Not everyone feels comfortable with a traditional talk-therapy model when seeking mental health treatment. The idea of sitting in a room for 45-60 minutes and talking one-to-one with a stranger is often a barrier for those who have never been to therapy. For those who have been, unless they have found a therapist who is a good fit, they may be reluctant to try therapy again.
Several therapists around the world have recognized this barrier and have worked to integrate alternative techniques into therapy to help clients feel more comfortable. Some examples include walking or running with clients (see this LA Times article
to read more), or integrating yoga (see this recent PsychByte
), art, or acting (e.g., Psychodrama) into sessions. Play therapy helps children express themselves, especially when they do not fully understand their emotions. Incorporating animals into sessions can also prove useful; my Labradoodle, Winnie, loves to sit on the couch next to clients and receive petting (which can be soothing for clients).
For those who may be reluctant to seek therapy, it might be helpful to know the field of psychology is constantly growing and adapting. Many therapists enjoy finding new and creative ways to help clients feel at ease and open to the process.
To learn more visit: http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-running-therapy-20170705-story.html
Aarika V. White, Ph.D., HSPP
Comprehensive MedPsych Systems, Inc. – Indianapolis
Chair, IPA Communication Committee
"PsychBytes” is a weekly educational resource from the Indiana Psychological Association (IPA) provided for psychologists, their colleagues and their patients.