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114 | Creative Experiential Techniques: How to Bypass Defenses and Engage Emotions in Therapy

Counseling Skills, Techniques, and Empirically-supported Treatments, Thursday 9/14 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Workshop Tracks


John Thomas, Ph.D., Ph.D.



Approved For CE

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Approved For CME/CEU




Human beings are developed and shaped experientially by lived experiences. At times, cognitive-behavioral therapy and other therapies cannot fully engage the emotions that were activated at the time the wound was experienced. Process-experiential counseling can bring emotions and their associated action tendencies into awareness. Experiential techniques include many methods to foster therapeutic experiences, bypass client defenses, and engage emotions through creative approaches. Techniques for psychologists and licensed mental health professionals, including creating an experience by using expressive activities, evocative methods, role-plays, chair-work, arts/crafts, props, play therapy, and process-oriented work, will be explained in this workshop. Process-experiential therapeutic work is appropriate for clients of any age and for most presenting concerns.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the experiential techniques to use in session
2. Apply experiential techniques in therapy using case studies
3. Outline practical strategies and techniques to apply in therapy through conceptualizing and developing experiential ideas in the workshop
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