A Counselor’s Take On Herbal Therapy


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I have been going to therapy for two years now, and I’ve had only one counselor since the beginning. My depression for the past year has definitely improved with counseling and medications. Still, I wanted to find a healthier alternative to the medicines I took for a year now. One day, I came across an article about herbal therapy, and I got interested in a solution to my dilemma. When it was time for me to visit my counselor, I asked her about it. “Would you consider recommending me herbal therapy for my depression?”

My counselor explained to me that she was pro-wellness, and whatever remedies could help me alleviate the anxiety and depression I had been experiencing, she would like me to give it a try. So we read together and found more information about herbal therapy.

Herbal Therapy 

We found statements from a reputable doctor by Christopher Hobbs, who said in one of his interviews that herbal therapy could help one attain his wellness goals. He continued to explain that because herbalists are certified in the health field and utilize non-toxic natural remedies. The medical doctor in disease or pathology, both of these practitioners collaborating, might provide patients with more options.

Conditions That Herbal Therapy Can Be Used For

By promoting wellness and improving each individual’s stress response, the herbal specialist can help alleviate wellness problems, including:

  • Persistent flu
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, pregnancy, and PMS
  • Digestion problems like colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Fatigue, depression, tension, stress, and anxiety
  • Lung problems, such as chronic bronchitis
  • Sexual problems
  • Skin issues
  • Decreasing the negative effects of current medications
  • Nervousness
  • Alleviation of addictive behavior

Phytotherapy Explained

Phytotherapy is a subcategory of herbal therapy, which basically means plant therapy. Physiotherapists depend on modern studies and trials, but they respect the experience and background of herbalists, which date back hundreds of years. They utilize this method to improve the wellness of different body systems to increase general well-being.

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Healing Philosophy

Herbal therapy’s primary healing philosophy is to provide you the assistance required to regain your capacity to establish harmony and equilibrium in your mental, physical, and emotional health. Its health assessment emphasizes recognizing patterns of weakness and strength. With this information and upon the clients’ desires, the clinical herbalist will list suggestions, including herbs, natural remedies, counseling, lifestyle modifications, yoga, nutrition, and skill-building activities.

Is It Right For You?

You can consider herbal therapy if you want to:

  • Reduce or completely stop your present medication doses (with the approval and supervision of your primary physician).
  • Complement your present medications to attain better results compared to what you are getting from your current medications.
  • Augment medication compliance.
  • Seek options that decrease the negative side effects of your present medications naturally.

Benefits Of Herbal Treatments

There are many benefits of using herbal treatments, and the three major ones are listed below.

They Possess Healing Properties. Herbal treatments can be utilized for acute and chronic illnesses, including prostate issues, lowered immune system, depression, and cardiovascular problems.

Cost-Effective Treatment. Herbal remedies are more affordable compared to pharmaceuticals. A relevant reason why trying out herbal treatments with the supervision of an herbalist has been so famous is because people merely can’t afford the cost of their medications. Consulting with an experienced herbalist does not essentially imply that you can immediately stop your regular medications. The herbalist will work intimately with you to decrease your medications when your primary physician clears you.

It Is More Convenient. Herbs are categorized as dietary supplements, which is why they can be bought over the counter as essential oils, herbal teas, and herbal extracts. These can be bought at most supermarkets and health food stores. Be sure that you carefully read the labels of these items before using them.

Herbal Treatments For Depression And Anxiety

My counselor stressed that each of us is different, but studies indicate that several herbs can work to manage depression and anxiety. You can find sources on the web on the effectiveness of these herbs and supplements, including their safety profiles.

Natural Remedies Combined With Medications

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When integrating all the studies on herbal therapy, the outcomes show that herbal treatments augment patient compliance with consuming synthetic medicines, assist them in stopping or lowering medication doses, address some of the deleterious side effects of medications, offer an extra option to individuals who do not react well to medications and enhance the positive effects of their medications. When this method is integrated with the appropriate supplements and a positive lifestyle, the outcomes can be amazing.

Are They Right For You?

Herbal therapy, indeed, does not cure everything. Herbal formulations can help you tackle several symptoms, frequently quite swiftly. The principal emphasis of herbal therapy is tackling the underlying wellness concerns that trigger the onset of these symptoms. Examples of conditions that herbal therapy addresses effectively include hormonal imbalances, stress, some sexual dysfunction cases, minor to moderate insomnia, minor to moderate anxiety that is not secondary to a medical disorder, and minor to moderate depression that is not due to a medical disorder.



Combining Counseling And Medication Therapy For Depression


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Just more than a generation ago, the typical tandem of medication therapy and psychotherapy and other forms of counseling seemed unattainable. Psychiatry was opposed by political and ideological struggles between biologic psychiatry and psychoanalysis, particularly in the United States. Psychoanalysts from the said country were inclined to consider psychopharmacology as a mediocre therapy that covered over issues instead of tackling them head-on. They agreed that indications inhibited by medications would gradually be substituted by others that are similarly debilitating.

In turn, advocates of biologic psychiatry frequently see psychoanalysis as a type of trickery that was an expensive waste of time at best and increased suffering that psychopharmacologists were attempting to improve.

Pros Of Combined Counseling and Medication Therapy

Ever since, several studies have found combined therapy for depression to have a lot of pros compared to single-modality therapy. This applies to psychodynamic therapy and interpersonal therapies, which is a manual descendent of psychodynamic therapy. The indications were not very clear for cognitive behavioral therapy, with numerous previous studies revealing only insignificant tendencies towards an advantage of combined therapies. It seems, however, that this might suggest restrictions in study designs common of that period. Some studies have also shown a benefit to using pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

So does this indicate that every patient manifesting with depression must be encouraged to have psychotherapy in conjunction with medications? In a typical world with limitless resources, this could be possible. Conversely, considerations must be made about the cost/benefit ratio. Although combined therapies are more effective compared to stand-alone treatments, the effects are largely unassertive. Statistically substantial disparities might not be clinically relevant. With the extra tension and stress of giving combined treatments on inadequate mental health services, it might be more advantageous to offer medication therapy and counseling and other forms of psychotherapies to individuals who have a higher likelihood of showing significant outcomes.

Patients Who Respond Better To Combined Therapy

Though evidence on combined therapy is still quite small, some guidance has been seen regarding which individuals with depression have a higher likelihood of gaining remarkable benefits. Patients with major depression, dysfunctional cognitions, and chronic depression all present more clinically significant and strong responses to medications combined with psychotherapy.

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An insufficient reaction to single-modality therapy is another reason to take into account combine therapy. Individuals with depression that does not respond well to antidepressants alone present an increased response when the treatment is combined with psychotherapy. In addition, those who do not respond to psychotherapy gain extra benefits when complemented with antidepressants.

It is important to note that these classifications of patients usually get therapy from psychiatrists. With more and more antidepressants being prescribed by medical professionals who are not psychiatrists, the psychiatrists usually see patients with more chronic, major, and therapy-resistant illnesses and those with treatments convoluted by maladaptive personality types and unusual behaviors.

What Makes It Better?

Experts have yet to know more about the superiority of combined therapy. Some benefits may ensue merely from additive effects. Every therapy is effective in itself. Hence, complementing the efficacy of each offers a collective impact. There could also be collaborative effects that have led to the superior effectiveness of combined therapy. For instance, pharmacotherapy might make more individuals more accessible for therapy by alleviating treatment-intrusive issues like debilitating anxiety, depression, and psychosis.

Current evidence implies that there could also be other more directly biological effects. Among the neurobiological effects of antidepressants is apparently increased neural turnover, with trimming of dendritic synapses and increasing sprouting. This interesting research indicates that antidepressants might make for increased plastic neural channels, which could, in turn, permit for more fast learning, like in psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy and other forms of counseling could also improve the efficacy of medication therapy. One method where this may happen is by enhanced compliance. Numerous studies have established that patients receiving psychotherapy and medications have a reduced amount of medication treatment cessation. Simultaneous therapy could also enhance the therapeutic alliance and augment patient approval with treatment.

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The therapeutic union, in turn, does have a profound impact on the effectiveness of antidepressants. Furthermore, the psychosomatically anxious patient vulnerable to negative medication responses could gain attention to psychological backgrounds or somatic responses.

Combined therapy has been proven to be more efficient than single-modality therapies and adequately more effective for specific types of patients. Still, more research needs to be performed to confirm whether or not there are other categories of patients suffering from depression who would gain from combined therapy.

There is ultimately a lot more to learn about particular factors, such as treatment combination, that may lead to increased therapy effectiveness or combined therapy.