Experiential therapy

Experiential Therapy

We know that each child, teen and adult that receives our care is unique, and not every person makes connections in treatment or personal discoveries in the same way. Experiential therapy provides another pathway to understanding both your challenges and how you may cope. 

Rogers Behavioral Health has a strong, diverse experiential therapy program. You may experience some of the following as part of your treatment plan: 

  • Art therapy
  • Horticultural therapy 
  • Music therapy
  • Recreational and movement therapy 
    • Challenge and adventure courses
    • Paddleboarding
    • Therapeutically designed games
    • Yoga 
  • Pet therapy

Experiential therapy will help you build skills you might not otherwise practice in regular treatment and develop a deeper understanding of your care at Rogers. The approach is hands-on and our therapeutic techniques are based on the interactive experiences you’ll have.

“I’ve seen so many people come into our program and express feelings that they may never have expressed before, learn new skills that they didn’t think they were able to accomplish, build new relationships, take healthy risks and learn to trust people,” says Mike Hoelzer, art therapist at Rogers Behavioral Health in Oconomowoc. “It’s quite an incredible way to work with people in a treatment setting.” 

Art therapy

Art therapy encourages creative problem-solving through sculpting, painting, drawing and more. Children, teens and adults have found positive benefits in simply participating in the process.

Over the course of treatment, you may find it difficult to verbalize your thoughts and feelings to those around you. With art therapy, you can express yourself through creative pieces instead. 

The caring and talented art therapists throughout Rogers will help guide you in exploring your emotions in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. Your art pieces will be used to challenge your preconceived expectations and increase your ability to focus on solutions. This creative expression will lead you toward emotional insight and increased confidence. 

“Creating a piece of art can also serve as a great reminder for patients who want to hold onto the skills they learned in treatment and make those techniques a regular part of their life and activities.”-Mike Hoelzer, art therapist at Rogers in Oconomowoc. 

Horticultural therapy and therapeutic landscapes 

Increasing access to nature is scientifically proven to not only improve your physical health, but your mental health as well. A deep connection to the environment and plant life is ingrained in Rogers’ century-old therapeutic legacy and an active part of current treatment.

Our facilities and outdoor spaces on the Oconomowoc campus are intentionally designed to be peaceful places for you to rest, reconnect and make more meaningful discoveries in your treatment. Therapeutic spaces include gazebos, bird and butterfly gardens, outdoor gardening spaces, and scenic walking trails. 

You can engage in horticultural therapy at various locations. While in treatment, you may use nature to decrease your anxiety, improve your relationship to food and make peace with imperfections through activities such as:

  • Creating floral and seasonal arrangements
  • Creating crafts with natural materials, such as photo frames
  • Building bird and small animal feeders
  • Growing herbs to be used in meals

With a sophisticated self-regulated climate control system, our state-of-the-art greenhouse in Oconomowoc makes it possible to stay connected with the environment and grow plants year-round. Getting messy and making mistakes is all a part of the experience.

Recreational therapy

At Rogers, recreational therapy encompasses a number of meaningful therapeutic activities promoting physical movement, which encourage a lifelong, healthy lifestyle.


While in treatment, you may participate in yoga as a complement to behavioral therapy. Individually or with a group, you will learn the slow stretches, poses and meditation that can help you reach your goals.

During the therapeutic movements of yoga, you will have increased concentration, mood and focus to more effectively manage anxiety and triggers; practice mindfulness; enhance your resilience and improve the connection between your mind and body. 

Continuing to practice yoga after treatment helps sustain your recovery while group yoga offers positive social benefits.


(Oconomowoc only)

Located in the lower gardens at Rogers in Oconomowoc, our 40-foot labyrinth offers you a journey of twists and turns almost a quarter mile long. Rogers’ labyrinth is challenging, but easily navigable. Labyrinths require us to focus on the journey ahead. Some turns we make help us get closer to our goals, while others do not—similar to the choices we make in life at work or home.

With proven health benefits, labyrinths offer you the opportunity to clear your mind, create a new perspective, focus on your current challenge and relate the experience to your everyday life and continued recovery.

Paddle boarding

(Oconomowoc only)

You can take advantage of our scenic lakeside setting in Oconomowoc to paddle board as part of experiential therapy there. Under the guidance of trained staff, you’ll use a traditional surf board and paddle to propel yourself across the top of the water while standing on the board.

Paddle boarding can be empowering. It builds confidence and reminds you of what you are capable of, your strengths and coordination as you challenge yourself to overcome your fears and self-doubt, and leads to a more positive mood and outlook.

Ropes course

(Oconomowoc only)

Adults and children receiving treatment may engage in adventure-based experiences on a woodland ropes course. With the security of safety equipment and the support of your team below, you’ll make your way across the ropes course, which is suspended mid-air.

Oftentimes, people who thought they would never be able to complete the course are amazed by their own ability and determination after finishing. The ropes course is helpful for people with various mental health conditions.

Play areas

At various rural and urban Rogers locations, secure outdoor play areas offer children space to practice treatment techniques with their peers or take a step back from treatment and enjoy the benefits of playtime. Regular breaks from therapy give your child a chance to center themselves, get creative and just be a kid in a more familiar environment.

By observing your child interacting with others in an everyday environment, such as a play area, our treatment team can develop a better understanding of their social skills. Research also tells us that spending time outdoors offers various physical health benefits and is proven to improve mood.

Movement rooms

Indoor gyms and movement rooms are available at various Rogers locations as part of treatment. Movement and dance therapy, as well as other therapeutic methods of activity, are evidence-based techniques for improving the connection between your mind and body. These therapies may also maintain or increase your body’s capacity for movement, adding to your overall wellness.

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Behavioral therapy

At Rogers Behavioral Health, we believe in evidence-based care. 

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Medication management

For many people, medications are an important component of care.

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Spiritual care

We believe your healing is holistic. It involves your mind, body and spirit.

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Call 800-767-4411 or go to rogersbh.org to request a free screening.