In addition to the more commonly used treatments, there are a number of other therapies that can be used to help treat a range of mental health issues.
Bush Adventure Therapy is a diverse field of practice combining adventure and outdoor environments with the intention to achieve therapeutic outcomes for those involved.
Individuals can sometimes have difficulty processing traumatic memories and they experience the raw emotions over and over, each time something triggers those memories.
In the 1980’s, American psychologist Francine Shapiro made the chance discovery that certain types of repetitive eye movement reduced the emotional impact of strong memories. She went on to develop EMDR therapy. It incorporates guided eye-movement exercises as a means of processing the memories to reduce their impact and allow the person to address them and move on.
Animals have long been used for both physical and mental therapy. In this form of therapy, a horse trainer is always present and the clients are not actually required to ride the horse or even touch it if they don’t want to.
With the guidance of a professional therapist, horse therapy can help people gain an insight into their own behaviour. The therapist sets up a series of challenges that require the individual to explore their own fears and cognitive processes. Horses in particular are ideal for this type of therapy as they can mirror behaviour and they also have their own unique personality traits such as stubbornness and the need for companionship.
Equine-assisted therapy can be useful for developing skills in leadership, assertiveness, confidence, teamwork and creative problem-solving.
Communication and behavioural problems within a family can develop over time or be the result of a major life event. They do not have to be blood related as the concept of family can include any group having a close relationship. When some or all of the members decide that they cannot achieve a resolution on their own they may seek the help of a qualified therapist. Members can be seen individually and / or as a group.
The therapist will usually use a systemic or cognitive approach to clarify the issues and help members identify how their thought patterns and ingrained beliefs influence the whole group. The approach is generally to focus on solutions rather than searching for the origins of the problems.
Group therapy is highly effective for helping a group of people facing similar challenges such as alcohol dependency. It can be conducted by one or more therapists who encourage the members to develop interpersonal skills and trust which they may have been lacking in their lives. The sessions help to foster support and a sense of belonging amongst the group members.
Some therapists believe that no one approach can fully cover a client’s needs. They prefer to draw on a range of different therapies and integrate the most appropriate ones for each situation.
The philosophy behind interpersonal therapy is that psychological symptoms develop as a result of difficulties an individual has when interacting with others. By analysing these interactions and identifying the problem areas, the therapist can then help the person to improve their interactions and subsequently their psychological symptoms.
Originating in traditional forms of meditation, mindfulness is a technique that helps people to become more aware of all their senses and dealings with their immediate environment. It is especially useful to help people regain a sense of perspective and to calm the mind.
Mindfulness is increasingly popular as it is highly effective for managing stress, anxiety and depression. It is also easy for a person to learn to practice on their own and has no negative consequences.
Most adults can express their thoughts and emotions through verbal communication but children, especially very young ones have generally not developed this capacity. Play therapy gives them a vehicle to express themselves at their own level and pace. They are often given a range of toys or art materials to play with under the guidance of an experienced therapist.
Through the neutral medium of the toys the children can share feelings or experiences in a safe environment and learn new, positive behaviour patterns. This approach helps them to develop their self-confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
Psychosexual therapy, known as PST is a specific form of couples therapy. It openly addresses issues such as sexual dysfunction, emotional blocks or lack of communication about sexual problems within a relationship.
The therapist will work with both parties - separately and as a couple - to discover the source of the issue and help them identify ways to overcome it.