The clinicians at Redpoint use experiential therapies to assist clients in processing thoughts, feelings, and past experiences in a new way. We offer a wide range of treatment modalities for individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health disorders, including experiential therapies like gestalt, psychodrama, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Clients using these tools become more aware of the mind-body connection and find healthy ways to reprocess stressful emotions, beliefs, and memories.

What Is Experiential Therapy?

Experiential therapy allows clients to use expressive activities and other therapeutic exercises to analyze and process past and current events. Many people have difficulty connecting what they feel with how they act and the events they have experienced. Experiential therapy bridges that gap by giving clients ways to explore abstract concepts through physical activities.

In experiential therapies, clients use various therapeutic tools to relive and process past or recent events in a safe and controlled environment. By doing this, clients can bring their own unconscious thoughts, experiences, and emotions into focus. In addition, these modalities allow clients to confront past and current conflicts and focus on improving self-awareness.

Reflecting on Past Experiences

Experiential therapies require clients to reflect on past events while remaining mindful of their current thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Self-reflection under these circumstances often reveals unconscious biases and motivations that affect current behaviors and thought patterns. The various experiential techniques we use at Redpoint involve analyzing and processing any issues that cause the client distress.

Trauma and Memory

Traumatic experiences are often stored in the brain and body differently than other memories. Somatic experiencing comes into play here as a beneficial therapy to treat such trauma. This method identifies where the trauma is stored in the body and reprocesses those challenging events so that, over time, they are no longer triggering in day-to-day life and interpersonal relationships. According to Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, “Traumatic stress has a broad range of effects on brain function and structure.” Stress responses are often more sensitive in individuals who have lived through or witnessed traumas. Experiential therapies like eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can help clients reprocess those memories and decrease stress responses.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy helps clients resolve past issues by using experiential methods. Clients are encouraged to discuss their bodily sensations and thoughts in response to specific activities and memories.

Some standard gestalt methods include:

  • Empty chair technique: The client imagines that someone is sitting in a chair opposite them, and the client talks through ideas, feelings, or scenarios.
  • Exaggeration technique: The client makes exaggerated movements with their facial expressions and body at the therapist’s direction to bring awareness of the mind-body connection.
  • “Here and now” technique: This method focuses on increasing interpersonal mindfulness by having the client focus on the sensations, thoughts, and feelings experienced when interacting with the therapist or peers.

The primary goal of gestalt therapy is to help clients become more aware of what is happening internally and in the environment around them, providing helpful context. Clients use discussions and exercises to improve self-awareness and learn how to value themselves and accept their experiences.


The insights derived from psychodrama make it easier for clients to find healthier solutions to personal and interpersonal issues. Redpoint uses various exercises and activities to help clients examine unconscious processes that cause certain behaviors and thought patterns.

Clients may participate in the following during psychodrama sessions:

  • Role reversal: Many variations of this method exist. The activity involves having clients pretend to be someone else, which allows them to see a specific situation from an alternative point of view. Often this is used to help clients resolve interpersonal conflict.
  • Roleplay: Playing the role of another person or a different version of oneself can make it easier to feel more comfortable discussing specific topics and provide valuable insight.
  • The double: Doubling involves at least two people. One person will speak, and the other person will be seated or standing beside them, and they will voice that person’s thoughts. The doubling technique improves communication and self-awareness.
  • The mirror technique: This exercise involves having the therapist or peer mimic the client’s behaviors to show how others perceive them.
  • Surplus reality: Clients use this method to represent subjective ideas using physical objects. Creative symbolism can bring emotions, memories, and thoughts into the real world, where clients can interact with them.
  • Scene-setting and enactment: In this technique, props like chairs, tables, and books set the scene for acting out specific scenarios to encourage personal insight or closure.

The various techniques make it easier for clients to visualize their thoughts and feelings in a way that helps them heal and move forward in their recovery. Psychodrama can treat a wide range of disorders, including:

  • Addiction
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma

Acting out past events and scenarios during individual or group therapy gives clients the ability to look at past events from a new perspective. Understanding why they react and think a certain way makes it easier for clients to rewrite maladaptive thought processes.


EMDR is a psychotherapy that allows clients to reprocess improperly stored memories related to trauma. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), when “an experience is inadequately processed and is consequently stored dysfunctionally,” the result can lead to trauma-related disorders like PTSD. The therapists at Redpoint use this therapeutic method to help clients overcome anxiety and symptoms related to trauma. Learn more about how it works by visiting our page on EMDR therapy.

Redpoint uses experiential modalities to help clients overcome issues related to mental health and substance use disorders. To learn more about our treatments and services, call our office today at (303) 710-8496.

If you have questions about Redpoint Center's mental health rehab and drug programs in Boulder, Larimer, or Garfield County, please call (888) 509-3153 or text us now.