Experiential Therapy has been around since the 1970’s. It’s a term that can refer to engaging in physical activity while participating in the therapy. Paddle Boarding is just one of the experiential methods I use to meet clients’ needs within my practice.
Experiential Therapy offers several advantages:
- People don’t exist in their own bubble and often the therapy office can seem like a very small glimpse in to an individual’s day to day mentality and challenges. Within the office we’re limited to the individual’s perspective of a situation. Their experience is processed through their own lens and then retold.
- By participating in activities in real time I’m able to observe a teens interactions with the environment and other people. I’m able to help guide and coach them through difficult challenges and internal struggles in the moment rather than after the fact.
- Experiential Therapy and Paddle Boarding specifically, perfectly lends itself to enhance the therapeutic process. Paddle boarding offers many benefits, both physically and mentally without distracting from the meaningful therapeutic work. Physically, the activity of paddle boarding out on the water can provide relief from anxiety and stress. Being connected with nature and exerting energy in productive ways are both helpful stress busters. Mentally, the activity provides opportunities to experience successes, identify personal obstacles, and develop improved self-esteem.
Over the summer, I will be offering a paddle board workshop “Stand Up To Anxiety” focused on improving teens’ ability to challenge their inner critic. By focusing on the activity rather than the conversation, teens are more likely to be unguarded and genuine. Attempting and accomplishing a task outside of their comfort zone can help build confidence. We will also process the experience together and discuss problem-solving abilities as well as general “take aways” from the experience.
The goal is to develop the skills to challenge their inner critic and work through thoughts that may be holding them back. There is a focus on strengths and support as teens overcome self-doubt.
You do not need to have paddle board experience to participate in the workshop.
Groups will be comprised of 4-6 people and will be located at the Venice Inlet.
Summer Workshops are led by myself, Dr. Angela Steranko, Licensed Clinical Psychologist. I believe good mental health doesn’t have to happen in an office. I specialize in working with children and teens struggling with anxiety.
For additional details or to register your teen for the “Stand Up to Anxiety” Workshop please email DrSteranko@funpsy.com or call 941-275-9183.