Experiential therapies allow you to try new things, learn new skills, and discover who you are. A multitude of different activities can be used for this type of therapy. At Clearview Girls Academy, in our peaceful, spacious, and scenic environment, we provide many experiential therapies for our students. These include equine-assisted therapy and nature immersion therapy.

What Are Experiential Therapies?

Experiential therapies are healing methods that use of different activities as a form of treatment for various conditions. This type of therapy is used to understand, interpret, and change emotions or behaviors. Focusing on one activity allows our students to be present in the moment and truly connect with how they are feeling. These activities can also help our students more easily express themselves and sort through their experiences of the world.

Equine-Assisted Therapy

Equine-assisted therapy is the use of horses in treatment. This therapy is used to treat different mental and physical conditions across all ages. Anyone can participate and benefit from equine-assisted therapy. The many benefits of this type of therapy include the following:

  • Increased peer interactions and socialization
  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms
  • Increased levels of empathy, confidence, and self-esteem
  • Improved behavioral skills
  • Increased sense of responsibility
  • Physical benefits such as cardiovascular and core improvement and decreased blood pressure

Some activities that may occur at one of these sessions include the following:

  • Grooming
  • Bonding
  • Feeding
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Leading and walking with the horse
  • Riding in different environments 
  • Learning to jump and vault with the horse
  • Participating in horse competitions
  • Group rides

Clearview Girls Academy utilizes equine-assisted therapy to teach our students accountability, empathy, self-confidence, problem-solving, emotional awareness, and independence. Because horses are very tuned in to others around them, students need to be assertive, compassionate, calm, patient, and respectful when working with them. Working with these magnificent animals helps our students look inward at what they are feeling, understand and work through these emotions, and change negative behaviors into positive ones.

Nature Immersion Therapy

One type of therapy that utilizes a naturally occurring scenic environment is nature immersion therapy. This environment can take many forms, such as an ocean, forest, fields of grass and flowers, mountains, and more. The purpose of this therapy is to connect you with the outside world and with nature. This helps you step back from the bustle of cities, gives you a break from technology, and helps you find the beauty in the world around you.

This therapy has been found to have mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical benefits. These benefits include:

  • Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
  • Decreased levels of anxiety, depression, and stress
  • Enhanced mood, temperament, and awareness
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Decreased mental and physical fatigue brought on by daily stressors

Participation in this type of therapy can take on different forms, such as:

  • Nature walks
  • Hiking
  • Outdoor yoga, sports, gardening, or other activities
  • Lying in a field
  • Reading under a tree

To effectively participate in and benefit from nature immersion therapy, students need to utilize all five senses to form a connection with nature. Doing this will help them find a sense of calm and greatly improve their mental and physical well-being.

How Our Location Lends Itself to Experiential Therapies

Clearview Girls Academy is located in picturesque Heron, Montana. With a ranch-style environment surrounded by forests and the scenic Montana mountains, we are able to provide a nature-dense environment that is perfect for immersion therapy. We have access to a lake for water activities, areas conducive to rock climbing, trails for hiking, and fields for horseback riding. Outside sitting areas are also located around the property to provide a comfortable space for our students to enjoy nature and embrace their environment.

Other Types of Therapies

Some other types of experiential therapies include:

  • Horticulture therapy. This is the use of gardening to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
  • Aquatic therapy. This involves different exercises and activities performed in water such as a pool or lake.
  • Adventure therapy. This includes participation in different events, like zip lining or expeditions.
  • Music therapy. This therapy uses different music modalities to produce positive changes in behavior and emotional state.

Are Experiential Therapies Effective?

In short, yes, experiential therapies can be effective in treating many different diagnoses for all ages. This type of therapy can benefit individuals emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. These benefits can be different for everyone depending on their history, the type of experiential therapy, and how much they put into the therapy.

When our students use experiential therapies, this allows them to learn new skills, find new passions, and become better versions of themselves. These therapies can help them build confidence in their ability to be who they are working to become. Working experientially can also help them communicate with themselves and those around them better. There are countless benefits to this type of therapy.

Experiential therapies allow our students to explore new interests and skills. These methods help our girls build confidence, decrease stress, improve communication, and become more independent. This type of therapy can include activities such as nature immersion, equine-assisted therapy, horticulture, aquatics therapy, adventure therapy, music therapy, and more. Participating in these therapies can help with many different diagnoses and may be just what your daughter needs. If you are looking for a positive new form of treatment, experiential therapy may be a good option to try. For more information, reach out to Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484. We want to help your family achieve your long-term goals for healing.