Rehab Clinics - Their Purpose

Since time immemorial, management of mental health disorders is based on medication, counseling, and talk therapy. But the success of any treatment depends on the diagnosis and severity of the problem. Attending regular sessions of talk therapies like dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is usually effective but some patients may not get the desired benefit.

Researchers and doctors have explored alternate treatment modalities that are slowly gaining popularity. Some of these are:

  1. EMDR therapy - Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy. It involves some amount of talking where the therapist focuses on the patient's stimulating eyes with the help of swinging the pendulum or moving fingers back and forth. This therapy is usually used to alleviate trauma. It works by changing the way the brain processes the traumatic incident and makes it less painful. Past research established that EMDR can also be used in managing depression. The therapy has also been found useful in the management of chronic pain, psychotic and affective symptoms.
  2. Music and gong therapy - Music therapy is practiced universally and many people have benefited from it. It can fight the blues and relax the mind. Some specialists also use gong therapy or sound baths for relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, and improving the overall quality of life. Individual music therapy is also useful for patients with low motivation levels.
  3. Sand tray therapy - Sand tray therapy turns a childhood hobby into therapy. Using toys and colored sand, patients are encouraged to create their own world that reflects their life and the conditions they might be struggling with. It gives them an opportunity to reconstruct the sand models by eliminating the obstacles, resolving conflicts, and gaining more self-acceptance. Through sand therapy, a specialist can work with a patient's subconscious mind and help him or her recover from a mental illness like depression.
  4. Art therapy - Studies have established that art therapy is useful in managing stress, depression and anxiety, and some physical illnesses too. Those who are not expressive about their feelings can be engaged in art therapy. The creative process engages the mind and body together and shifts the focus to making something more meaningful. It can give a tremendous boost to one's self-esteem and hope of living.
  5. Dance or movement therapy - When talking becomes difficult, one can give vent to the feelings using dance or movement therapy. It helps in the release of feel-good endorphins that activate the brain's reward center. Scientific literature has also substantiated its effectiveness in treating depression in an outpatient setting.
  6. Wilderness therapy - This therapy is meant mostly for teens as it involves some amount of traditional talking in a scenic background as opposed to a grim and closed setting. It involves hiking, trekking, and other adventure activities to connect an individual with nature and alleviate his or her behavioral and psychosocial distress.
  7. Light therapy - Light therapy is typically used to deal with people struggling with the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, if one is not in the mood of talking to a therapist or if a person cannot afford the cost, one can invest in a light lamp and reap the benefits. Although, it may not be able to alleviate all the symptoms but does work in brightening the mood.

Way to recovery

One can speak to his or her therapist about the above-mentioned therapies. However, if the symptoms are severe and debilitating, it's better to seek traditional treatment in a professional setup. Alternate therapies can work better once the symptoms are brought under control. Many times, people struggling with mental health disorders use alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. A condition where a mental illness coexists with substance abuse problems is known as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses. It is important to seek treatment for both conditions simultaneously for total recovery.


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