use experiential therapy to treat the whole person, not just the condition.

As part of your treatment plan, our compassionate, diverse team of healthcare professionals provides an innovative psychotherapy approach to boost your recovery journey holistically.

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Our world-class facility has all the amenities and resources you need to navigate recovery.


Experiential therapy involves immersing yourself in an experience through the use of various expressive modalities and recreational activities. Therapists may use tools like role-playing, animal interactions, outdoor excursions, the arts, or psychodrama to help someone identify and focus on what they are feeling.




This type of therapy involves psychological exploration by occupying oneself with a specific activity and engaging the body in some form of physical activity instead of participating in a traditional, evidence-based talk therapy setting. Therapists can discreetly observe a person's behavior while they are participating in the activity. When clients are focused on a task at hand - instead of the clinical process itself - less guarded, more authentic reactions and emotions come to the surface. Furthermore, activities are designed to develop skills and engender the benefit of an increased sense of self-worth.

Designed to help those in recovery develop a stronger sense of self, experiential therapy can teach an individual in treatment how to face buried feelings and past traumas without feeling compelled to return to substance misuse or triggering other unhealthy responses such as eating disorders.

Experiential therapy can be used in an individual, family, or group setting and in conjunction with traditional therapies.

What Techniques Are Used in Experiential Therapy?

In-Vivo Exposure

Facing fears in real-life situations where an individual can be successful helps them apply the concept in everyday life. Confronting feared and avoided environments, activities, and triggers that may cause unpleasant responses helps clients to cope with uncomfortable feelings and responses, including anger, anxiety, or depression.

Sensation & Body Awareness

Becoming more aware of physical and emotional experiences can be achieved by focusing on sensations - such as cold, heat, pressure, pain, etc. - experienced in the body.


By acting out different scenarios in a safe and supportive environment with a therapist, a patient experiences different feelings, and explores new behaviors and problem-solving techniques.

Imaginal Exposure

This technique can help a patient process memories and work through them. Exposure to mental images related to traumatic events - and often associated with negative feelings like guilt or shame - helps patients overcome repressed emotions.


As an outlet for thoughts and feelings that might not be accessible through words, this technique could be applied through art, music, movement, drama, or writing. Any self-expression activity aims to increase insight and a deeper understanding of oneself and others in the community.

What Are The Benefits of an Experiential Therapeutic Approach?

Overall, experiential therapy helps clients analyze and release negative thoughts or feelings associated with specific situations or memories that may be subconsciously - or consciously - blocked out or denied. As well as the range of skills learned, it contributes very effectively to overall client wellness and provides healthy coping frameworks for life after addiction treatment.

Other benefits include:

  • Improved emotional processing

  • Reduced avoidance

  • Altered perspectives

  • Creative expression

  • Situational resolution

  • Improved communication skills

  • Increased self-awareness

  • Enhanced coping skills

  • Improved self-esteem

  • Helps address mental health conditions

Benefits Seen in Mental Health

With a focus on action, an experiential therapeutic approach gives access to previously inaccessible psychological elements. It can benefit people dealing with life transitions, stress, relationship issues, parenting difficulties, or family conflicts. Clients experiencing shame or guilt, needing help with anger management, or struggling with phobias or learning disabilities also benefit from an experiential approach.

Acting in new ways helps patients to think in new ways, making experiential therapy an effective treatment for :

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Grief and loss

  • Chronic pain

  • Addiction and substance abuse

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)/attention deficit disorder (ADD)

  • Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders

  • Personality disorders

  • Eating disorders

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Physical Health Advantages

Outdoor activities, movement, dance therapy, and other therapeutic types of activity are evidence-based techniques for enhancing the connection between mind and body. These therapies facilitate and increase the body's capacity for movement, which adds to a person's overall physical health.

Benefits Seen in Addiction Treatment

At Vita Recovery, we help you initiate a total overhaul of your perspective. In a therapeutic setting, these changes may happen more as a result of an experience or encounter rather than receiving information.

By stimulating real-world stress and triggers, experiential therapy provides more space for mental healing, a less guarded exploration of feelings, and practice in healthy response. 

Through learning how to overcome distress in the present moment, clients recovering from substance use disorders address facing their triggers in daily life. They also address anxiety or depression and other mental health conditions in real-world settings.

Experiential Family Therapy

With the help of a family therapist, families can work through conflict that is often uncomfortable to address - or not addressed at all - between children, teens, and adults.

Changes or conflicts in relationships with partners, siblings, or children, divorce, parenting challenges, or unhealthy patterns of communication are addressed.

Therapists may use psychodrama, role-playing, puppets, or guided imagery for reenacting conflict situations and using these techniques to reverse roles, revisit personal points of view and exercise different behaviors in a safe setting. Greater compassion, healed relationships, and better support are often the outcomes. Experiential family therapy sessions could also involve outdoor activities, animal-assisted therapy, or art and play.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Also called ACT, this is a form of psychotherapy that applies mindfulness and behavioral strategies to help patients struggling with anxiety, depression, or substance use disorders. The goal is not to achieve happiness or reduce symptoms but instead to encourage and develop psychological flexibility skills by acting in ways that are meaningful to them.

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

EMDR stimulates the brain's neural network to reprocess trauma by diverting attention through directed eye movements. Various sources of bilateral stimulation - such as side-to-side blinking lights, tapping, sounds, or handheld vibrating disks - help to reduce the emotional intensity of negative experiences. Troubling and intense negative memories that have been treatment resistant often resolve through EMDR.

Other Types of Experiential Tools

  • Music therapy: Music therapists harness the power of music for positive changes in behavior. Patients may create, sing along with, move or listen to music to help improve their mental, emotional and physical health. Under the guidance of a therapist, people explore and learn how to cope with thoughts and feelings associated with various concerns such as substance abuse, trauma, mental health, and others.

  • Art therapy: Art therapy uses creativity and artistic processes to help someone work through conflict and improve self-awareness. Non-verbal communication may mean painting, sculpting, or drawing become a way to express thoughts and feelings. This helps an individual to work through distress brought upon by past situations in a healthy way.

  • Outdoor therapy: Outdoor therapy involves nature. It involves problem-solving activities, trust-building activities, outdoor pursuits (cycling, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, etc.), or high adventure games (rock climbing, rope courses, etc.). Meditation, yoga, or therapy sessions done outdoors also benefit a person.

  • Animal-assisted therapy: The therapeutic benefit of interacting with animals and caring for them helps anyone dealing with substance abuse or physical or mental health issues. Animal-assisted therapy may involve horses - known as equine therapy.

  • Play therapy: Commonly used as a treatment for children. A child may choose their own toys and play freely, while therapists utilize play to gain insight. Therapists may detect what a child finds uncomfortable to express or what a child is unable to express.

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If you or your loved one is suffering from substance or alcohol abuse or any other mental health condition, then Vita Recovery is on hand to help.

Our state-of-the-art treatment center in South Florida has everything you need to reach and maintain wellness. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you build a better life.

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