Calm Me Maybe

A blog dedicated to the eternal pursuit of happiness through all-natural methods of rest and relaxation

5 alternatives to psychotherapy

on September 27, 2013

There’s something about planting myself in front of a stranger and admitting to secrets – secrets I haven’t even admitted to myself yet – that I just don’t find appealing.

Something didn’t feel right though, and it was beginning to affect every part of my life.  My GPA and social life suffered, and I was sick of the tears.

Requested by my parents and my doctor, I made an appointment to see a therapist about two years ago.

I sat down and shifted in my seat.  I expected to say something only to be given the same “And how do you feel about that?” response over and over again like I’ve seen in movies. 

Young Woman with Her Hand on Her Belly and Man Beside Her WritingI answered her questions, at first with caution.  As we talked about my past, present, and the future, I began to make connections myself as to why I’ve been feeling a certain way and what I could hopefully do to fix it.

With everything that runs through your mind on a daily basis, it’s difficult to make sense of anything.  Listening to someone’s impartial opinions can help organize those thoughts and hopefully find the source.  Also, a therapist will be completely honest, which is something a friend or family’s response might lack.  

Therapy won’t work for everyone. Although I had a mostly positive experience with it, I haven’t been back. It’s not for me, but that’s okay.  I’m lucky enough to have such a positive support system that’s there for me whenever I need. 

If you have tried talking to a therapist and decided it’s not for you either, here are some therapeutic alternatives that could have the same effect.

writing_ 1. Write it down

Therapy with a professional can be costly and meetings are typically once a week.  Instead, try finding time a few times a week to write down your thoughts, good or bad. The act of writing, accesses the left side of your brain, which is responsible for analyzing and rationalizing.  While the left side of your brain is occupied, the right side is left to its creativity.  Writing can remove mental blocks which will allow you to better understand yourself and your surroundings. 

2. Show someone your words

Therapeutic writing will have the same effect whether you keep it or immediately move it to the trash afterwards.  However, some feedback from someone close to you won’t hurt.

I have the best friends a girl could ask for.  I know that if I showed them any of my journals, they would read them with nothing but concern and then chose their words carefully when offering me advice.  If you chose to share your thoughts, make sure it’s with someone you trust and with someone who genuinely care about you and your well being.  Their insight to your situation could really help you.

Grouptherapy_3. Group therapy sessions

If talking to a stranger one-on-one is what’s making talking to a therapist so intimidating, group therapy might be for you.  Some therapists will put like-minded people with similar issues together, and carry out a therapy session that way.  Admitting to certain feelings maybe easier when there’s someone else in the room who’s been feeling the same way.  Self-help groups in your area can also offer the same type of assistance.

4. Make a call

If you’re in a desperate situation, don’t wait to tell someone.  There are hundreds of telephone hotlines and online chat rooms established to help people in need.

A list of some resources can be found here.

5. Connect and discuss

There are apps for everything on your smart phone, including mental illness.  A quick search in the app store will list dozens to choose from.  Depression Connect, the app shown below, is a place to post your story and receive feedback from others who also suffer from the same condition.  Apps like these have the power to create community and offer insight, which can help ease living with mental illness. 



2 responses to “5 alternatives to psychotherapy

  1. Ashana M says:

    All very good advice.

  2. lbheffn says:

    I agree and great alternatives to sitting in someone’s chair and spilling the beans!! For some it just is not comfortable; it’s nice to see other ways being discussed!

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