Mind and Relaxation Treatments

What are Mind and Relaxation Practices?

Mind-body therapies are based on the belief that what we think and feel can affect our well-being.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) combines basic theories about how people learn (behaviourism) with theories about the way people think about and interpret events in their lives (cognition). CBT is now firmly established as the leading psychological treatment for many mental health conditions. Many research studies have demonstrated its effectiveness.1 Research shows that the skills people learn through CBT last long after the treatment ends.2

In CBT, the therapist and the client work together to identify unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour. For example, someone might only notice the negative things that happen to them and not notice the positive things. Or, someone might set unrealistic standards for themselves, such as “making mistakes at work is unacceptable.” It’s also important to identify unhelpful behaviours that maintain symptoms, such as avoiding certain situations and withdrawing from others.

The client and therapist also look at how thoughts and behaviours impact feelings. For example, if someone believes that nothing will work out for them in life, they may withdraw from others and avoid new opportunities. This, in turn, can lead to feelings of increased sadness, emptiness and anxiety. This is sometimes called a “vicious circle” of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Carefully constructed exercises are used to help clients evaluate and change their thoughts and behaviours. Some aspects of treatment focus more on thoughts and some aspects focus more on behaviours. If a client has difficulty identifying and challenging negative thoughts, the therapist might focus on addressing behaviours such as avoidance, withdrawal or poor social skills. On the other hand, if such behaviours are not as noticeable, the therapist may focus on challenging unrealistic thinking.

Common CBT interventions include:

  • setting realistic goals and learning how to solve problems (e.g., engaging in more social activities; learning how to be assertive)
  • learning how to manage stress and anxiety (e.g., learning relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, coping self-talk such as “I’ve done this before, just take deep breaths,” and distraction)
  • identifying situations that are often avoided and gradually approaching feared situations
  • identifying and engaging in enjoyable activities such as hobbies, social activities and exercise
  • identifying and challenging negative thoughts (e.g., “Things never work out for me”)
  • keeping track of feelings, thoughts and behaviours to become aware of symptoms and to make it easier to change thoughts and behaviours

CBT is most widely applied to mood disorders (such as depression) and anxiety disorders. It is also used to help people with substance use problems, personality disorders, eating disorders, sexual problems and psychosis. It is successfully delivered in individual, group and couples formats.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Anger Management 
Animal Healing 
Anxiety Management 
Art Therapy 
Body talk system 
Brain Gym 
Breath Therapy 
Buteyko Method 
Depression Management 
Drama therapy 
Dream Therapy 
EMF Balancing Technique 
Hypnosis for Childbirth 
Hypnotherapy (exc past life regression) 
Journey Therapy 
Life Coaching 
Metamorphic Technique 
Mind detox method
Music Therapy
Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) 
Past Life Therapy 
Personal Development 
Positive Thinking 
Process Oriented Psychology 
Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD 
Social Anxiety 
Stress Management 
Theta Therapy 
Thought Field Therapy
Time Management 
Timeline Therapy 
Total Release Experience (TRE)
Trager Approach
Transactional Analysis