3 Types Of Complementary & Alternative Treatments For Mental Health Disorders

The prevalence of mental health disorders has been on the rise in the past several years, leading people to search for the most effective ways to find relief. Conventional treatments for mental health disorders include different forms of therapy with a qualified professional, along with medication. Of course, the exact course of treatment depends on each person’s specific needs, symptoms, overall health, and other relevant factors.

While conventional methods can be highly effective, some people find that engaging in alternative and complementary forms of treatment makes their recovery process run more smoothly. Here, we’ll explore three different types of complementary and alternative treatments for mental health disorders and how they can promote healing.

3 Kinds Of Alternative Treatments For Mental Illness

There are numerous forms of alternative and complementary treatments for mental health conditions and concerns. The following are three different types to explore:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves staying in the present moment, paying attention to your breathing patterns, and letting your thoughts pass without judgment or interpretation. Your mind is likely to naturally wander, but you can train it to come back to the moment over time. Different types of breathing exercises you might practice include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and lion’s breath.

Engaging in mindfulness meditation can lead to relaxation, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and more self-awareness. It can be useful for treating conditions like depression, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, and much more. If you’re not sure how to get started with mindfulness meditation, there are different apps you can check out that can walk you through the process.

  1. Neurofeedback

What is neurofeedback? This alternative form of therapy measures a person’s brainwaves using an EEG (electroencephalography), which records electrical activity in the brain. This data is then extracted and provided to the individual in audio or video form. The entire process is non-invasive and can be used to address a range of concerns.

Neurofeedback allows people to develop healthier responses to stress and other triggers they may encounter in their lives by training their brains. By learning how to self-regulate, individuals can adopt more productive habits and patterns of thinking, helping reduce anxiety, depression, and other issues they might be facing.

  1. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using various essential oils to bring therapeutic benefits. Essential oils are extracted from different parts of plants, including their flowers, buds, bark, roots, bulbs, fruits, seeds, and leaves. You may choose to inhale them, apply them to various areas on your skin, or place a few drops of them into a diffuser. Adding them to your face lotion, shampoo, or body wash could be another option.

The type of essential oil you use may depend on the concerns you’re facing. For example, you might use lavender to get a better night’s rest, chamomile to reduce your stress, or peppermint to improve your ability to concentrate. Some essential oils can even be utilized to reduce physical pain, which may be a symptom of certain mental health disorders. 


When it comes to caring for your mental health, there are many treatment strategies to pick from. Connecting with a professional, such as a therapist or doctor, can be instrumental in creating a treatment plan that works for you. While you may be advised to participate in therapy or take medication, other treatments can work well alongside these more conventional methods.

Exploring alternative and complementary approaches such as mindfulness meditation, neurofeedback, and aromatherapy can give you somewhere to start in your search for the most effective strategies for you. By continually seeking the best ways to care for yourself, you can ensure that you’re receiving the support and treatment that you need to heal from the concerns you’re facing.

Disclaimer: The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

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