9 Weird Psychotherapy Methods that You Didn’t Know Exist!

Psychotherapy isn’t what most believe it to be. While a certain stigma still exists, psychotherapy and other mental health professions are valid means of taking care of yourself. Psychotherapy exists as a professional relationship between the therapist and the patient. The goal is strictly to aid the patient when they have cause and concern for their mental well-being. Yes, sometimes people have issues that most don’t, but that’s why therapists exist: to help the patient overcome or accept an issue so it’s not an issue anymore.

Psychotherapy takes many different forms in terms of treatment, but a normal therapist’s goal is to listen without bias and offer objective views or observations about their patient’s behaviors. This helps the patient take a step back to help identify why and where certain problems stem from and how they can overcome it.

Statistically, it has been shown that 32.4% people worldwide will suffer a mental condition in any given year – that’s 75 million people. Whether these people are aware or not, they sit on issues that hold them back from fully enjoying life. If they are aware, then it’s only a handful of these victims who actually seek help. Some people, though, need more than just someone to talk to. Some patients need intensive and, at times, unusual methods to overcome obstacles. While out of the ordinary, these methods have been known to work.

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1. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy – Instead of sitting in a room with another person across from you while you struggle to find words for what’s wrong, this form of therapy takes place outdoors. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) revolves around the patient spending one-on-one time with a horse. The therapist and horse-handler helps the patient relax and focus on their tasks at hand. They need to be calm and confident in order for the horse to feel the same way. It’s great for aiding with behavioral issues, depression, anxiety and communication needs. For one woman who suffered a great loss, EAP helped her by bonding with a horse and through taking care of another creature, she was able to overcome grief and move on. The partnership and trust that’s put into working with horses fosters a deep, emotional bond that can help select cases overcome their mental ailments.

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2. Chess Therapy – This form of therapy engages both the patient and therapist. Getting around talking to a stranger about inner demons, the therapist challenges the patient to a game where they can note how one moves pieces and why they make the decisions they do. It’s also a healthy ice-breaker to get someone to open up about their feelings as their conscious mind is focused on a game rather than what’s troubling them. Dr. Angelo Subida is a psychotherapist who believes in chess therapy and says it “helps in developing a therapeutic alliance between psychotherapist and his patient to help him through any psychological or emotional problems…”

3. Wilderness Therapy – Sometimes getting outdoors does wonders for the mind. Wilderness Therapy takes the patient into the wild where they’re challenged to survive and feed themselves. This form of therapy is common for troubled teens and delinquents with anger issues as it forces them to slow down, rely on themselves and behave responsibly. Some therapists engage in group therapy where their patients work together and form bonds of trust with each other. Other times they’re alone and have to set up camp or learn to do simple things like fish for their meals. Of course, not all forms of Wilderness Therapy end in desired results. In the course of two months in 1990, Steve Cartisano’s Challenger Foundation was found responsible for the deaths in two teenagers. Michelle Sutton, 15 years old, died of exposure and dehydration in May. Christen Chase, 16 years old, died of heat stroke. Cartisano’s form of therapy turned out to be little more than a military-styled boot camp that had little interest in the mental, and obviously physical, well-being of his charges.

 
 
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