All mental health therapy modalities are not equal. Finding the best therapy modality and best therapist to delivery these interventions is paramount. Some people can find benefit from traditional ‘talk therapy’ formats. Other people, depending on many variables, may benefit from other forms of therapy such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor, or Internal Family Systems therapy modalities.
Top-Down Talk Therapies
Top-down therapies refer to how they work in the brain. Meaning, they start at the cerebral cortex level and lose potency as they move through the mid-brain and end in the brain stem. Talk therapies can be beneficial when looking at:
- Perspective taking
- Noticing thoughts
- Increasing awareness
- Developing coping skills
- Implementing behavioral interventions
Top-down talk therapies work by changing neural networks in the cerebral cortex. This then changes neural patterns over time, which then impacts behavior(s) and leads to lasting changes.
Bottom-up therapies work in reverse of top-down therapies. Essentially, these therapies work by starting with the brain stem, moving up through the limbic brain (mid-brain), and finally reaching the cerebral cortex. Bottom-up therapies, unlike talk therapies, do not lose potency as the therapeutic effects generalize to other regions of the brain. Bottom-up therapies can benefit a variety of challenges to include:
- Developmental trauma
- Childhood trauma
- Complex Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Emotional neglect
- Feelings of being worthless
- Thinking too much about the past
- Difficulties trusting yourself and others
- Not feeling present in your body – persistent dissociation
Currently, Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor, and Internal Family Systems therapies compliment EMDR therapy extremely well. By using one bottom-up therapy in conjunction with another, we can move through obstacles that arise while in individual therapy sessions. Barriers or obstacles that arise in one-on-one therapy can include:
- Nervous system dysregulation
- Suicide ideation
- Substance use
Notice how I used the words obstacles or barriers. Individual therapy doesn’t just stop when these challenges arise. We find ways to experience, accept, hold, and regulate our bodies to work through these challenges. Often, our response to individual therapy is adaptive. We simply need to learn the function of these responses and work to find other ways to self-soothe.
Best Therapist in Near DU
At Revitalize Mental Health PLLC, we are trained in both talk therapy as well we EMDR and Somatic Experiencing Therapy. Therapy takes trust. Trust in both the therapeutic process as well as in the mental health therapist. We will start by building rapport and a professional relationship to create a sense of safety. Depending on the reasons for seeking therapy, we will most likely transition to a bottom-up therapy to support your healing and recovery process. Click here to start your journey to a better you!