Updated: Jul 11
Contrary to popular belief, therapy for mental health should not have to be restricted solely to psychologists, and antidepressants. With changing times, conventional methods of therapy have also changed, shedding light upon alternative forms of healing. The benefit of a wide range of options gives us the power to select a form of therapy that suits us best.
The following are a few non-conventional forms of therapy that are currently being prescribed by doctors and counselors all over the world. And the best part? A few of them can be practiced from the confines of your home!
1. EMDR Therapy
EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy was developed in the 1990s, and has since grown to fame. This form of therapy focuses on alleviating patients’ distress related to traumatic memories. EMDR works with the primal belief that the mind can heal from psychological trauma, just as well as the human body heals from physical trauma. The effect is achieved by asking the patient to recall the traumatic memory, and then using bilateral sensory motions, such as eye movements, taps or tones in a bid to change the connotation of the memory. In such a way, the patient is able to reduce the negative feeling attached to the particular event.
2. Music Therapy
It is common knowledge, even amongst people not suffering from mental illnesses, that music is known to brighten your spirits and lift your mood. In the same sense, scientific studies show that sound vibrations have been proven to alleviate stress and promote wellness. In addition, a lot of patients currently prefer ‘gong therapy.’ Gong therapy involves softly tapping a gong and letting the sound vibrations relax and comfort patients suffering from anxiety. Music therapy can be performed at home by listening to soothing sounds to help comfort yourself.
Link for a playlist of therapeutic music - watch
3. Sand Therapy
As juvenile as it sounds, sand-box therapy has also gained popularity in recent years. It is a combination of Play therapy and Art therapy, in which a patient is given a sandbox, and toys, and asked to build their own microcosm (often mimicking their current struggles). The therapist rarely interacts, and merely observes, for the time being, noting the arrangement, selection, and placement of toys. Later, in discussion with the patient, the observations are brought up and spoken about, thereby helping the patient.
4. Art Therapy
Art therapy is defined as a branch of psychotherapy in which creativity on canvas is used as the primary means of communication. Studies report that art therapy not only reduces anxiety and mental disorders but also gives the patients a sense of comfort and ease. Art therapy can be performed at home as well, with adult coloring books, mandala apps, etc.
Link for free online adult coloring books - https://www.justcolor.net
Link for therapeutic apps - https://bit.ly/3bis1fG
5. Movement/Dance Therapy
Dance therapy is a form of expressive therapy, in which patients’ movements are used to promote the release of endorphins and have them feeling elated. There is no right or wrong way to go about this, apart from playing the music and dancing to your heart’s content. The therapists study body language, and this enables them to provide the necessary therapeutic intervention.
Link for dance therapy video - watch
6. Nature Therapy
The power of nature and all the wondrous things it has to offer is seen through nature therapy. A wilderness trek, a mountain hike, or even just simple gardening in your front yard helps with restoring a sensation of wellness and tranquility. If a therapist is involved, the power of this form of therapy is seen through the difference in the usual backdrop.
Link to an introduction video for therapeutic gardening - watch
7. Pet Therapy
Domesticated and trained animals have been shown to help patients suffering from mental disorders. This form of therapy relies heavily on the interactions between the pet and the patient. Reports prove that playing or petting animals helps in a reduction of blood pressure and improves overall cardiovascular health. Pets, in general, are associated with a feeling of happiness and purpose. Adoption is an excellent choice in this form of therapy, since you’re not only helping yourself out but are also providing care and shelter for the pet.
If the symptoms associated with your mental illness are taking a visible toll on you, you might need professional intervention. Never hesitate to reach out for medical help. Seek out psychologists, or trained counselors to confide in. There are a number of toll-free numbers and online free services that you can contact for an immediate response.
Link for online chat service - (https://www.vandrevalafoundation.com)
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
If you’re looking for training in the practice of nurturing and caring yourself, feel free to contact us for a free discovery session. We’ll be sure to train you in the best way possible, and you will emerge successful and confident.
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