Emerging Therapies In Mental Health

In this article, we are going to look into the emerging therapies that are about to become popular. According to John Hopkins Medicine, as many as one in four adults in the U.S. suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder each year. This includes common disorders like clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

With the significant increase in mental health conditions, there is a growing need amongst the psychological and scientific communities to develop newer and more innovative ways of addressing these issues. Fortunately, developments in this area continue to provide hope for many. In this article we will explore some emerging therapies which are revolutionizing the world of mental health.

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Emerging Therapies – Brainspotting

Developed by Dr. David Grand, Brainspotting (BSP) is a form of psychotherapy that helps patients overcome stored trauma and emotional pain in their body.

Similar to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Brainspotting also involves eye movements. However, unlike in an EMDR session or during EMDR intensives where rapid eye movements are utilized, BSP requires the patient to focus on a particular spot, or ‘brainspot’, where the painful memory or trauma is held.

This self-scanning feature of BSP activates the body’s natural healing abilities, enabling the reprocessing of traumatic experiences and emotional pain through the creation of new neural pathways within the brain’s limbic system.


Another developing area in the field of mental health is psychedelics. The scientific and medical communities are recognizing the benefits that drugs such as psilocybin and MDMA (ecstasy) can have in treating depression and other types of mental health disorders.

Psilocybin is the naturally occurring compound found in ‘magic mushrooms’ and has recently been touted for its beneficial effects in helping PTSD sufferers having shown promise in clinical trials. These psychedelic drugs are thought to activate receptors in the brain cells which can promote the formation of new neural connections.

With more research and understanding, new therapies can be developed which could lead to the medical use of psychedelic-related drugs which can stimulate new connections within the brains of people suffering from PTSD and depression, without inducing hallucinogenic effects.

As a result of their success in treating patients, psychedelic treatments for mental health have also been recognized by the European Commission as potential solutions  for treating chronic mental health conditions.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

This non-invasive form of therapy is thought to improve the natural balance of chemicals in the brain by increasing neuroplasticity, making it an ideal therapy for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

TMS sessions involve placing an electromagnetic coil around the patient’s head which delivers a series of magnetic pulses which target certain areas of the brain, focusing on the the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the part of the brain which is responsible for mood regulation. The electrical currents induced by the magnetic pulses activate the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine which boost feelings of happiness and positivity while relieving depression and anxiety.

As highlighted, the field of mental health therapy holds great promise for treating a variety of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety and PTSD, enabling sufferers to release their reliance on prescribed medication and begin living fuller, freer lives.

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