From Anxiety and Depression to Freedom & Joy

Can we transform the state of our mental health?

There is a general consensus in our society that when we struggle with some kind of mental health condition such as anxiety and/or depression, all we can do is learn to manage, control and hide the symptoms. Yet, a new point of view is emerging that it may be possible to transform the state of our mental health from struggling with anxiety and depression to stepping into more freedom and joy. In this article, we will look at both viewpoints – the traditional one which believes that conditions such as anxiety and depression can ONLY be better managed and controlled, but not healed and the emerging viewpoint that believes that it is possible to transform our mental health from anxiety and depression into freedom and joy!!

Traditional Viewpoint

Let’s start with the traditional viewpoint that mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression can only be managed and controlled. This viewpoint holds the belief that all mental health challenges are the result of neurochemical imbalances in the brain. This viewpoint comes from our modern medical model; which is based on the reductionist approach teaches us that human beings are really nothing more than grand biological machines. This approach defines all living things according to Newtonian Physics as three-dimensional physical objects. When we apply this law to understanding human beings, we can say everything begins and ends with our skin and therefore we are basically the sum of many small physical parts. Thus, when something goes wrong such as in the case of a physical disease or psychopathology, our current medical model looks for faulty biological mechanisms (neurochemical imbalances, faulty genetics, disturbances in the neuroanatomy) to explain what has gone wrong – just like we may look for faulty wires and connections when a computer or electronic object stops working.

For example, in the case of Depression, modern medicine has found that there are neurochemical glitches such as imbalances in serotonin. Thus, typical treatments consist of drug therapy that can artificially mimic serotonin and therefore alleviate feelings of depression.

Psychological approaches (psychoanalysis, behavioral and cognitive) all expand on the medical model by introducing a behavioral and emotional component to understanding and treating psychopathologies, such as anxiety and depression. They acknowledge that negative experiences, especially trauma can spur on psychopathologies such as anxiety and depression. In fact, there is now a huge amount of research and data to validate this point.

And whilst, conventional therapy treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be extremely beneficial and yield great results, they are still based in the reductionist approach (as they focus mainly on understanding things on a conscious level, whereas we know that the conscious mind makes up only a small percentage of the whole mind) and therefore do great in managing and controlling symptoms, yet do NOT get to the root cause to transform the conditions. And in the case of anxiety disorders, it may take 8-12 sessions to even begin to see results and then it could take tens of dozens of sessions to see real and lasting results, with a 40% chance of relapse.

My Alternative View of Psychopathologies

What if the neurochemical imbalances and the negative cognitive factors that occur in mental health conditions such as Anxiety and Depression and other psychopathologies are not conditions in themselves, but what if they are symptoms of something deeper. What if these conditions are our body-mind’s way of trying to tell us that something is wrong at a deeper level – that something is unaligned or has become disconnected, such as disowning or abandoning a part of ourselves because we believe it to be unhealthy, inappropriate or unacceptable? Could this appear as what we call Depression psychologically? And what would this look like energetically?

Modern medicine limits our perspective of what it means to be human, but what if we could broaden our perspective to see humans as multi-dimensional beings – with not just a physical existence, but also an emotional existence, a mental existence and a spiritual existence. I think more and more people are starting to embrace this mind-body-spirit notion and hence the surge in energy healing modalities, yet a problem still occurs. Most people haven’t made the transition to a more holistic approach to healing and wellness. Most people’s practice is still stuck in the reductionist approach. For example, many people use energy-healing in a very laissez-faire way – that means if they are attuned to Reiki, they will simply create a sacred space and channel energy through some hand positions on the client, creating nothing more than just a little balancing. Thus, we can say this approach to healing is a band-aid approach because most of the time; it doesn’t get into the root cause to transform something.

What if there was a systematic approach that integrated working with the different bodies to get to the root cause of many struggles, conditions and anxieties? Could this effect a profound healing every time?

I believe that this is indeed the case. It does however requires a paradigm shift in our thinking and how we approach healing and wellness as well as how we diagnose and treat conditions. It requires that we not only embrace our multi-dimensionality - that we have a physical, emotional, mental and spirit body, but that each of these bodies is deeply interconnected and interfaces with the others. It further requires that we embrace the idea that each of these bodies has an anatomy and physiology and a set of potential pathologies that may go beyond the physical body and exist at subtler and subtler levels. It also requires that we study extensively what the anatomy and physiology of each body might look like and the set of associated pathologies. It requires that we can fine tune our senses to the subtler realms and possess the necessary knowledge of the workings of the human mind.

And then it requires that we can use this knowledge to create breakthrough integrative interventions or processes that can be systematically used in not just the diagnoses of disorders and conditions but also in their treatment, creating a positive and effective shift in each healing session.

I believe this is the next frontier in energy medicine and energy psychology that is currently relatively unexplored. As Dr Andrew Weil says “The biomedical model of mental health is obsolete. A new integrative model is emerging that takes into account psychological, social, and spiritual factors as well as brain biochemistry”.

This is what makes Energy-Based Psychotherapy so different and so unique. It integrates working with the human psyche (mind and emotions) and the human energy system (biofields, chakras, meridians, biophotons etc) simultaneously. It holds a depth of knowledge about the workings of the human psyche (that comes from transpersonal psychologies, depth psychology, archetypal psychology and integrative psychology) and the human energy system and how they interface with one another as well as a set of pathologies and what they may look like – not just from a psychological perspective, but also from emotional and energetic perspectives. And it uses interventions that are a systematic approach to healing and wellness that can diagnose and treat mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression and transform them into freedom and joy.

If you are someone who is struggling with anxiety and / or depression and what I am saying in this article resonates with you, I invite you to take the first step towards the transformation of your mental health by signing up for one of Healthy Minds educational classes or joining in a support group.

To see what classes are coming up, click on the link below.

About The Author of this article

Meera Jain (BS, DPS) is one of the founders of Healthy Minds and a pioneer in the emerging field of Energy Psychology. Her signature programs ‘Fearlessly Authentic’ and ‘Breakthrough Anxiety' have a proven record to bring about life-changing transformations in people.

Her areas of expertise include Archetypal, Depth and Transpersonal Psychologies, Inner Child Work, Meditation, Subtle Energy Work and more. She has presented at many different venues, including universities and healing centers for over 15 years and is well known for being able to transform many struggles in a SINGLE session.

Meera worked as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist in the areas of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, after finishing her postgraduate studies in Oxford (UK), but felt very discontented with the nature of conventional medicine. Her own spiritual upbringing prompted her for many years to search for tools that go beyond conventional medicine and make a bigger difference.

Through her 20 year journey, Meera began experimenting with integrating two fields she has mastered - Psychotherapy and Subtle Energy Work and this resulted in the creation of a new therapy, she calls 'Energy - Based Psychotherapy'. Her signature programs 'Fearlessly Authentic' and 'Breakthrough Anxiety' are the culmination of Energy-Based Psychotherapy, when it is utilized in a systematic format to resolve a particular problem.

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