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Scientific research has proven that humans store memories, experience, and emotions on a cellular level. There are a variety of therapeutic treatment modalities that support both the brain and body, many of which fall under the hypernym of holistic therapy. Holistic therapy directly aligns with holistic medicine, which is “a whole-body approach to healthcare [that] aims to improve health and wellness through the body, mind, and soul.” Some types of therapy that engage both the brain and body include:

  • Mind-body therapy: This refers to groups of techniques that focus on enhancing the mind’s positive impact on the body (e.g., improving body functioning, inducing relaxation, etc.) to promote health. Mind-body approaches are commonly used to treat a variety of chronic health conditions, including depression and anxiety.
  • Somatic therapy: This is a body-centered approach that looks at the connection of mind and body and relies on strategies (e.g., breathwork, dance, meditation, etc.) to heal trauma, stress, and other mental health issues.
  • Art therapy: Art therapy encourages participants to explore self-expression, emotions, and challenges using various art media rather than relying on verbal articulation. It is a technique rooted in the notion that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations. Though not necessarily considered a type of holistic therapy, in relation to trauma, for example, EMDR shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.
  • Music therapy: Music therapy relies on the clinical use of music to accomplish individualized goals such as reducing stress, improving mood and self-expression. It may include listening to, singing, playing instruments, or composing music.
  • Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP): Colloquially known as equine therapy, this modality uses the connection between people and horses to enhance physical or emotional healing.
  • Dance/ movement therapy: This form of therapy relies on movement as the primary tool to address clinical goals. It aims to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and well-being.

Placing dual focus on engaging the brain and body in the therapeutic process can strengthen the therapeutic alliance, which is directly linked to treatment outcome. Further, through enlisting both the brain and body, the brain is better able to integrate information and work toward easing symptoms that present in the body.

Further Information and Support

For most of us, life can be very stressful, leading us to feel emotionally charged, which can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and getting stuck in a cycle of being burdened with negative thoughts. Navigating through the challenges and emotional turmoil of life can be overwhelming, but you do not have to go through it alone. Engage Treatment is a Joint Commission Accredited professional psychological practice. We specialize in treating children, teens, and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety through community-focused treatment plans that incorporate a carefully selected combination of therapeutic interventions. Our compassionate, multidisciplinary practitioners are devoted to providing the highest quality of care that helps ignite positive change and enables clients to reach optimal health and well-being. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We are happy to answer questions and provide you with any additional information. Feel free to call us at 805-497-0605 or email us at [email protected]. You are also welcomed to get in touch by filling out our contact form. We look forward to connecting and having the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to support you.

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