This is an umbrella term for a number of different therapies based on dialogue between the therapist and client. They can include cognitive, cognitive-behavioural and Gestalt therapies, as well as methods such as therapeutic listening. Research shows that talk therapy produces nearly the same brain changes as pharmacotherapy (drug treatment). Part of the power of talk therapy is the relief many people feel to finally be heard... and understood. In a non-judgmental environment.
Emotional Freedom Technique is an energy healing technique refined from TFT (Thought Field Therapy) and brought into wide usage by an American engineer named Gary Craig (see
http://www.emofree.com/a/?2668/1for afree downloadable manual). In his words, "Even though EFT violates just about every conventional belief out there, the results remain remarkable...My jaw still drops". EFT is an emotional form of acupressure using tapping to stimulate key meridian energy points combined with certain statements and affirmations, on the premise that the cause of many negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system. It is a surprisingly fast way to eliminate negative feelings, no matter how entrenched they may seem. Startling relief usually occurs within the first session. As well, this is a method that is easily taught to clients who can use it on their own, whenever they start to feel upset or overwhelmed. It works extremely well with children. To many people it sounds weird and I admit to some of the same thoughts when I first tried it. But it works even if you're skeptical, and as Gary says, "It often works when nothing else will".
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
(CBT) uses talk therapy to teach you how certain thinking patterns are causing your symptoms, by giving you a distorted picture of what's going on in your life, and making you feel anxious, depressed or angry. These thoughts often provoke ill-chosen actions. An advantage of cognitive behaviour therapy is that it helps people learn skills that may prevent them from becoming depressed in the future.
(CT) was developed at the University of Pennsylvania as a short term treatment for depression and by Albert Ellis, Ph.D. as a general short term form of psychotherapy. A cognition is literally a thought. The primary focus of cognitive therapy strategies is to change emotional reactions (i.e. anxiety, depression, stress, anger) and behavioral reactions (i.e. aggressiveness, avoidance, apathy). This is done through restructuring self-defeating and/or distorted thoughts.
Behavioural strategies focus on 'unlearning' self-defeating patterns in our lives. This can include changing the level of muscle tension, breathing patterns, avoidance patterns and substituting pleasurable activities. Other techniques look at improving interpersonal habits using conflict resolution, assertion, active listening skills and social skills. Cognitive and behavioral therapies complement each other. When an impasse is reached, often one can stimulate growth when the other could not.
This approach relies on a belief in a power greater than ourselves, whether that power is within the framework of an established religion or not. In fact the separation between spirituality and physical and mental health has been shrinking for years. Since 1995 Harvard Medical School has held an annual "Spirituality and Healing in Medicine" conference. More than half the medical schools in the United States now include courses on spirituality. And there is increasing evidence spirituality can help people prevent and recover from mental and physical ill health. At Duke University in the U.S. they have established a centre to conduct research on the effects of religion (or spirituality) on physical and mental health (see http://www.dukespiritualityandhealth.org/).
If you would like general information on depression and other issues related to mental health, check out this information resource and directory: http://www.DepressionMaster.com