The benefits of traditional Talk Therapy are well known. Now there’s an innovative hands-on treatment, Experiential Therapy, which includes art therapy and role play. It’s showing great potential for people dealing with personal challenges and as a depression treatment. We hear from Promises Healthcare on how this therapy can be used together with Talk Therapy to release negative emotions and stimulate feelings of positivity.
What is Experiential Therapy and how can it be used with Talk Therapy?
There are numerous types of therapy that help individuals navigate their emotional challenges and foster personal growth. Interestingly, an emerging body of evidence suggests that using Experiential Therapy alongside Talk Therapy can offer profound additional benefits. Experiential Therapy is a dynamic and transformative approach that goes beyond Talk Therapy. By incorporating interactive techniques into the therapeutic process, individuals engage in activities like role-playing, art therapy, music, movement, sand-play and Psychodrama. This enables a deeper exploration of emotions, experiences and internal conflicts. Individuals can achieve enhanced self-awareness and embark on a journey of personal growth.
Benefits of Experiential Therapy
#1 Embodied emotional exploration
Experiential Therapy provides a gateway to accessing emotions from (or through) the body’s wisdom level. Through non-verbal activities like expressive arts or Psychodrama, individuals can tap into emotions that are often challenging to articulate through words alone. This immersive process fosters a deeper understanding of one’s emotional landscape, laying the foundation for healing and personal growth.
#2 Active engagement
Unlike traditional Talk Therapy, Experiential Therapy provides the individual an opportunity to participate physically. Through interactive exercises, individuals become energised and take ownership of their therapeutic process. This active engagement nurtures autonomy, builds self-esteem and gives a sense of empowerment, leading to transformative personal growth.
#3 Trauma resolution
When combined with approaches like AttachmentFocused Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (AF-EMDR), Experiential Therapy is effective in addressing trauma-related issues. By integrating experiential techniques into Trauma Therapy, individuals can safely access and process traumatic memories. This integrative approach facilitates the reprocessing of traumatic experiences, resulting in reduced distress, improved emotional wellbeing, and the possibility of reclaiming a sense of safety and wholeness. Experiential Therapies used on their own are also excellent for promoting selfawareness and personal growth.
#4 Anxiety management
Through engaging activities and exercises, individuals can explore and better understand the underlying causes and triggers of their anxiety. The interactive nature of Experiential Therapy promotes development of coping strategies, relaxation techniques and effective selfregulation skills. Individuals feel able to navigate anxiety more effectively and regain control over their lives.
#5 Depression treatment
Experiential Therapy can be a powerful ally in depression treatment. Creative, interactive activities encourage individuals to express their emotions, identify underlying patterns, and explore new perspectives. This cultivates hope, fosters a sense of connection, and helps individuals reconnect with their inner resources. It also promotes resilience and supports the journey towards recovery.
About Promises Healthcare
Promises Healthcare is a multidisciplinary mental health centre with a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and executive coaches who take on a diverse and integrative approach to treatment. Specialists are focused on the care and wellbeing of patients with treatments based on the latest clinically proven protocols in the fields of neuroscience and psychology.
At the centre, the following three professionals specialise in using experiential modalities to enhance client wellbeing:
Sharmini is Singapore’s first certified Psychodramatist with the American Board of Examiners (ABE) in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy, a Practitioner Applicant as Trainer (PAT), and a practitioner of AF-EMDR therapy. She has years of combined experience in both the performing arts and counselling. Shamini says that Psychodrama is a powerful therapeutic technique using action methods, role-playing and group dynamics, that empowers individuals to gain insight, heal emotional wounds and develop healthier coping mechanisms. She combines AF-EMDR with Psychodrama methods and is passionate about providing transformative experiences that promote personal development and self-discovery
With extensive experience combining Expressive Therapies with AF-EMDR Trauma Therapy, Yana offers a holistic approach to trauma healing. She incorporates art, music, movement, sand-play and other Expressive Therapies with AF-EMDR technique. This integration allows clients to access deeply-held emotions and memories, fostering trauma resolution and promoting post-traumatic growth.
Amirah is a dedicated Art Therapist who adds another dimension to the team’s expertise. Her specialised knowledge in Art Therapy provides clients with a novel avenue for selfexpression and healing. Through artistic mediums, individuals can explore their emotions, thoughts and experiences, tapping into their innate creativity to gain insight and promote personal growth.
Promises Healthcare is at #09- 22/23, #09-17/18/19 & #11-15/16 Novena Medical Centre, 10 Sinaran Drive. To schedule a session, contact the team at 6397 7309.
This article first appeared in the September 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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