Skip to main content

Experiential Therapy: The Case of Sam

Abstract

Theoretical frameworks emerge in response to the ever-changing needs of direct service professionals to best remediate consumer’s struggles with the intersectional complexity of the human condition. And as such, these emerging theories share certain philosophical underpinnings, and evidence-based applications. Thus, integrating theory into therapy is a fluid and responsive process. This holds especially true for social work professionals that wish to merge theory into therapy with the use of experiential work in their clinical practice. This writing will explore the nature of theory, the interconnected nature of experiential therapy as theory, and the therapeutic process. A case centering on a young, single, multi-cultural, transgendered person’s conflicted emotional experience connected to his desire to transition will highlight the synergistic application of theory into therapy through experiential work. This writing explains the therapeutic factors at play in the use of experiential therapy that leads a consumer to identify unresolved emotional experiences and work toward resolution.

Keywords

  • Theory
  • Frameworks
  • Experiential therapy
  • Intersectional identity

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-57310-2_14
  • Chapter length: 19 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   64.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-57310-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 14.1

References

  • Allen, B., & Hoskowitz, N. A. (2017). Structured trauma-focused CBT and unstructured play/experiential techniques in the treatment of sexually abused children: A field study with practicing clinicians. Child Maltreatment, 22(2), 112–120.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Baggerly, J., & Parker, M. (2005). Child-centered group play therapy with African American boys at the elementary school level. Journal of Counseling & Development, 83(4), 387–396.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bailis, D. S., Fleming, J. A., & Segall, A. (2005). Self-determination and functional persuasion to encourage physical activity. Psychology & Health, 20(6), 691–708.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Barker, B., Cannell, C., Naylor, S., Pearl, K., Stewart, E., & Oka, M. (2019). Let’s play: Using systemic and experiential techniques in the play therapy instruction of MFT masters’ students. American Journal of Family Therapy, 47(1), 1–18.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Beetz, A. M. (2017). Theories and possible processes of action in animal assisted interventions. Applied Developmental Science, 21(2), 139–149.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Berdondini, L., Elliott, R., & Shearer, J. (2012). Collaboration in experiential therapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(2), 159–167.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Blake, V. (2017). Being with the emergence of transgendered identity. Transactional Analysis Journal, 47(4), 232–243.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Borden, W. (2013). Experiments in adapting to need: Pragmatism as orienting perspective in clinical social work. Journal of Social Work Practice, 27(3), 259–271.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brill, S. A., & Kenney, L. (2016). The transgender teen: A handbook for parents and professionals supporting transgender and non-binary teens (1st ed.). Jersey City, NJ: Cleis Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brubacher, L. (2017). Emotionally focused individual therapy: An attachment-based experiential/systemic perspective. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies, 16(1), 50–67.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Buchholz, L. (2015). Transgender care moves into the mainstream. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 314(17), 1785–1787.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Carbado, D. W. (2013). Colorblind intersectionality. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(4), 811–845.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Coleman, D. E. (2019). Evidence based nursing practice: The challenges of health care and cultural diversity. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 19(4), 330–338.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cozolino, L. J. (2010). The neuroscience of psychotherapy: Healing the social brain. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davis, E., & Pereira, J. (2014). Child-centered play therapy: A creative approach to culturally competent counseling. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 9, 262–274.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Donatone, B., & Rachlin, K. (2013). An intake template for transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, and gender variant college students seeking mental health services. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 27(3), 200–211.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Edwards, J. (2017). Trauma-informed care in the creative arts therapies. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 54, A1–A2.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Feigerlová, E., Pascal, V., Ganne, D. M., Klein, M., & Guerci, B. (2019). Fertility desires and reproductive needs of transgender people: Challenges and considerations for clinical practice. Clinical Endocrinology, 91(1), 10–21.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Foels, L. E., & Bethel, J. C. (2018). Revitalizing social work education using the arts. Social Work with Groups, 41(1/2), 74–88.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Froggett, L., Ramvi, E., & Davies, L. (2015). Thinking from experience in psychosocial practice: Reclaiming and teaching ‘use of self’. Journal of Social Work Practice, 29(2), 133–150.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Fukui, S., Starnino, V. R., Susana, M., Davidson, L. J., Cook, K., Rapp, C. A., & Gowdy, E. A. (2011). Effect of wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) participation on psychiatric symptoms, sense of hope, and recovery. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 34(3), 214–222.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Galupo, M. P., Mitchell, R. C., & Davis, K. S. (2015). Sexual minority self-identification: Multiple identities and complexity. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(4), 355–364.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Glazer, H. R., & Marcum, D. (2003). Expressing grief through storytelling. Journal of Humanistic Counseling Education and Development, 42(2), 131.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Grenier, M., Fitch, N., & Colin Young, J. (2018). Using the climbing wall to promote full access through universal design. Palaestra, 32(4), 41–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haller, R., & Capra, C. (2017). Horticultural therapy methods: Connecting people and plants in health care, human services and therapeutic programs (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: Taylor and Francis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harris, H. (2017). The social dimensions of therapeutic horticulture. Health & Social Care in the Community, 25(4), 1328–1336.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Helbig-Lang, S., & Petermann, F. (2010). Tolerate or eliminate? A systematic review on the effects of safety behavior across anxiety disorders. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 17(3), 218–233.

    Google Scholar 

  • Herrick, S. S. C., & Duncan, L. R. (2018). A qualitative exploration of LGBTQ+ and intersecting identities within physical activity contexts. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 40(6), 325–335.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jones, M. G., Rice, S. M., & Cotton, S. M. (2019). Incorporating animal-assisted therapy in mental health treatments for adolescents: A systematic review of canine assisted psychotherapy. PLoS One, 14(1), 1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  • Killerman, S. (2014). Breaking through the binary: Gender as a continuum. Issues, 107, 9–12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klontz, B., Bivens, A., Leinart, D., & Klontz, T. (2007). The effectiveness of equine-assisted experiential therapy: Results of an open clinical trial. Society and Animals, 15(3), 257–267.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kordeš, U., & Demšar, E. (2018). Excavating belief about past experience: Experiential dynamics of the reflective act. Constructivist Foundations, 13(2), 219–229.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lariviere, M., Couture, R., Ritchie, S. D., Cote, D., Oddson, B., & Wright, J. (2012). Behavioural assessment of wilderness therapy participants: Exploring the consistency of observational data. The Journal of Experimental Education, 35(1), 290–302.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Legge, M. M. (2016). The role of animal-assisted interventions in anti-oppressive social work practice. British Journal of Social Work, 46(7), 1926–1941.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Leske, S., Harris, M. G., Charlson, F. J., Ferrari, A. J., Baxter, A. J., Logan, J. M., et al. (2016). Systematic review of interventions for Indigenous adults with mental and substance use disorders in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 50(11), 1040–1054.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lewis, C. P. (2017). The road to trans-inclusive health care: Policy implications and the critical role of social work. Health & Social Work, 42(1), 60–62.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Makinson, R. A., & Young, J. S. (2012). Cognitive behavioral therapy and the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: Where counseling and neuroscience meet. Journal of Counseling & Development, 90(2), 131–140.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Malin, A. J., & Pos, A. E. (2015). The impact of early empathy on alliance building, emotional processing, and outcome during experiential treatment of depression. Psychotherapy Research, 25(4), 445–459.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Martin, M. E. (2015). Introduction to social work: Through the eyes of practice settings. New York, NY: Pearson.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mauro, F., & Hardison, P. D. (2000). Traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities: International debate and policy initiatives. Ecological Applications, 10(5), 1263–1269.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McNish, B. (2013). Spirit of healing group: Safety in storytelling. BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education, 5(2), 41–45.

    Google Scholar 

  • Messina, I., Sambin, M., Beschoner, P., & Viviani, R. (2016). Changing views of emotion regulation and neurobiological models of the mechanism of action of psychotherapy. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 16(4), 571–587.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mullings, B. (2017). A Literature review of the evidence for the effectiveness of experiential psychotherapies. Melbourne: PACFA.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Association of Social Workers. (2017). NASW code of ethics. Retrieved December 1, 2019, from http://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English.

  • Nebelkopf, E., King, J., Wright, S., Schweigman, K., Lucero, E., Habte-Michael, T., & Cervantes, T. (2011). Editors’ introduction: Growing roots: Native American evidence-based practices. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43(4), 263–268.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Nye, A., Connell, J., Haake, R., & Barkham, M. (2019). Person-centered experiential therapy (PCET) training within a UK NHS IAPT service: Experiences of selected counsellors in the PRaCTICED trial. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 47(5), 619–634.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, C. R. (1951). Client-centered therapy: Its current practice, implications, and theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Samuolis, J., Barcellos, M., LaFlam, J., Belson, D., & Berard, J. (2015). Mental health issues and their relation to identity distress in college students. Identity, 15(1), 66–73.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Schoel, J., Prouty, D., & Radcliffe, P. (1988). Islands of healing. Hamilton, MA: Project Adventure.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shateri, Z. E., & Lavasani, F. F. (2018). Therapeutic alliance and early change in depression: Benefits of enhancing working alliance at the initial sessions of short-term supportive--expressive psychodynamic psychotherapy. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 20(1), 17–25.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Shipman, D., & Martin, T. (2019). Clinical and supervisory considerations for transgender therapists: Implications for working with clients. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 45(1), 92–105.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Simms, J. (2017). Transformative practice. Counseling Psychology Review, 32(2), 46–56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, R., Pega, F., Khosla, R., Verster, A., Hana, T., & Say, L. (2017). Ensuring an inclusive global health agenda for transgender people. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 95(2), 154–156.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Thwaits, B., & Mosher, M. (Eds.). (2016). A photographic journey of hope and healing: Under the surface. Webster, WI: Northwest Passage, Ltd.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tremblay, M., Kingsley, B., & Gokiert, R. (2019). Engaging vulnerable youth in community-based participatory research: Opportunities and challenges. Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education, 10(3), 52–60.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tucker, A. R., Norton, C. L., Itin, C., Hobson, J., & Alvarez, M. A. (2016). Adventure therapy: Nondeliberative group work in action. Social Work with Groups, 39(2–3), 194–207.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Watson, J. C., & McMullen, E. J. (2005). An Examination of therapist and client behavior high and low alliance in sessions in cognitive behavioral therapy and process experiential therapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 42(3), 297–310.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, D., Heaslip, V., & Jackson, D. (2018). Improving equity and cultural responsiveness with marginalized communities: Understanding competing worldviews. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(19–20), 3810–3819.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Woolf, S., & Fisher, P. (2015). The role of dance movement psychotherapy for expression and integration of the self in palliative care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 21(7), 340–348.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Zepke, N., & Leach, L. (2002). Contextualized meaning making: One way of rethinking experiential learning and self-directed learning? Studies in Continuing Education, 24(2), 205–217.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wendy Seerup .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Seerup, W., Anderson, J., Fedota, J. (2021). Experiential Therapy: The Case of Sam. In: Dealey, R.P., Evans, M.R. (eds) Discovering Theory in Clinical Practice. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57310-2_14

Download citation