If you’re anything like me, you like to do things efficiently. Why should leveling up your mental health be any different?
Route #1: Talk therapy
aka cognitive-behavioral therapy.
In this type of therapy, you’re primarily working on revealing your mindset. That means closely examining the thoughts you use to get through your days.
You can then decide whether your thoughts are helping or hindering you from getting what you want out of life. The problem with talk therapy is that the thoughts driving you can sometimes be extremely elusive to identify. This makes the process of uncovering said thoughts very slow. (We’re talking at least 5 to 10 years in therapy, during which time you might conclude that therapy just isn’t working.)
Route #2: Body-based therapy
This is any form of psychotherapy which recognizes that feelings in the body have to be taken into account when addressing mental health concerns. There are very few therapies today that don’t use some kind of body-based techniques to help eliminate symptoms of depression or anxiety.
The primary advantage of body-based therapy over talk therapy is that in the former, you can access the mindset and thoughts you use to get through your day by—as we say in Therapyland—bringing the body into the therapy.
Translation: We’ll make you feel by making you do activities that make you have feelings while you’re in the therapy room. While this sometimes makes for uncomfortable therapy, it also makes for faster therapy. Think 6 months to 2 years, instead of 5 years to a decade.
Body-based therapy forces into your consciousness everything that isn’t usually verbalized or cognitively understood. This allows you to discover non-functional thought patterns much faster than you would through the conversations that make up talk therapy.
A word of warning: Not all body-based therapists are created equal, just as not all therapists are created equal. To find a good body-based therapist, check out the listings in my book, Emotional Utopia: Stop Searching for Happiness And Start Living It. I fully cover how body-based therapy works and what to look for in your next body-based therapist.
Route #3: Ketamine-assisted therapy
This type of therapy essentially combines talk therapy and body-based therapy—all without having to go through the uncomfortable part of body-based therapy. Ketamine-assisted therapy reveals your mind to you without you having to do much of anything. Your only task: submit to the non-ordinary state of consciousness that a semi-high dose of ketamine puts you into.
When it comes to helping you adopt new behaviors and thought patterns, I’ve found that one ketamine-assisted therapy session provides approximately the same value as 10 regular talk-therapy sessions, or 2 to 3 body based therapy sessions.
That being said, ketamine-assisted therapy only works effectively when you have a specific goal—and a serious intent to reach it.