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Exploring the Benefits of Experiential Counseling: Equine Assisted Therapy and Clay Art Therapy



Experiential counseling is a form of therapy that has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique approach to promoting mental health and wellbeing. Experiential counseling is a unique approach to psychotherapy that involves the use of various activities and expressive modalities to help individuals explore and process their emotions.


At Colorado Experiential Counseling, we love creating an individualized experience for our clients but we specialize in two types of experiential therapy: equine therapy and clay art therapy. In this blog post, we will explore the role of experiential counseling on mental health, its benefits, and how it differs from other counseling modalities, with a focus on equine therapy and clay art therapy.


The Role of Experiential Counseling on Mental Health


Experiential counseling can be a powerful tool for individuals who are struggling with mental health issues. Experiential counseling can help individuals identify and process difficult emotions, develop healthy coping skills, and improve their overall mental health and wellbeing. By engaging in activities and experiences that promote emotional awareness, individuals can gain insight into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Experiential counseling is particularly useful for individuals who struggle with expressing themselves verbally or who have experienced trauma or other types of emotional distress.


At Colorado Experiential Counseling, we specialize in two types of experiential therapy: equine therapy and clay art therapy. Both of these modalities provide a unique and engaging approach to promoting emotional healing.



Equine-Assisted Counseling


Horse assisted therapy, also known as equine-assisted therapy (EAT) or equine-assisted psychotherapy, involves working with horses as a way to promote emotional healing. Horses are incredibly intuitive animals and can sense the emotions and intentions of those around them. By working with horses, individuals can learn to identify and manage their own emotions in a safe and supportive environment.


Equine-assisted counseling can be particularly helpful for individuals who struggle with trust, communication, and boundaries. It is often used to help people with a range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addiction. Equine-assisted therapy can help individuals develop trust, improve communication skills, and learn to regulate their emotions. Working with horses can help individuals to develop these skills in a tangible and meaningful way.


Activities may include grooming, leading, as well as participating in ground-based exercises. The interactions with the horse can help individuals develop new skills and coping strategies, as well as gain insights into their thoughts and behaviors.


There is a growing body of research that supports the use of EAT as a form of treatment. One study published in the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing found that EAT was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults with mental health conditions. Another study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that EAT was effective in reducing symptoms of addiction in adolescents.



Clay Art Therapy


Clay art therapy involves using clay as a medium for self-expression and exploration of emotions. Clients can use clay to create sculptures or other art pieces that represent their thoughts and feelings. Clay art therapy can help individuals develop a sense of control over their emotions, improve their self-esteem, and develop healthy coping skills.


Clay art therapy involves working with clay to promote emotional healing and self-expression.

During clay art therapy, individuals work with clay to create objects, sculptures, or other forms of art. This process can be therapeutic in several ways. First, it provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to explore their emotions and experiences. Second, the tactile nature of working with clay can be soothing and calming, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Third, the act of creating something can be empowering, providing individuals with a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

There is a growing body of research that supports the use of clay art therapy as a form of treatment for a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and trauma. One study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that clay art therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in adolescents who had experienced trauma. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that clay art therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of depression in adults. If you're interested in learning more about clay art therapy and its benefits, here are some reliable and valid sources to explore:

  • The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association: The IEATA is another professional organization dedicated to the use of creative arts therapies, including art therapy and clay art therapy. Their website provides information on training and certification programs, research on the effectiveness of expressive arts therapies, and resources for finding a therapist.

  • The Journal of Creativity in Mental Health: This peer-reviewed journal publishes research on the use of creative arts therapies, including clay art therapy, as a form of treatment for mental health conditions. Their articles are written by leading experts in the field and provide valuable insights into the benefits of clay art therapy.

Overall, clay art therapy is a powerful tool for promoting emotional healing and self-expression. If you're interested in trying it out for yourself, consider reaching out to us, and we can guide you through the process.


How Experiential Counseling Differs from Other Counseling Modalities


Experiential counseling differs from other counseling modalities in that it is more hands-on and interactive. Instead of simply talking about emotions and experiences, individuals are encouraged to engage in activities and experiences that promote emotional awareness and self-expression.


At Colorado Experiential Counseling, we believe that equine therapy and clay art therapy provide unique and engaging approaches to promoting emotional healing. Both of these modalities allow individuals to engage in activities and experiences that promote emotional awareness and self-expression in a safe and supportive environment. We are always open to expanding our experiential experiences to what the client needs. Be sure to let us know your ideas of how to incorporate your thoughts and activities into an evidenced-based approach created just for you.


Conclusion

In conclusion, experiential counseling can be a powerful tool for individuals who are struggling with mental health issues. Equine therapy and clay art therapy are two types of experiential therapy that can help individuals explore their emotions in a safe and supportive environment. Experiential counseling is a unique and effective approach that can be tailored to meet the individual needs and goals of each client. At Colorado Experiential Counseling, we are committed to helping our clients improve their mental health and wellbeing through experiential therapy.




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