Alternative Psychology Therapies You Should Know About

Photo courtesy of BELatina.

Because sanity is such a vast area of concern to so many – especially as we enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic – it is essential to be aware of the many treatment options available to help people cope.

It is important to know that suffering in silence is not the only option. There are tools, treatments and support systems available to help you. While psychology and traditional forms of therapy are undoubtedly helpful in many ways, they are not the only option.

Various alternatives are growing in terms of prevalence and accessibility. However, one thing that needs to be improved for these forms of therapy to be effective is awareness – people need to know their treatment options and they need to understand the benefits of each form of alternative therapy.

According to to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 4 in 10 adults in the United States have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. This number was up from 1 in 10 in 2019.

The data is even more alarming for young adults (ages 18-24), with 56% of this population reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder within communities of color. Research found that non-Hispanic black adults (48%) and Hispanic or Latino adults (46%) are more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder than non-Hispanic white adults (41%).

In summary: people in all walks of life struggle with mental health issues and need support and alternative therapies to help them cope.

First of all, what exactly is traditional psychotherapy?

According to American Psychological Association, psychotherapy is when psychologists apply research-based techniques — including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic therapy techniques — to help people develop more effective habits when speaking openly in a safe and supportive environment. . Therapy is a partnership and collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a psychologist.

Although traditional psychotherapy is certainly effective and beneficial in many ways, it is not the only option. Other alternative therapies include hypnosis, psychedelic-assisted therapy, acupuncture, movement therapy, etc.

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy

According to psychology todayhypnotherapy is “guided hypnosis or a trance-like state of concentration achieved with the assistance of a clinical hypnotherapist”.

Imagine being immersed in a book or TV show that completely absorbs you. Hypnosis is a similar concept, where you are focused on one thing. The idea is to relax and focus. In this state, patients can “turn their attention completely inward to find and use the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain control in some area of ​​their lives. “.

Hypnotherapy can be helpful in treating many of the same issues as traditional therapy – anxiety, phobias, bad habits, depression, substance abuse, sleep disorders, etc.

According to Nicole Hernández, a professional hypnotist and healer at the Four Seasons Hotel Downtown New York, hypnosis is about creating change after each session, whether it’s a change in behavior or the way you see the world and feel in it. your relationships. In a meditative state of change, “it’s really about helping people work with their feelings. We continually move through our world by understanding our feelings. And then, how does our brain process all of this? We work with these modalities to change them and change how they make you feel,” Hernandez said. BeLatina.

Psychedelic Assisted Therapy

Assisted psychedelic therapy is the ingestion of psychedelic drugs to help with a mental health problem or psychiatric condition. But it’s not exactly what you might imagine, with someone taking drugs recreationally at home to get a high. It’s much more scientific and controlled than that. This therapeutic practice is often done in the form of microdosing, where patients take a very small dose of a psychedelic drug that is too small to produce a high. However, it can still provide benefits without hallucinogenic effects. This type of alternative therapy is done under the guidance of a therapist or professional, in a safe space so that their journey and any potential side effects can be managed.

Although the research is still new and scientists are still investigating the merits of microdosing and psychedelic-assisted therapy, early data noted that “microdosing may still provide some of the benefits seen with full-dose treatment without inducing intense and sometimes negative hallucinatory experiences”. Similarly, psychedelic interventions showed promise as a treatment option for everything from addiction to anxiety to chronic PTSD.

Movement therapy

You’ve probably heard people say that exercise is their therapy or that they work to clear your mind, and that’s not just a crap — movement can really improve your mental health.

Movement therapy, also known as dance and movement therapy (DMT), is “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration,” which can also help reduce stress and relieve mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

According to Katie Bohn, LPC, BC-DMT, SEP, RYT, Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, “DMT is creative arts psychotherapy that uses movement and dance to support an individual’s physical, intellectual, and emotional health.” DMT can help people heal and solve problems in ways that words alone cannot.

In addition, you will also increase your energy and improve your physical health by moving your body.

Acupuncture

This ancient practice is a form of traditional Chinese medicine practiced in tandem with Western medicine today. Acupuncture involves tiny needles gently penetrating the skin at very specific locations – the human body is thought to have over 2,000 acupuncture points which are all connected by meridians – as a means of creating a flow of energy in the whole body.

The idea is that disruption of natural energy flow can cause disease, ailments, malaise and malfunction. By opening these pathways through acupuncture, you can cure many ailments, from infertility, gastritis, back pain and menstrual pain to mental health issues such as insomnia, anxiety and depression.

That said, scientific studies have not yet fully explained how and why acupuncture works, and acupuncture is not for everyone, so it is essential to consult your doctor before trying acupuncture, especially to treat mental health issues.

Meditation

There are tons of ways to practice meditation — from apps and podcasts to self-practice and group meditation — all of which provide a sense of deep relaxation and inner peace.

Think of meditation as the practice of focusing your mind deeply on a specific moment to eliminate distracting thoughts that may be stressing you out. Combined with deep breathing, this intense focus and relaxation can help improve mental health by providing a sense of calm and balance.

A growing body of research supports the benefits of meditation. A study published in the journal JAMA internal medicine found that eight-week mindful meditation programs had moderate evidence in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. And another study published in the journal Journal of Psychiatry found that people with generalized anxiety disorder experienced reduced stress after participating in a mindfulness-based program.

Moreover, meditation is exceptionally accessible; whether you choose to work with a practitioner or guide or practice at home using apps available at the click of a button on your phone, the mental health benefits of meditation are far-reaching and long-lasting.

Reiki

According to Reiki Master Victoria Bodner, LMT, Reiki is a form of energy healing which uses gentle touch to deliver energy to specific areas of the body to improve your energy flow and balance. “Reiki aids in healing by helping people become energetically balanced – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually,” says Bodner.

The benefits of Reiki include, but are not limited to, relaxation, stress reduction, general well-being, and inner peace. “Reiki complements other types of medical and therapeutic treatments, and it can increase the effectiveness of other types of healing,” says Bodner.


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