Experiential Family Therapy


ExperientialFamily Therapy



Experientialfamily therapy refers to an institution of family psychotherapy thatinvolves activities and actions rather than the ordinary talktherapy. The primary objective of developing this treatment was tohelp family members and make them feel self-actualized by bringingthem together (Nichols, 2012). The treatment proves important as ithelps analyze how family interactions generate problems to anindividual member. The activities involved such as the use of propsand role playing helps the family members to communicate andunderstand the different thoughts and feeling of household members(Nichols, 2012). There are numerous types of client problems that arebest suited for experiential family therapy as compared to otherforms of family therapy.

Thefirst problem is mental and emotional road blocks. When familymembers undergo experiential therapy, their emotional and mentalhindrances are cleared allowing them to move away from the traumaticepisodes that happened in their life (Gerstein, 2013). Family membersare helped to understand that negative emotions towards each otherare harmful and can affect their long-run mental and emotionalwell-being. Family therapists help families identify the emotionalfeeling that will enable them live a healthy life. Experientialfamily therapy focuses more on individual experience and needs hencethey are encouraged to express their hidden feelings in order toachieve the interpersonal intimacy with the family as a whole(Goldenberg, 2013).

The other client problem best suited for experiential family therapyis the behavior pattern. As compared to other structural familytechniques, this method reveals the individual needs of familymembers as well as their patterns of behavior (Gerstein, 2013). Theyare helped relieve their past behaviors that influence their choicesin lives. Activities such as recreational, music, arts, and adventuretherapy help them reveal family secrets and interpersonal familyrelationships that have been the cause of their differences. Thesignificance of this treatment is that the activities involved allowthe therapist to identify the problems affecting the family that themembers themselves cannot identify (Nichols, 2012).


Gerstein,J. S. (2013). StickingTogether: Experiential ActivitiesforFamily.Taylor&amp Francis

Goldenberg,I., &amp Goldenberg, H. (2013). Familytherapy: An overview.Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.

Nichols,M. P. (2012). Family therapy: Concepts and methods (10th ed.).Boston: Pearson.

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