Experiential Therapy Program

At the Ranch Pennsylvania in Wrightsville PA, we offer many hands-on “experiential therapy” activities to support our substance abuse and mental health treatment programs. In this holistic program, clients are given opportunities to act out past or present relationship issues through trust exercises, balance challenges, group activities and more.

In this way, clients learn to support one another and develop mutual trust as they test-drive newly-learned coping skills, communication techniques and explore past hurts within a safe, non-judgmental space with the help of our experiential specialist and recreation therapist.

What to Expect in Experiential Therapy in Wrightsville, PA 

Our compassionate staff at The Ranch Pennsylvania knows complicated issues often need more than one approach when it comes to substance abuse and mental health recovery. Therapies must also complement one another and fit the individual needs of each client. Even when there’s an element of fun, experiential therapies are a powerful piece for healing the mind, body, and spirit from substance use and/or mental health disorders.

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Falling under a broad umbrella term, experiential therapies include different therapeutic approaches, which give the client more hands-on learning than traditional psychotherapy.

Our approach to experiential therapy is an extension of our commitment to treating each person through holistic therapy models while staying focused on everyone’s unique needs in recovery. These therapeutic experiences engage the body and the mind, often in an outdoor environment, weather permitting.

Some of our experiential therapies include:

  • High ropes
  • Low ropes including the platform trust fall and commitment bridge
  • Archery 
  • H.E.A.L. Class
  • Therapeutic Drumming
  • Sound Healing
  • Medicine Wheel Teachings

How does Experiential Therapy Impact Our Clients’ Recovery?

When you step into an experiential therapy session, you can expect a level of vulnerability as you face the undercurrent of fear, trauma and other unexplored emotions that lead a person to unhealthy coping. Experiential activities help you to outwardly play out these emotions while teaching you the benefits of trust, hope and resiliency. 

Clients typically experience self-discovery and the “aha” moment in our experiential groups. Most importantly, these experiential therapies offer a chance for individuals to experience success as they conquer challenging situations, a skill they can later use after they complete their treatment. 

How do these experiential activities promote growth, specifically?

  • Low Ropes – This exercise challenges clients not only to trust those individuals falling, but also experientially shows the group how to show up, rely and support another.
    • The Platform Trust Fall to help develop positive peer relationships
    • The Commitment Bridge to help set healthy goals and promote personal growth 
  • Archery – Practicing archery instills a calm and meditative state in much the same way as mindfulness therapy or meditation. Practicing in small groups enables clients to share struggles and master breakthroughs together.  
  • H.E.A.L. Class: Helps overcome fears and attachments 
  • Therapeutic Drumming: Using drums as a tool to release fears and connect through sound and vibration with a community
  • Sound Healing Meditation: Relaxation and processing through a soundscape journey to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps to deeply heal nonverbally through intention from trauma or addiction behavior.
  • Medicine Wheel Teachings (“The Winds of Change”): Native American and indigenous traditions of finding new direction in life by connecting to the elements and animals in nature. Our location hosts 36 Stone Structures overlooking the Susquehanna River Vista and offers very powerful teachings.

These activities have learned trust and support in common, which is particularly useful in dual diagnosis treatment programs. In addition, by overcoming obstacles within a safe, non-judgmental environment, clients enjoy increased resilience and improve their self-concept. For this reason, experiential therapy easily transfers to life outside of treatment.

Finding Holistic Therapy at The Ranch Pennsylvania

At The Ranch Pennsylvania in Wrightsville PA, we value every client’s unique journey. We combine holistic practices, such as experiential therapy, with more traditional therapy models to create a balanced treatment plan.

Let us help you build the skills you need to live a healthy life. Whether you or your loved one is experiencing substance use or mental health disorders, our holistic programs can help support them along the way. Call us today at 717. 969.9126 to learn more about our programs.

Meet Our Experiential Therapy Team at The Ranch

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Alan Kuhl, Holistic Provider
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Andrew Schofield, Experiential Specialist
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