Non-Traditional Therapy Methods for Better Mental Health

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Therapy is a helpful tool that should and can be utilized by every single person. It creates greater opportunities to strengthen ourselves internally and lets us more easily “check-in” with ourselves on a daily basis. Often, when a person begins traditional therapy, they feel they’ve suddenly woken up. It’s a genuine eye-opener, helping people become honest with they’re emotions and actions, good and bad.

From personal experience, I understood that engaging in therapy with a medical professional was a privilege. It’s not always the case that therapy is available to you for whatever reason, however, there are many resources out there for those that may not feel it’s an option for them. For most of my life, I thought that therapy was something that wasn’t available for me. Due to poor health insurance and a lack of surplus income, I found reasons to keep me from getting the help I needed. 

Eventually, I found a way to make it happen for myself, and when I scheduled my first appointment, I wanted to make the most of my time with a therapist. After several sessions, I realized that one-on-one sessions—although vastly important for me—weren’t the only form of therapy I could take part in. If you’re seeking alternative forms of one-on-one therapy, here are a few options I would suggest you look into.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy or equine-assisted therapy is a form of therapy treatment that puts the individual in the environment of horses. The active time with equines can promote physical and mental health, providing relief for those suffering from anything from anxiety disorders to developmental delay. Not only can equine therapy help individuals build self-confidence, communication skills, and trust, but it can be used to help in the treatment of many behavioral disorders.

Equine therapy in cognitive therapy: Often used to treat anxiety disorders, horses have the unique ability to sense and respond to stimuli around them in ways that are different than humans. Horses are sensitive creatures, with a heightened awareness of the world around them. Interacting with horses in any capacity can help an individual with anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders using a new and better form of communication then they might typically with their peers, family, and friends. Not only does time with a horse let those suffering find ways to change the way they observe their surroundings, but they learn stronger ways to lead, focus, and take responsibility for their thought processes. 

Working directly with a horse can be beneficial, as a horse acts from a non-judgemental place, giving the individual feedback that is direct. Their emotions, not easily understood first, become clear in their body movements over time. They help a person feel highly aware of themselves and make it easier to reflect on why they’re feeling what they are feeling.

Wilderness Therapy

Sometimes referred to as outdoor behavioral therapy can be done independently and with a trained professional. Although wilderness therapy has been viewed with controversy, it can be used as a form of therapy in a healthy and non-risk way. If you’re unsure what the outdoors can do for you, you only need to do a quick search on the vast studies correlating time spent outdoors to good mental health. There are some incredible benefits that exist for people who simply increase their time outdoors

However, outdoor behavioral programs are far more structured than taking independent hikes or camping trips. For adolescents and adults who are suffering from substance abuse, anger issues, anxiety, or depression, outdoor therapy puts oneself in an environment that’s easier to open up in. It can help individuals begin to develop healthy coping strategies, find self-esteem, and even strengthen social skills. 

Find What’s Right for You


It doesn’t matter if therapy for you happens over an app, in a traditional office, or outdoors. No one seeks help, therapy, and guidance in the same way. Open yourself up to the possibility that non-traditional forms of therapy might be the right option for you. 


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