In and of itself, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and talk therapy can be powerful ways for an individual to expand the emotions that he or she is comfortable dealing with, while building self-esteem and finding global solutions to a wide array of everyday problems—from marriage and parenting woes to grief, work-related complications, social issues, and more. Working with an experienced therapist or counselor—someone who is willing to explore emotions, dig deeper into avoidance issues, identify behavioral patterns, and look to the past to help change the future—is proven to improve an individual’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
But, sometimes we need all the help we can get…
Engaging in mind-body therapies can reinforce the benefits of seeing a therapist or counselor. In fact, mind-body therapies are the perfect complement to traditional talk therapy: while talk therapy reaps immense mental benefits, mind-body therapies promote physical health while also encouraging positive thinking.
Here are some mind-body therapies that work well in conjunction with counseling:
1. Yoga. Practiced in Northern India more than 5,000 years ago, yoga was the marriage of philosophy, meditation, and breathing—the practice of yoga was found to reap impressive mental and physical benefits…and it still does. Yoga is a powerful mind-body therapy that can physically improve flexibility and increase muscle tone while working to improve overall mental health and vitality. There are many different types of yoga—explore them all to find the type that is best suited for your physical and mental needs.
2. Tai Chi. This ancient Chinese practice consists of slow movements, connected to deep, mindful breathing. Like yoga, there are different types of Tai Chi, but the traditional form of the exercise is proven to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety while improving one’s physical health.
3. Guided Meditation. Meditation is proven to improve cognitive brain function and memory, decrease stress, and release such hormones as serotonin and dopamine, which lead to an improved mood. Even if all you can spare is 5-minutes to integrate meditation into your daily routine, it can manifest significant mental wellness benefits. There are plenty of free smartphone apps available for guided meditation, or a simple search on YouTube will yield a plethora of options.
4. Acupuncture. Practiced in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works on the body’s meridian points to release endorphins and other mood-boosting hormones, such as serotonin. Acupuncture is also proven to help reduce the body’s stress response system.
5. EFT Therapy. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a highly effective therapeutic modality, based on the same basic principles as acupuncture. By tapping on a series of your body’s meridian points while repeating certain phrases, EFT helps individuals overcome phobias and otherwise clear the mental blocks that are standing between them and the lives they want to live. At Creative Counseling Center, we offer EFT therapy and find that, in conjunction with traditional talk therapy or CBT, it is highly effective in moving our clients forward, mentally and emotionally.
6. Massage Therapy. Sure, massage therapy is innately relaxing. But massage goes deeper than just the body—it reduced symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety, too! Especially in situations where an individual is suffering from depression as a result of a chronic pain condition, massage therapy can be extremely effective.
Mind-body therapies are not an alternative to traditional talk therapy or CBT therapy, but in conjunction can help magnify their impact. If you’ve invested your time and energy into talk therapy, consider investing just a little more time in one or more of these mind-body therapies. The results won’t manifest overnight—just as with counseling—but, in time, the results will really wow you!
Contact Creative Counseling Center
Maybe you’ve been engaging in lots of mind-body therapies to help you process your stress, grief, anger, sadness or anxiety—but have been avoiding therapy. Or maybe it’s the opposite, and you’ve been in therapy but not participating in self-care outside the counseling center doors. Either way, contact Creative Counseling Center to be partnered with one of the best therapists in Denver about where you’re at. We can help point you in the right direction, whether by matching you with a counselor perfectly suited to your needs or by pointing you towards a mind-body wellness center that could support your existing therapeutic efforts.