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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

What Do We Mean By “Experiential & Holistic” Approach?

With the amount of misinformation that is available online these days, it is important to be especially clear, and mindful in the ways that we promote our services. From the core of the principles that guide our treatment program, we are born of a commitment to integrity and excellence. We strive to do what we say and say what we do. 

This means that we seek to be transparent in the services we provide, and also to be clear about our definition of the words that seem to be thrown around so carelessly these days. 

What is Experiential Treatment?

At the core of our treatment model, we are concerned with the long-term recovery of those who seek our services. This is inclusive of our belief in helping participants find a comfortable balance in a life reorganized not just around the absence of substances, but also around seeking positive alternative experiences. 

Thus, we use a number of approaches that pull together in a complementary fashion, in a way that you’re able to manage your recovery with confidence long after the “treatment stage” is over. 

In individual therapy, the focus will be on using evidence-based treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. However, those skills learned will only be as helpful as you learn to employ them in real, everyday situations. This is where the experiential nature of group therapy is key, as are other opportunities to take that learning out of your head and move it into your felt experience.

We believe in the power of not only changing through your mind but changing through your physical experiences as well. Thus we use mindfulness and action-based experiences to help the learning translate from within a session into everyday life. 

What is a Holistic Approach?

A holistic approach, as we understand it, is one that attends to the whole person, not just their problematic substance use or other behaviors. Whether in-house or as indicated in an aftercare plan, we address all social and clinical issues. 

For those directly in our care, some of the main ways we encourage whole-person healing includes nutritional counseling, provide access to fitness centers and exercise equipment, and place a priority on yoga and meditation classes, outdoor recreation activities, and acupuncture and massage.

Nutritional Counseling

For many individuals who have become trapped in addictive patterns, the side effects that so often accompany that lifestyle involve not effectively caring for ourselves (nutritionally and otherwise) or making wise choices when it comes to food selection. For the duration of your stay at The Haven, the in-house chef and skilled culinary team will prepare meals and impart their wisdom including which nutrients aid you in your recovery, and which to avoid. 


As one of the most important and well-known determinants of health, physical exercise is not only an essential part of your recovery toolbox; it also lays the foundation for a healthy, post-addiction lifestyle. Learning how to incorporate this into your daily schedule and design a sustainable program that works for your lifestyle is another benefit of The Haven’s holistic approach.

Yoga and Meditation

Body-focused approaches such as yoga and meditation harness the connection between the body and mind to foster emotional and physical health. In the sense that many problematic symptoms can present and become “trapped” in the body, so too healing takes place on the somatic level. 

Outdoor Recreation

As humans, we crave a connection with something larger than ourselves. At The Haven, we intentionally provide regular opportunities for outdoor recreation that actively engage participants on all levels of functioning, in mind, heart, and body. Time spent challenging oneself against the great outdoors is known to reduce anxiety and depression, encourage healing, enhance creativity, and promote gratitude.

Acupuncture and Massage

Stress-reduction is an important part of treatment at The Haven, as is teaching our guests to value self-care. Used to rebalance your body’s energy and communicate with your nervous system, acupuncture and acupressure are age-old Chinese remedies. In addition, massage therapy is known for its ability to relax muscles, improve circulation, and calm the mind.

Holistic and Experiential Treatment at The Haven

Experiential therapies and a holistic approach to treatment seeks to embrace the uniqueness of the human spirit and pair it with the beauty of mental, emotional, and physical wellness. At The Haven, we believe that for problematic thoughts and feelings to actually change, you have to act and behave in a new way so that your brain can experience that change. We utilize these experiences intentionally to provide our clients with opportunities to practice and develop the skills they need related to their individualized treatment goals. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs!