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Using a sledgehammer to destroy an out-of-commission car, a broken washing machine, or other unusable appliances sounds like a fun way to spend an hour – it’s also one of the main activities in an alternative therapy called destructotherapy. An alternative therapy, destructotherapy is not likely to be the sole form of treatment for a disorder like depression or anxiety, but it may be beneficial when utilized alongside more traditional care options like cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups.

Why Break Things?

A popular new therapy in Spain, destructotherapy is gaining in notoriety around the world and here in the United States. Some therapists say that the new treatment helps patients to vent their aggression in a positive way, leaving them feeling exuberant, powerful, and more in control of their emotions. The feelings brought on by a destructotherapy session can last for hours after the session ends and slowly begin to manifest in everyday life. If you currently feel powerless or depressed, destructotherapy may help you change that.

*Destructotherapy Quick Facts

  • Destructotherapy was founded in 2003.
  • The original idea was to offer those who worked in offices an opportunity to expel their rage in a safe, outdoor environment.
  • Sessions usually last for about an hour.
  • About 60 percent of participants are men and 40 percent are women, according to Fox News.
  • Patients can pick their “weapon” of choice.

Fighting Aggression With Aggression

Some people believe that it is ineffective to treat issues of anger management with a therapy that is primarily physically aggressive. While this may sound counterintuitive, it’s important to note that the benefits of destructotherapy include a release of anger and pent-up emotion. It can leave you feeling much more relaxed than when you began – and those who are in a relaxed state are less likely to leap to rage in response to a minor issue.

*Disorders That May Benefit From Destructotherapy

  • Anger management issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Are Destructotherapists Trained?

Because the concept of destructotherapy is relatively new, there is no credentialing organization or agency to regulate the training and education of those who utilize destructotherapy. It’s important that you do your research before you begin. Asking questions like these can help:

  • What is your background in psychology?
  • How did you learn about destructotherapy? What is your experience in practicing?
  • How will destructotherapy help my mental health issues/disorder?
  • What progress can I expect to make during sessions and during treatment?
  • How long are sessions and how many sessions can I expect to attend?

Build Your Personal Mental Health Treatment Program

Alternative therapies like destructotherapy allow every patient to create a unique mental health treatment program that speaks to their personal needs and interests. Rather than trying to conform to a cookie-cutter treatment plan, you can incorporate different therapies that work for you – and drop the ones that don’t.

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