There are three different primary learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinetic. Some people learn best by seeing- like reading a book, while others learn best by listening, as in through a lecture. Many people learn kinetically which means they have to participate hands on in order to fully grasp the topic. Going to treatment to recover from mental health issues like addiction, depression, or impulse control problems is a learning process. Clients are learning how to get in touch with their minds and bodies to manage stress, regulate emotions, and become more independent in their decision making. Experiential learning offers a hybrid of all three learning techniques as clients are often shown how to do a task or participate in a challenge, hear instructions and suggestions, then have to get hands-on and participate. Experiential learning is proven to be more impactful to create long lasting knowledge. For those in recovery, this is priceless- drug and alcohol abuse, for example, creates cognitive impairments, which damages the ability to create and retain new knowledge.
Clients are thrust into a present-moment, hands-on experience in which communication, strategizing, and critical problem-solving are key. Recovery is about making connections and fostering new healthy relationships. Addiction and alcoholism can be incredibly isolating, damaging a client’s ability to make or maintain healthy relationships. Nothing brings people together like having to work together in the heat of a life experience.
A key component of experiential learning is reflection. After being in a real-time situation, clients get the opportunity to take a step back and use mindfulness techniques to become aware of their attitudes, behaviors, and actions during the experiential experience. Reflection is critical for life development because it is a sign of cognitive development and moving out of the self. Addiction and alcoholism are largely non-consequential, meaning someone who is struggling with drug and alcohol abuse has a hard time grasping the consequences of their behavior. Reflection shows insight and consideration toward what works and what doesn’t, which is essential for growth.
Life doesn’t happen in lectures, podcasts, self-help books, and activities. Material supplements for learning are supposed to empower handling life in a real, experiential situation. Life is meant to be lived in harmonious balance, which is what we teach with our mind, body, spirit approach at Enlightened Recovery Solutions.
For information on our partial care programs for addiction and alcoholism,
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