Experiential Therapies Backup

Experiential Therapies Backup

Unique therapeutic approaches help our patients to process past trauma and break free of addiction.

Adventure Therapy

Adventure Therapy keeps you both physically active and mentally engaged. Our “Big Swing,” ropes course (including high and low elements), and climbing wall are all designed to convey various concepts of the 12 Steps, including powerlessness, spirituality and teamwork.

Adventure Therapy is, in essence, the use of energizing experiences to improve mental and physical health. The practice is flexible; it can take place indoors or outdoors and in rural or urban settings. By using experiences that are active and changing, adventure therapy mirrors real-life instances that occur outside of standard talk therapy sessions.

Clients learn basic survival skills, coping strategies and interpersonal skills that they can then apply to their lives outside of treatment.

The basic premise, according to the Association for Experiential Education, is that a person can learn more effectively when all senses are engaged in the learning process and when he is directly involved in the process.

Adventure therapy theory draws from a mixture of learning and psychological theories. The learning theories include contributions from Albert Bandura, John Dewey, Kurt Hahn and Kurt Lewin. These theorists also have been credited with contributing to the main theories comprising experiential education. Experiential education is a theoretical component of adventure therapy.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is useful to people undergoing addiction treatment because it provides them with ways to understand and cope with their addiction. It is not necessarily easy for everyone to discuss or even articulate what they are feeling. This is what makes art therapy so effective during addiction treatment. There is no need to verbalize painful thoughts or struggle to find the right words to describe feelings. Rather, art therapy eliminates these obstacles and allows recovering addicts to express their inner issues and emotions in a visual manner.

In recent years, art therapy has been one of Cumberland Heights’ fastest growing forms of expressive therapy. Art therapy is a type of expressive therapy which utilizes artistic expression to process thoughts and feelings. It’s especially useful for people in addiction treatment.

Our art therapist may facilitate a group or individual session in which you’re assisted to explore your feelings or a particular topic through the use of different art media and the creative process. You may be amazed at what you can create and learn from this experience.

“Art therapy can be a great way for a person to work through their experiences, emotions and issues which led to and worsened their addiction,” said Rebecca Sledge, LPC-MHSP, ATR.

Relapse Prevention

Cumberland Heights’ Relapse Prevention Program is for individuals who have suffered relapse after maintaining some period of recovery from chemical dependence. It offers a specialized process guided by trained counselors to allow discovery of what contributed to the relapse. Specific obstacles to your recovery are identified, as well as examination of the underlying issues that contribute to the relapse process. These issues may include past or present dysfunction in the family, childhood abuse, abandonment or other trauma.

Additionally, the program helps you identify individual relapse warning signs and learn specific skills which aid in preventing additional relapses. If needed, time is spent understanding substitute behavioral addictions which can contribute to post-treatment relapses. Such substitute addictions may include addiction to food, sex, work or gambling.

The Relapse Prevention Program offers a supportive environment and the particular assistance needed to understand and consciously disarm the unresolved issues blocking your ability to move forward in recovery.

Prior to discharge, an individualized drug relapse prevention plan is designed with each patient to further strengthen the individual’s recovery plan.

Labyrinth Experience

Amid all the stressors and struggles of healing from addiction, many of our patients look for natural and holistic healing practices. One approach, The Labyrinth, is a path for walking meditation, and has been introduced by Cumberland Heights as a way to deal with various addiction stressors. As proven by both research and deep personal testimonies, the impact of walking The Labyrinth is consistent with qualities associated with healing. Like prayer and meditation, The Labyrinth Experience is a personal, unique experience.

The walk into The Labyrinth is known as purgation, where you “purge,” or release, empty and quiet the mind, body, soul and spirit. It is a time of prayer, meditation and clarity. Individuals leave The Labyrinth feeling grounded, empowered and integrating the information they have learned. During the entire walk they spend time with Spirit in silence, listening for answers to the questions brought into the labyrinth.

Music Therapy

Listening to your favorite music has probably helped you forget physical and emotional pain. Many studies proved that sessions with a trained music therapist reduce pain, improve state of mind and reduce stress or anxiety for those with addictive patterns.

Music therapy has been used by some medical practitioners for many years in the treatment of various physical, mental and neurological problems. Research has also indicated the value of music for rehabilitation of patients with addiction, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and depression. It’s no wonder many of us feel the positive vibes that music therapy provides in addiction recovery and has been one of our most popular therapies!

Our group-based music therapy may involve activities such as developing a compilation, writing lyrics for a song or creating a playlist of relaxing music for personal stress reduction. Improvising on instruments may be used to tap into creativity or deep emotions.

Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray Therapy provides a vehicle for those who may struggle to express themselves in traditional talk therapy. It helps you to translate personal experience into a concrete, three-dimensional form and explore thoughts and feelings through symbolism and metaphor. This type of therapy is a technique which can be used to facilitate healing in both adults and adolescents alike, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings when words alone are not enough. In addition to its therapeutic use, Sand Tray Therapy can be a tool for personal growth and the development of creativity.

In addition to addiction related struggles, Sand Tray Therapy is also a modality which therapists utilize based on individualized treatment planning for those struggling with a wide range of co-occurring issues, including trauma, grief, relational problems, abandonment and identity issues.

The meaning of the work in the sand tray emerges as the client shares the world with the therapist. Through the use of the sand tray, emotional struggles which previously were not conscious or could not be talked about are brought into awareness so that they can be understood and resolved. An increased capacity for self-expression, self-awareness and communication can be developed through the use of Sand Tray Therapy.


The practice of Yoga Therapy — applying yoga in clinical settings, ultimately teaching people to attend to direct experiences to be free from suffering caused by vrittis (fluctuations) of the mind — has been used for many years. Doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers and other clinicians are embracing the healing powers of yoga practice in clinical practice. Come learn about the body and mind practices of finding yourself experiencing emotions you’d forgotten during a yoga pose as the numbness of active addiction begins to leave your body.

We feel a regular yoga practice also helps people develop the discipline needed to succeed in 12-step programs. The mindfulness practices taught in Yoga Therapy and the slow, controlled breathing are tools to help curb impulse control, something which individuals with substance abuse issues tend to struggle with in early recovery. While traditional therapies work only with the mind, yoga works with the mind and body simultaneously, allowing for the embodiment of insights.

Spiritual Care Services

The purpose of Spiritual Care Services at Cumberland Heights is to show you there is hope in recovery. We believe regaining the connection to yourself, to those you love, and to the joy of life are at the heart of recovery.

The key concepts of spirituality at Cumberland Heights are that you are the explorer, the one who journeys, and you define what spirituality means to you. Spirituality is about Practice. It is about those things you choose to do every day which help you feel connected to yourself, those you love and something greater than you, whatever that turns out to be.

We believe regaining the connection to yourself, to those you love, and to the joy of life are at the heart of recovery. We offer services to those of all faiths and none, those who are angry, those who feel ashamed and those who feel numb. Our hands are held out to you!

We work in groups where we talk about issues like anger, resentment and forgiveness, or grief and loss, or shame and guilt, or what the difference is between religion and spirituality. We also offer individual sessions in which you work with one of our Spiritual Directors.

Our Spiritual Care Directors use many techniques, including mindfulness meditation: a type of “living in the moment” meditation practice known to decrease relapse risk. We also provide a Labyrinth Experience, modeled after a famous labyrinth in Chartes Cathedral in France, which helps you to gradually let go of all your worries.

We offer non-denominational chapel service with your family on Sunday morning, sober Seder with other recovering friends and monthly communion service in the Paschall Davis Chapel.

Experiential Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Experience the Cumberland Heights difference. Our practitioners tailor treatment to your unique needs. Call 800-646-9998 to learn more about our experiential therapies for drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.