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The undeniable link between mind and body makes it crucial to effectively address both during your stay at our inpatient drug rehab. Improving one facet can drastically help to improve the other in working toward both physical and emotional well-being.

At Silvermist, we take a holistic approach to addiction treatment in Pennsylvania, offering a wide variety of therapies that can be tailored to each client’s unique needs.

Give us a call at (724) 268-4858 to learn more about our holistic therapies.

Understanding the Holistic Approach to Treatment

Holistic therapy techniques are known for being calming and helping patients find and maintain balance. They can reduce the physical symptoms of addiction and withdrawal while simultaneously addressing the client’s psychological needs. Individuals who engage with holistic therapy are more likely to feel at ease through the treatment process and more able to cope with the challenges of rehab.

Holistic therapy will address:

  • Pain and other physical symptoms
  • Emotional imbalance

  • Spiritual grounding

  • Unhealthy eating habits and resulting neurochemical imbalance

  • Environmental toxins

At Silvermist, we have found success in focusing our efforts on the mind, body, and spirit rather than just one. Clients report mental, physical, and psychological improvement after completing holistic therapy.

By engaging in one of our many holistic therapies – be it art therapy, or nature therapy – clients at Silvermist can feel better and improve their outlook as they navigate the addiction treatment process.

Learn more about our holistic therapy in Pennsylvania by calling (724) 268-4858.

Experiential Therapy for Addiction Recovery in Pennsylvania

Supporting Personal Growth, Empowerment & Whole-Person Healing

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as a “process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

holistic approach to treatment offers the best outcomes, according to SAMHSA. This approach recognizes that there are multiple pathways to recovery, and recovery is built on the multiple strengths, talents, and inherent values of the individual.

Holistic treatment addresses a wide range of issues related to physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being. It involves a combination of traditional “talk” therapies and research-based experiential, or “hands-on,” therapies. This combination of therapies helps people in treatment look at a variety of issues from many different angles for meaningful, whole-person healing.

Experiential therapies support personal growth and empowerment, and they’re widely used in high-quality addiction treatment programs, including those at Silvermist.

Experiential Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Experiential therapies are an important part of a high-quality treatment program. They involve hands-on activities that help clients experience success and work through obstacles in a variety of settings.

Talk therapies commonly used in treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which helps individuals identify self-destructive thought and behavior patterns and develop new, healthier ways of thinking and behaving.

CBT helps people work through trauma and other issues that often underlie an addiction. It helps them develop essential coping skills for dealing with negative emotions, cravings, stress, and other important relapse triggers.

Experiential therapies often operate on principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and other traditional therapies.

They offer numerous benefits for people in recovery, including helping them:

  • Develop greater self-awareness through observing how they respond emotionally and behaviorally while performing an engaging or purposeful activity
  • Tap into emotions that are difficult to express or make sense of

  • Access buried emotions or experiences in a safe, supportive environment

  • Recognize emotional responses that arise during certain situations in life

  • Take action to initiate meaningful life changes

Experiential therapies are led by trained therapists who help clients make meaningful connections between their thoughts and their behaviors. As active participants in a variety of experiences, people in recovery synthesize the lessons learned and apply them to their lives.

Experiential therapies are also about having fun and staying engaged in treatment. They help clients participate more fully in their recovery plan and may lead to new, healthy hobbies that increase their enjoyment of life and help them pass the time with productive pursuits.

Kolb’s Four-Stage Experiential Learning Cycle

Educational theorist David Kolb developed a four-stage learning cycle that should be present in any experiential therapy:

  • Stage 1: Engaging in a new situation or experience in a concrete, hands-on way

  • Stage 2: Actively observing the experience as it occurs and mindfully reflecting on it afterwards

  • Stage 3: Conceptualizing the reflection of the experience into a new concept or idea or re-evaluating an old concept or idea based on the experience

  • Stage 4: Applying the new or re-worked idea into one’s own life, letting it shape their perception of the world around them in positive ways

Experiential therapies are a catalyst for developing new skills and concepts that promote and support recovery.

Types of Experiential Therapies

Experiential therapies take many forms, from highly active adventure therapy to quiet, gentle yoga. A high-quality treatment program will offer a variety of experiential therapies to help engage clients in treatment and address a range of problems from a variety of angles.

Here, we’ve outlined some of the experiential therapies commonly found in addiction treatment programs.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is focused on the visual arts. During art therapy, participants engage in a variety of art-based activities, including:

  • Recreating an experience through drawing or painting
  • Expressing emotions with color, shape, and line

  • Creating an art journal for writing down reflections

  • Using art-making as a way to relieve stress and find enjoyment

  • Viewing art and discussing it in a group setting

Art therapy helps participants express difficult emotions and synthesize past experiences through creative self-expression.

According to an article published in the American Journal of Health, other benefits of art therapy include:

  • Healing of emotional wounds
  • Altering dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns

  • Decreased denial

  • Reduced ambivalence toward recovery

  • Increased motivation to recover

  • Increased self-awareness and self-reflection

  • Reduced stress

  • Reduced feelings of shame

Yoga Therapy

Yoga is a mindfulness therapy that combines controlled breathing, meditation, and movement. It’s led by a certified instructor who leads the class through a range of poses that promote physical and mental strength, flexibility, and endurance. The instructor may incorporate inspirational teachings into the session to increase the spiritual benefits of the class. Yoga generally ends with a period of meditation, which may or may not be guided by the instructor.

During yoga, participants focus on their breath and the poses, which bring them into the present moment, where they’re better able to evaluate their thoughts, emotions, and physical state. This type of mindfulness increases self-awareness and helps train the mind to exist in the here and now rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Yoga is widely used in addiction treatment programs for its many benefits to people in recovery, including:

  • A higher level of mindfulness
  • Greater body-awareness

  • Stress relief

  • Reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Improved stress response

  • Reduced cravings

According to the American Psychological Association, yoga reduces depression and anxiety and helps to heal emotional wounds, particularly for trauma survivors.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of sitting quietly, focusing on the breath or a mantra, and allowing thoughts to move through the mind like clouds, without reacting to them or judging them.

Meditation promotes awareness of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. It helps individuals accept their experiences and emotions rather than suppress or fight them. Meditation promotes better choices, eases cravings, and reduces the tendency to abuse drugs or alcohol during periods of stress or emotional upheaval.

An article in the journal Substance Abuse cites a large body of research that shows mindfulness meditation is effective for treating addiction.

Benefits of mindfulness meditation include:

  • Reduces blood pressure and other stress responses
  • Relieves pain

  • Reduces anxiety and depression

  • Increases self-awareness

  • Reduces the stress response

  • Helps individuals respond better to external events

  • Promotes feelings of calm and inner peace

Meditation even changes the structures of the brain. According to research, meditation increases the volume of brain areas responsible for emotional regulation and decision-making and reduces the volume of the area responsible for anxiety, stress, and fear.

Experiential Therapies Promote Healing

Choosing a high-quality rehab program that offers a range of experiential therapies has numerous benefits and helps to round out your treatment plan. Experiential therapies give you opportunities for personal growth and reflection and help you make meaningful connections to the skills and strategies you’re learning in talk therapy.

Experiential treatments are fun, engaging, and enlightening. Making them a part of your recovery journey will enhance healing and promote a greater sense of well-being during treatment and beyond.


Learn more about our holistic therapy in Pennsylvania by calling (724) 268-4858.