By Dave Hughes, LPCA

Dave strongly believes that his clients see themselves as integrated beings. Our bodies and minds work together to maintain our overall wellbeing. Although therapy has traditionally been focused on a person’s brain, thoughts and emotions, recent studies have shown the deep connection between the mind and the physical body.

The practice of enhancing one’s mental health by using physical practices is gaining in popularity. We are now able to take charge of things such as stress and anxiety by focusing on our physical health.

So, how can we be proactive in getting our bodies involved in improving and maintaining our mental health? Here are a few tips:


Countless studies have been done on this; it’s your body’s primary way of regulating and replenishing itself. It’s when your brain cleans itself of harmful toxins. There are even trauma resolution methods (called EMDR) based around the eye movements that occur during REM sleep. In fact, it’s so important that when I’m working with someone who has a trauma history or addiction, it’s one of the first questions I ask about their week. Before we get to whether or not you used, how your mood has been, or how regulated you felt, I want an overview of what your body’s sleep rhythm has been like. It gives me a lot of information and a framework for all those other things.