THE SURPRISING RESULTS FROM EXPERIENTIAL TREATMENT TECHNIQUES
In the world of modern psychology, there are a number of different treatment options available for teenagers. Though each of these treatment options offers various pros and cons, one area that has been proven to be remarkably successful has been experiential treatments. Instead of trying to treat trauma, depression, and anxiety—three common disorders experienced by teenagers—with the simple use of medication or exhausted Freudian psychology techniques, experiential treatments take a more interactive approach by helping teenagers help themselves through experiences.
EXPERIENTIAL TREATMENT BENEFITS
Specific examples of experiential treatments include those that incorporate art, music, poetry, writing, and other creative activities. One of the most immediate benefits of experiential treatment options is that, contrary to some other forms of treatment, experiential treatment is very low-risk. While the use of medication presents the risk of addiction, while Freudian psychology presents the risk of alienation, and while other more authoritative techniques present the possibility of adding additional stress to the lives of struggling teens, the outcomes of experiential treatments are entirely within their control. By engaging creatively, they are the ones who can produce what they want to. Because of this, the results of experiential treatment methods have been incredible.
Art, music, and poetry—for example—allow that which has been internalized by the individual to become externally expressed. What many teenagers who are struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other ailments really desire is the need to regain control of their lives. Creativity, by the very nature of its root word create, allows the individual to have direct control over something in their lives, and being able to control something external can empower them to control the other aspects of their life they know they must change.
WHO EXPERIENTIAL TREATMENTS BENEFIT
There have been a number of studies done on experiential treatments, and nearly all of them have produced results suggesting that the implementation of experiential treatment can be incredibly beneficial. A comprehensive review of numerous studies concluded that three groups of teenagers in particular can benefit from the use of experiential treatment. These three groups are: 1) at risk youths, 2) justice-involved youths, and 3) traumatized youths. For each of these groups, it seems, having an external method of expression is extremely important, and finding a place where they can safely express themselves can help them achieve their recovery objectives.
EXPERIENTIAL TREATMENT AT POLARIS
At Polaris, experiential treatment has benefited numerous teens and continues to do so today. Upon their departure from Polaris, many individuals have described their creative experiences as what they believe to be the most productive component of their treatment. Many individuals feel as if finding a productive creative outlet provides them with a way to help themselves for the rest of their lives, and the poetry, paintings, and other creations that still remain at Polaris’ facilities exist as a constant source of positive inspiration to others. Evidently, experiential treatment is just one of the many unique components that has established Polaris as the premier teenage rehabilitation center in the Los Angeles area.
Naturally, finding solutions that treat chronic problems in teenagers can be extremely difficult. There exists an overwhelming number of options available, and for parents who want the very best for their teenagers, it can be difficult to discover what will be the most effective. But when individual testimonies, creative results, and scientific research are all taken into perspective, it seems experiential treatment is indeed a positive practice that offers very few drawbacks. Experiential treatments allow the individual to access a creative side they might not even have known they had, and—ultimately—can allow them to create a better world for themselves.