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Taking therapy for depression: Talk therapy and available alternatives

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

Developed by Dr Sigmund Freud, talk therapy or psychotherapy (psychological therapy for depression) helps in identifying issues that cause emotional distress and finding coping mechanisms that best suit an individual. During the session, a trained psychologist listens actively and non-judgementally, helping individuals seek answers to their problems. They hold the space for individuals to cry, shout, or think thereby, helping to process their pain.


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a talk therapy, which is highly effective for treating conditions such as anxiety and depression.CBT uncovers the link between thoughts, feelings and beliefs. CBT is usually a short-term treatment which is one of the best therapy for depression. With the help of a psychotherapist, individuals understand harmful negative thought patterns and behaviors and replace them with constructive thoughts over some time. It can be used to treat conditions such as [1]:

  • Panic disorders

  • Post-traumatic stress disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Social anxiety

  • Substance abuse

  • Addiction

  • Phobias and eating disorders

The main advantage of talk therapy for depression and anxiety is that, unlike medications, therapies do not cause any side effects and CBT is a technique which is proven to offer long-term beneficial changes.

Manoshala offers CBT counselling via online (online therapy for depression) and offline sessions. We have 98 experts+ from institutions like Harvard, NYU, and Berkeley who provide services such as anger control therapy across India. By understanding the customers’ needs, our experts suggest personalised therapy sessions to manage anxiety effectively. Book a free 15-minutes pre-screening call with us to discuss your requirements.

Today, we are at a stage where psychological treatment is not just about talk therapies. Mental health research has evolved over the years to offer a wide range of alternatives that encompasses everyone.


What are the alternatives to talk therapies?

Creative art therapies

Using arts as the primary medium of intervention, creative art therapy focuses on different forms of expressive techniques that improve the emotional and well-being quotient of people. They offer benefits such as:

  • Lowered stress

  • Promotes relaxation

  • Boosts self-esteem

  • Increase self-awareness

  • Promotes mindfulness

  • Improved sense of control

  • Acts as a gateway for self-expression

Manoshala offers creative therapies through art, music, drama and body movement. Our experts will help in channelising emotions in healthy ways through doodling, sketching, body tapping, lyrics writing, role-play activities, storytelling, etc.


Guided imagery

It’s a form of meditation and a relaxation technique that involves bringing one’s attention to an object, sound or experience. It is based on the premise that our body responds to our thoughts. If we think about stress-inducing situations, our body will respond with increased heart rate, blood pressure and so on. However, if we visualise calming scenarios, it will help the body to relax and be at ease. The benefits of guided imagery include2

  • Lowered stress and anxiety

  • Improved sleep

  • Decreased pain

  • Reduction in symptoms of depression

Acupuncture

It is the process of stimulating specific points by inserting needles in the body for improved functioning. Depending on the health condition, Acupuncture practitioners insert needles at varying depths and locations. It originates from Chinese medicine and is currently used as a complementary treatment. According to the study, Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: A systematic review of clinical research, acupuncture was effective in treating anxiety with lesser side effects compared to medication.


Hypnosis

It is a myth that hypnosis practitioners control the minds of the people. With guided suggestions, the mind becomes focused and the body is extremely relaxed. In this state, it allows an individual to process and explore deeper issues such as repressed memories, abuse and so on. According to a 2016 study, researchers at Stanford Medical School scanned the brains of 57 people and found that a hypnotized brain reported brain changes that made an individual more focused, lesser self-conscious and gave more physical and emotional control.

In the heightened state of relaxation, the mind is receptive to suggestions. A trained therapist provides suggestions, which can be beneficial to treat various phobias. For example, if someone is fearful of flying a plane, a therapist may plant a positive suggestion that helps them to fly confidently without fear.


Yoga

Originating from India, Yoga is a traditional practice for integrating the mind and body through breath and body movement. A combination of breathing techniques, meditation and physical exercise of yoga helps in improving concentration, focus and energy. According to the study, The efficacy of Yoga as a form of treatment for depression highlights that yoga is beneficial in managing the symptoms of depression. It offers benefits such as [5]:

  • Lowered stress

  • Improved mood

  • Reduced blood pressure

  • Lowered heart rate

  • Improved energy


Aromatherapy

It is the process of using essential oils to provide therapeutic effects. Essential oils are derived from plants, fruits and flowers. Aromatherapy can complement meditation and yoga as inhalation of aromatic fumes brings awareness to the present, promoting mindfulness.

The usage of essential oils can have various mental health benefits. The National Cancer Institute studied the effect of massaging chamomile oil on cancer patients and found that it helped in decreasing anxiety in patients. Similarly, a 2013 study studied the effects of essential oil on women with urine incontinence and found that inhalation of clary sage, lavender or almond essential oils lowered blood pressure and respiratory rate during the bladder examination.

Meditation

When the body is exposed to stress or threat, it triggers a fight or flight response, causing the release of hormones including adrenaline and norepinephrine. Due to this, the body’s blood pressure increases and breathing becomes faster. However, meditation generates a relaxed state, which counteracts the fight or flight response. Practicing meditation 10 minutes a day can offer benefits such as [6]. Here are the benefits of meditation:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety

  • Good emotional health

  • Improved self-awareness

  • Improved attention span

  • Increased empathy

  • Improved sleep

  • Improved cardiovascular health

Final thoughts:

Although many individuals benefit from therapies, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is difficult for some people to talk it out. However, the good news is that there are tons of other practices that improve the mental and emotional well-being of individuals. Although some of the techniques cannot be used as standalone treatment individuals can combine various therapies to understand what works for them. Seeking out help during times of emotional turmoil doesn’t have to be difficult anymore. It’s always what suits you the best!


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