Focusing on improving your mental health is one of the most important ways to take care of yourself. Life can be hard at times even during the best of times so having a support system in place is a great way to support yourself and those around you. Therapy is the ideal option to help give you maintenance support as well as providing help when going through trauma.
There are a variety of options and techniques used in therapy to provide different treatments for clients depending on an individual’s goals and needs. Understanding the different options and benefits can help you choose a therapist that specializes in the type of treatment that will be most effective and beneficial for you.
CBT, also known as cognitive behavioral therapy, and somatic therapy are two of the most popular forms of therapy and for good reason. They both provide numerous benefits for short term and long term mental health support. Choosing which type of therapy will be more beneficial for you is ultimately dependent upon what your goals are in treatment.
Benefits of Somatic Therapy
Improved Mind and Body Connection
Somatic therapy is used to help clients focus on the mind and body connection. When working with a therapist performing somatic therapy, they use a variety of movement and breathing techniques to release tension and stress from the body related to past or present trauma. Somatic therapy is often used for patients with PTSD or those dealing with trauma.
This form of therapy allows you to both physically and mentally process the trauma you have experienced. Therapists use tools such as yoga and deep breathing exercises while also using talk therapy in combination to get the best results. Benefits from somatic therapy include a calmer state of being as well as release of physical tension associated with stress, fear and anxiety.
Quality of Life Increases
When you are constantly carrying around tension and stress in the body, it can be hard to enjoy life at times. Stress can cause chronic fatigue as well as depression symptoms. Focusing on improving your mental health by participating in somatic therapy means that over time you will begin to feel better both physically and mentally.
You will be able to use the movement and body techniques learned during therapy to apply during moments of stress to help you stay balanced and centered. With these new tools in place, you will be able to feel more peace and calm in your life thus creating a long term positive impact throughout all the different components of your life.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy Benefits
Learn New Coping Skills
When working with a therapist that specializes in CBT, you will be focusing on using talk therapy to process through any struggles or issues you may be having. CBT therapists work to help you unpack past experiences and trauma to allow you to process the experience in a safe and supportive environment with a neutral listener.
Working with a professional therapist allows you to learn coping skills and tools that you can transfer to your everyday life. Therapists are not only trained specifically to give tools to clients, they also participate in ongoing training to keep up with current psychological research which they then use with clients. One of the most significant benefits of CBT is that you will leave each session not only feeling less weighed down by life, but also with helpful tools to use to help you deal with challenging situations as they arise.
Once you begin to understand more of who you are as a person and how you deal with problems, you learn to understand yourself better. An increased awareness of self automatically increases mood and self-esteem as doubts disappear and confidence emerges.
In the past you may have approached situations with anxiety or fear, but gaining confidence in yourself and your capabilities using support from your therapy sessions allows you to increase your overall self-esteem.
Improves Communication Skills
How you communicate with others can majorly impact your quality of life as well as your mental health. Working with a therapist who uses CBT techniques will help you learn new and improved ways to communicate and allow you to find both your strengths and weaknesses in your communication style. A therapist can help you focus on learning and using specific language that allows you to communicate in an effective manner even when you are anxious or nervous.
Taking this information you learn during therapy and applying it to your professional and personal relationships can cause a positive shift in your relationships as you improve your communication over time.
How to Choose Between CBT and Somatic Therapy
Both CBT and somatic therapy provide numerous benefits to patients using these therapy techniques. However, because CBT is more focused on talk therapy and somatic therapy focuses on the mind and body connection, one form may be more beneficial for specific individuals than the other. If a person is dealing with PTSD and trauma, somatic therapy is a great tool to help release the anxieties and fears associated with those experiences.
If you are looking for tools to deal with mental health issues such as OCD, anxiety or depression then CBT may be more beneficial for your mental health needs. CBT provides new ideas and tools both during the therapy session as well as tips you can take with you to use as new life situations arise.
Many individuals that participate in therapy find themselves experiencing a need for both of these forms of therapy at different times in their lives. Therapy is a truly personal experience and it is important to talk to your potential therapist about your goals for the sessions. Knowing that both CBT and somatic therapy have positive long term benefits means that you cannot go wrong in which form of therapy you think will fit you best.