TLCs.....as I am delving into the phycology around what Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLCs) for youth (and adults) are actually working, with a special focus on exercise for depression, lessening pharmdrug dependance, diet and the benefits of meditation.
I was sent key information by a friend of Roger Walch, University of California, Irvine College of Medicine, that gave me hope. (Brief & Full Story PDF below:)
Advantages of Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes can offer significant therapeutic advantages for patients, therapists, and societies. First, TLCs can be both effective and cost-effective, and some—such as exercise for depression and the use of fish oils to prevent psychosis in high-risk youth—may be as effective as pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy (Amminger et al., 2010; Dowd, Vickers, & Krahn, 2004; Sidhu et al., 2009).
TLCs can be used alone or adjunctively and are often accessible and affordable; many can be introduced quickly, some- times even in the first session (McMorris, Tomporowski & Audiffren, 2009).
TLCs have few negatives. Unlike both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, they are free of stigma and can even confer social benefits and social esteem (Borgonovi, 2009). In addition, they have fewer side effects and complications than medications (Amminger et al., 2010).
TLCs offer significant secondary benefits to patients, such as improvements in physical health, self-esteem, and quality of life (Deslandes et al., 2009). Furthermore, some TLCs—for example, exercise, diet, and meditation—may also be neuroprotective and reduce the risk of subsequent age-related cognitive losses and corresponding neural shrinkage (Hamer & Chida, 2009; Pagnoni & Cekic, 2007; Raji et al., 2010).
Many TLCs—such as meditation, relaxation, recreation, and time in nature—are enjoyable and may therefore become healthy self-sustaining habits (Di- donna, 2009).
Many TLCs not only reduce psychopathology but can also enhance health and well-being. For example, meditation can be therapeutic for multiple psychological and psychosomatic disorders (Chiesa, 2009; Didonna, 2009; Shapiro & Carlson, 2009).
Yet it can also enhance psychological well-being and maturity in normal populations and can be used to cultivate qualities that are of particular value to clinicians, such as calmness, empathy, and self-actualization (Shapiro & Carlson, 2009; Walsh, 2011; Walsh & Shapiro, 2006).
FULL STORY HERE: