10 Out of the Box Therapies for Mental Health Issues

10 Science-Backed Treatments

When you think of treatment for psychiatric issues like ADD/ADHD, anxiety, or depression, your mind probably goes straight to prescription medications. But popping pills isn’t your only option, and don’t ever believe a healthcare professional who says so. At Amen Clinics, our brain imaging work has shown that alternative psychiatric therapies can be powerfully beneficial for mental health issues. Here are 10 science-backed treatments.


At Amen Clinics, our brain imaging work has shown that alternative psychiatric therapies can be powerfully beneficial for mental health issues. Click To Tweet

10 Science-Backed Treatments

1. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

This non-invasive treatment involves breathing concentrated oxygen in a special pressurized chamber to promote healing and reduce inflammation. HBOT helps with brain health in several ways, including boosting blood flow, healing the brain after a concussion or other form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and more. Brain SPECT imaging shows that low blood flow and TBIs have been associated with depression, ADD/ADHD, substance abuse, suicide, and more.

2. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

This psychotherapeutic technique can be especially helpful for people who have experienced emotional trauma. EMDR involves the use of eye movements or other forms of alternate hemisphere stimulation to eliminate the emotional pain associated with traumatic memories.

3. Irlen Screening

People who have ADD/ADHD, TBIs, learning difficulties, autism, or other mental health disorders may benefit from screening and treatment of Irlen Syndrome. This condition is a visual processing problem in which certain colors irritate the brain. Treating this issue has been found to improve focus, reduce anxiety, and boost moods, among other benefits.

4. Neurofeedback

This interactive treatment uses biofeedback to help you strengthen and retrain your brain. Using computer technology to assess and regulate real-time brain wave activity, neurofeedback gives you the power to achieve a healthier, more balanced brain state.

5. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)

This is a noninvasive alternative treatment for depression that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain. This therapeutic technology is FDA-approved for the treatment of severe depression that hasn’t responded to medication. A 2015 review of studies on rTMS in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment found that it is effective for the treatment of depression and possibly other disorders.

6. Bright Light Therapy

A growing body of research has found that bright light therapy is effective in treating seasonal affective disorder as well as depression. This alternative treatment option involves sitting in front of full-spectrum light that is at least 10,000 lux or higher for about 20-30 minutes a day.

7. Aromatherapy

Certain scents are known to have therapeutic effects, including lavender to help with mood and sleep), ylang ylang for memory and emotional trauma, peppermint and eucalyptus for energy and focus, and jasmine and chamomile to calm anxiety and promote sleep.

8. Nutritional Supplements

Using the least toxic, most effective treatments is an important part of the healing process. Brain SPECT imaging helps identify areas of the brain that could benefit from optimization with nutraceuticals. Knowing your brain type can help you find the supplements that are most beneficial for your needs.

9. Diet Changes

Many psychiatrists and primary care physicians neglect to inform patients that food is medicine, or it is poison and that the foods you eat are either worsening your psychiatric symptoms or helping them. At Amen Clinics, some of the biggest success stories we have come from patients who have changed their diets based on the recommendations from our brain health nutrition coaches. Dietary changes may include going gluten-free, avoiding pesticide-laden foods, and eliminating artificial food coloring like red dye 40.

10. Weight Control

Few professionals in the fields of psychology and psychiatry have made the connection between unhealthy weight issues, mental illness, and cognitive dysfunction. However, an important brain imaging study on 20,000 patients at Amen Clinics shows that as your weight goes up, the physical size and functioning of your brain goes down. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can be a powerful alternative to prescription medication.

Depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and other mental health issues can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time. At Amen Clinics, we believe in using the least toxic, most effective treatments.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. You forgot Brain Balance Centers

    Comment by Dr. Lynn — January 22, 2021 @ 3:06 AM

  2. You didn’t mention the power of the blood of Jesus Christ God’s son to cleanse us of fear and hatred.

    Comment by Roger Bourne — January 22, 2021 @ 3:13 AM

  3. There is a lot of evidence on how water therapy soothes depression. I have an alternative aquatic center which my main focus is on ADHD and depression in children and adults. I helps a lot

    Comment by Debbie Torrellas — January 22, 2021 @ 4:37 AM

  4. My husband died and yes I am depressed! He is missed everyday. He was an integral part of my life for 50 years and now he’s gone. My life is sad.

    Comment by Carol — January 22, 2021 @ 5:14 AM

  5. The article has been very informative for me. Mental health issues have been part of my family for decades , my mom, myself and I see in my children . I am not a woman of wealth and I live on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. I am interested in what your clinic offers. How can you help me to break the cycle of mental illness that has plagued my family?

    Comment by Roxanne — January 22, 2021 @ 6:14 AM


    Comment by Patricia Smith — January 22, 2021 @ 6:18 AM

  7. As we are unable to travel abroad at the moment with Covid is it possible for Amen clinics to refer you a clinic in the Uk for screening?

    Comment by Mandy Paul — January 22, 2021 @ 7:18 AM

  8. NAET (Nambudripod Allergy Elimination Treatment) would be a good addition.

    Comment by Ruth — January 22, 2021 @ 8:48 AM

  9. I totally agree with your information.
    I myself have come to understanding the affects of food that affects moods.
    There is so much more to be aware of in the studies of the brain.
    PTSD effects too.
    I would love to participate in any studies you have going on at this time.
    I have been following Amend clinics for a very long time.

    Comment by Beth Prichard — January 22, 2021 @ 8:59 AM

  10. Can’t believe you left off the best antidepressant on the planet (exercise)…

    Comment by Sally Hanley — January 22, 2021 @ 9:52 AM

  11. What are therapeutic techniques to help process grief? Tried EMDR. Wasn’t effective.

    Comment by Sandi Anderson — January 22, 2021 @ 10:12 AM

  12. We had neurofeedback training for my daughter (autism) , but could not afford to keep traveling 3 hours plus pay for the training, which insurance does not cover. She and I have both been to your Atlanta office. Do you know where we could get that training anywhere close to Jackson, MS? Or do it ourselves? Thank you.

    Comment by Pam — January 22, 2021 @ 4:08 PM

  13. I found reading about the treatments for mental health problems that were described here to be helpful, but I don’t think that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and bright light therapy are alternative treatments, with it being the case that mainstream psychiatrists use those those interventions to treat mental health problems quite frequently. Light therapy is even considered to be a first-line treatment for seasonal affective disorder, so even though I think it’s helpful for you to include information about both light therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation in the articles that you publish on this site, I think that referring to those treatments as alternative treatments can be misleading.

    Comment by Tom — January 22, 2021 @ 6:19 PM

  14. What is your opinion of the encouraging studies regarding psychedelic treatment of depression?


    Comment by Reginald Bulkley — January 22, 2021 @ 6:58 PM

  15. Please make this shareable on Facebook and not just Twitter…

    Comment by Molly Huddleston — January 23, 2021 @ 11:18 AM

  16. Is the scanning cover by medicare

    Comment by Natan — January 23, 2021 @ 9:48 PM

  17. Wish you could partnerw/Medicare & provide reasonable co-pay program for alt methods/treatments; pharmaceuticals don’t do well w/long term 4 elderly. Discounts for seniors?

    Comment by Chris — January 24, 2021 @ 9:16 AM

  18. Hello Molly, thank you for reaching out. At the top of the article, beneath the title, there are share buttons for other social platforms. Thank you for your interest in sharing!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 24, 2021 @ 6:54 PM

  19. Hello Reginald, thank you for reaching out. This article may be of help to you: https://amenclinics.com/blog/magic-mushrooms-for-mental-health/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 24, 2021 @ 6:55 PM

  20. Hello Patricia, thank you for reaching out. Here is a video by Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen on receiving the COVID vaccine: https://youtu.be/u9ZhS_v6Az4.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 24, 2021 @ 6:58 PM

  21. I participated in a clinical trial for ketamine at Cleveland Clinic Lutheran, Cleveland, OH. My first infusion was last February, and I have continued ever since. They have been helpful. I feel much more “grounded” after the infusion. I feel more “present” afterword, and the mental clarity it brings makes it a little easier to handle my (TRD)depression and anxiety, C-PTSD, BodyDysmorphia, Bi-Polar type II, and others. I started with two times a week, now I go every four weeks. It’s worth the 1.5 hour trip (one way). My psychiatrists and I finally came up with right “cocktail” of medications that are working well for me.

    Comment by Daniel Shafer — January 26, 2021 @ 10:09 AM

  22. Would love to try your supplements but they are way too expensive for Canadians! At the very least, could there be a Canadian outlet for your supplements?

    Comment by Wanda Riches — January 27, 2021 @ 12:58 PM

  23. Where is your closest clinic to Fresno, CA??

    Comment by Judy — May 24, 2022 @ 6:54 PM

  24. Hello Judy, thank you for reaching out. We have three clinics in CA – Costa Mesa, Encino and Walnut Creek. Here is a list of current 10 nationwide locations: https://amenclinics.com/locations/

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 25, 2022 @ 10:35 AM

  25. I would also include brainspotting as it has been proven to be As effective as EMDR. And a quicker technique.

    Comment by Joan miller — June 16, 2022 @ 4:29 AM

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