Cirque Lodge > Treatment > Experiential Therapy in Utah

Holistic and Experiential Therapy

At Cirque Lodge, our goal is to help you thrive in recovery.

We understand that addiction is an all-consuming condition. It can take away your joy for life and leave you feeling exhausted, depressed, and hopeless.

These are common symptoms of addiction. The good news is that you can manage and overcome them with professional help. Here at Cirque Lodge, we aim to restore each client’s sense of hope and optimism for the future by cultivating hope and optimism in the present.

Our holistic and experiential therapies bypass the traditional narrative approach to therapy. Experiential therapies incorporate the use of physical activity to encourage honest and authentic self-expression. Experiential therapy boosts your mental and physical well-being. As such, it improves your ability to engage in traditional psychotherapy.

Holistic therapies are a crucial aspect of our treatment programs. We understand that addiction is an illness of both the mind and the body. We as healthcare professionals must address both to promote and support real, lasting recovery.

What We Offer

What We Offer

At Cirque Lodge, we offer a wide range of holistic and experiential therapies, including:

  • Equine therapy
  • Yoga
  • Art therapy
  • Hiking
  • Gardening
  • Biking
  • Fitness
  • Ropes
  • Snowshoeing
  • 3rd Step flight experience

We lead each activity with positive therapeutic outcomes in mind. Each experiential therapy session promotes self-care and skill-building in each client.

Experiential work enhances the cognitive work in traditional therapy. By combining traditional psychotherapy with outdoor, physical, and experiential therapies, we take a holistic approach to your recovery.

Holistic Healing at Cirque Lodge

Holistic Healing at Cirque Lodge

We understand that addiction is not just a set of symptoms but rather a reflection of a much deeper, more complex issue.

We help you recover by addressing all aspects of your life. We acknowledge your unique life experience and strive to bring out your most honest, authentic self. That is the part of yourself that will bring with it the strength and resilience you need to achieve and sustain a successful, lasting recovery.

Holistic and experiential therapies are powerful healing tools. Often, we come to rehab and therapy with feelings that are buried deep down, where we are not able to access them. This can hinder the therapeutic process. Experiential therapies engage both mind and body to bring down our walls and help us open up about what we are experiencing.

Experiential therapies give us the freedom to be who we really are. We encourage self-exploration and being present in the here and now. This practice makes treatment more effective and rewarding.

Benefits of Experiential Therapy

Benefits of Experiential Therapy

Clients who struggle with substance use disorder (SUD)  benefit from experiential therapy.

Experiential Therapies create an opportunity for clients to become aware of issues that have proven to be stumbling blocks in their life. Some of the many benefits of experiential therapy include:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Improved trust, communication, and relationships
  • Strength and resilience
  • Healthy coping skills
  • Improved emotional intelligence
Types of Holistic and Experiential Therapy

Types of Holistic and Experiential Therapy

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy is an evidence-based experiential therapy that promotes effective self-communication. Horses are sensitive animals, and working with them brings out our innate sensitivity. According to the Human Animal Interaction Bulletin, taking care of a horse, feeding it, riding it, or being present with it has a calming effect on the mind and body.

Outdoor Adventure Therapy

At Cirque Lodge, we boast one of the most beautiful landscapes in this part of the country. Our outdoor adventure therapies include hiking, rafting, cycling, and climbing, to name a few.

Our outdoor sessions take place in groups. They promote team bonding and provide each client with a strong sense of community and collaboration. Adventure therapy helps clients by:

  • Improving communication skills
  • Improving problem-solving skills
  • Taking on personal responsibility
  • Developing trust in others

Art Therapy

Art therapy is for clients of all ages with all kinds of conditions. It is a versatile approach to therapy because it does not rely on verbal communication. Instead, clients have the opportunity to express themselves through:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Dance/movement
  • Journalling

According to the Journal of Addictions Nursing, art therapy provides a safe space in which you can uncover deep feelings that you may struggle to articulate. As with all experiential therapies, art therapy promotes positive therapeutic outcomes back in the traditional psychotherapy setting.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based, trauma-informed approach to addiction and mental health treatment. First developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro, this therapy guides clients through past traumatic events. At the same time, clients remain grounded in the room through bilateral stimulation (left to right tapping, sounds, or eye movements).

How Does Experiential Therapy Work?

How Does Experiential Therapy Work?

Experiential therapy works based on the fact that our perception influences our behavior.

In experiential therapy, clients work on the past trauma and adverse experiences that led to their addiction by engaging in the present as wholeheartedly as possible.

Therapists are a source of compassionate support as clients re-experience or revisit their repressed negative thoughts and self-beliefs. Compassionate and attuned therapists help clients work these feelings and respond to them with more positive emotions such as love, peace, and forgiveness.

Memories of our traumas and negative past experiences can be distressing and overwhelming. While rehab supports clients through various therapies, there is still a risk of relapse after rehab.

Relapse usually happens when a client cannot tolerate the distress associated with cravings and negative thoughts and memories. Experiential therapies reduce the risk of relapse by building and encouraging practical distress tolerance and self-management skills.

Experiential Therapy for Addiction

Experiential Therapy for Addiction

Addiction science has found that experiential therapies support addiction recovery.

Experiential therapies support those in recovery by helping them deal with daily stressors and triggers. This includes triggers that remind them of substances, past traumas, or other distressing thoughts and beliefs.

Take hiking as an example of experiential therapy. On a hike, a group of clients must face a real-world stressor. A survival instinct kicks in to help us meet our adventure goals. By facing real-life stress, clients can learn how to overcome stress in real-time.

Learning stress tolerance and recovery – goes a long way toward managing their cravings and maintaining their recovery after rehab.

At Cirque Lodge, everything we do is client-centered. That means that we put your safety and comfort first.

We design each program to optimize your physical, mental, and behavioral health. We monitor your progress and well-being both in and out of therapy sessions. We understand that compassionate support is crucial for instilling hope for a brighter future.

Holistic Experiential Therapy for Addiction Recovery at Cirque Lodge

Holistic Experiential Therapy for Addiction Recovery at Cirque Lodge

We apply our experiential therapies alongside other evidence-based therapies.

This gives you the best chance of achieving and maintaining sobriety and high quality of life. If you or a loved one are struggling, Cirque Lodge is here to help.

We have a team of highly skilled mental health and addiction recovery specialists. Our team is available to give you the care and attention you need during your recovery journey.

If you would like to know more about what we have to offer or would like to book an assessment, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We know it can be hard to take that first step and reach out. Still, we will support you with confidential, comprehensive treatment delivered with care and compassion once you do.

The Science Behind Experiential Therapy

Research shows that experiential therapies can have enormous impacts on recovery. According to American Addiction Centers, experiential therapies can, “reduce issues with denial, foster cooperation in treatment, develop insight, and develop a more positive approach in substance use disorder treatment.” 


“Adventure therapies offer individuals the opportunity to develop trust, to learn problem-solving techniques, and to become better at expressing themselves, which can be useful in sustaining recovery.”

The skills learned in experiential therapies are invaluable in helping individuals to trust themselves and others, gain confidence, and change their perspectives long-term.

Benefits Of Experiential Therapy in Utah's Natural Setting

At Cirque Lodge, our stunning natural landscape offers rich opportunities for adventure and challenge. Nestled in the mountains, we offer activities like hiking, rock climbing, and equine therapy, all of which can serve as metaphors for overcoming life's obstacles. Nature has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. The soothing effect of natural environments can help clients relax, making it easier for them to address deep-seated emotional issues during therapy. Additionally, the outdoors provide a sense of solitude and quietude that is conducive to introspection and self-reflection. In these serene natural settings, clients can more easily connect with their emotions—and reach breakthrough moments.

Comparing Experiential Therapy With Traditional Therapeutic Approaches

Experiential therapy and conventional therapeutic methods represent distinct approaches to mental health treatment, each with its own strengths and challenges.

Experiential therapy encourages clients to actively engage in activities, making it more immersive and engaging than traditional talk therapy. This can help clients break down emotional barriers and access deeper emotions. Additionally, clients in experiential therapy often use creative methods such as art, music, role-play, or movement to express themselves, which can be helpful for individuals who struggle to articulate their emotions verbally. The effectiveness of experiential therapy depends on the skills and training of the therapist, which can vary widely.

Conventional therapeutic methods, on the other hand, are typically structured, goal-oriented, and based on established techniques and principles, providing clear treatment plans and measurable progress. They are particularly effective for symptom reduction and management, making them suitable for conditions like anxiety, depression, and specific phobias.

However, conventional therapies primarily rely on verbal communication, which may not be effective for individuals who struggle with expressing their emotions or for issues deeply rooted in non-verbal experiences.

The Role Of The Therapist In Experiential Therapy

Therapists play a crucial role in guiding and facilitating experiential therapy sessions. Their training and expertise are essential for ensuring that each activity is not only beneficial but also safe for the participants. Experiential therapists are required to:

  • Create a safe environment.
  • Tailor activities to clients’ goals.
  • Guide clients through activities.
  • Provide emotional support.
  • Require specialized training and expertise.
  • Must understand human behavior, therapeutic techniques, safety, ethics, and cultural competence.

What To Expect During An Experiential Therapy Session at Cirque Lodge

The session typically begins with a warm welcome and a chance to express individual goals and concerns. Therapists guide participants through carefully selected experiential activities that may include art therapy, adventure challenges, mindfulness exercises, or group discussions. These activities encourage active engagement, emotional exploration, and personal growth. Clients should expect a safe and supportive environment where they can delve into their emotions, discover new insights, and build valuable life skills. The experiential therapy sessions at Cirque Lodge are thoughtfully designed to align with each patient's unique needs, fostering a transformative journey toward recovery.

Embracing The Journey Of Holistic Healing

Experiential therapy at Cirque Lodge offers a holistic approach to recovery, addressing not only the psychological aspects, but also the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of healing. By engaging in experiential activities, clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their challenges, often achieving breakthroughs that traditional talk therapy alone might not provide. This holistic approach emphasizes personal growth, self-awareness, and resilience, setting the foundation for lasting recovery. At Cirque Lodge, we invite those seeking a comprehensive path to healing to embrace this transformative journey. Reach out to us today to start your holistic healing journey toward a brighter future.

Experiential Therapy in Utah County CTA

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Frequently Asked Questions About Experiential Therapy in Utah At Cirque Lodge

Do I need to be physically fit to participate in experiential therapy activities?

While some activities may involve physical challenges like hiking or adventure-based experiences, many experiential therapy techniques, such as art therapy or role-playing, do not require a high level of physical fitness. It's essential to communicate your physical capabilities and any concerns with your therapist, who can then tailor the activities to your abilities and preferences.

Can I choose which activities I want to participate in, or is it decided by the therapist?

Therapists often collaborate with clients to select activities that align with their therapeutic goals and comfort levels. While client input is valuable, therapists will ultimately guide the selection to ensure the activities are appropriate for addressing specific issues and promoting therapeutic growth.

How long does it take to see results or benefits from experiential therapy?

Experiential therapy aims to provide immediate insights and facilitate ongoing personal growth, but the pace of change is highly individual. Some clients may notice positive changes after just a few sessions, while others may take several weeks or months to see substantial progress.

Are there any potential risks or downsides to experiential therapy?

While experiential therapy can be highly effective, engaging in experiential activities can bring up intense emotions, which may be challenging to process. Experiential therapy may not be suitable for individuals with certain clinical conditions or severe mental health issues that require more structured, evidence-based approaches.

It's essential to discuss any concerns or questions you have about experiential therapy with us. We can help you make informed decisions about participation and ensure that the chosen activities align with your therapeutic goals and overall well-being.

About Cirque Lodge
Cirque Lodge is a recovery retreat providing cognitive and experiential therapies, in the pristine natural beauty of Utah’s Rocky Mountains.

Cirque Lodge is considered among our colleagues, as one of, if not the premium drug and alcohol rehab facility in the country.

We support patients from all over the USA. For example, from:
Salt Lake CityProvoCaliforniaLos AngelesFloridaOrange CountyNew YorkGeorgiaColoradoTexasSan FranciscoArizonaWest Palm Beach
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3114 E Ida's Rd, Sundance, UT 84604
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777 N Palisade Dr, Orem, UT 84097
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