The use of stones has seen significant advances in the field of physical therapy. Therapists use them in a type of massage called “hot stone massage.”
This massage involves the use of smooth, heated stones. Therapists place the stones in specific areas of your body to ease muscle tension and stiffness. ” During a hot stone massage, smooth, flat, heated stones are placed on specific parts of your body,” Debra Rose Wilson, PhD describes. This massage therapy also aims to increase metabolism and circulation. However, stones have other applications outside physical therapy. Their use has also played a role in the field of psychotherapy and counseling.
Psychotherapy And Counseling
A psychotherapist and a counselor provide the same form of therapy to their patients. The difference between psychotherapists and counselors lie in their skills and qualifications. Both of them are capable of dealing with their clients’ emotional and mental concerns. Counselors can typically provide psychotherapy. On the other hand, psychotherapists need to go through training that focuses on serving long-term treatments involving chronic physical and emotional problems.
Using Stones In Psychotherapy And Counseling
Some therapists incorporate the use of stones in their sessions. Some collect pebbles, rocks, or sand not only as decoration but also as tools that they use with their patients. These stones serve as a psychotherapeutic tool by allowing the patient to shift their focus on the object. These help them overcome their defense mechanisms. Since they involve themselves through these objects, they become more expressive of what they’re going through. For example, the pebble can represent the patient’s negative fixations. The patient can bury it in sand to symbolize putting his or her worries to rest.
The stones can also serve as a transitional object that brings them closer to their therapist as they gain more access and form a deeper connection with their patients. This method helps reduce the patient’s anxiety, thus giving the therapist a broader view of their patient’s situation.
Benefits Of Stones In Psychotherapy And Counseling
Given the brief background of what stones can offer in psychotherapy and counseling, here are some benefits you can expect from its use.
- You invite your client to follow their intuition, and this may lead to them arranging the stones in a manner that soothes them.
- The stones may help them explore their identity. Choosing a stone may indicate a description of themselves, and their choice reflects a bit of their current condition. Each stone’s size, shape, color, or texture may define a particular side of them.
- Art is often associated with the use of stones. Through the use of these materials, the client’s right brain hemisphere becomes more active. This situation helps free up brain/body pathways for more information and energy to flow through them.
- Sensory memories may be picked up from the use of these stones. A specific characteristic or feature of the stone may trigger a particular memory they experienced in the past. “Sensory associations are real and powerful. They insure that each of us experiences the world in our own individual way,” Sally Augustin Ph.D. explains.
- As mentioned before, the stones may serve as a transitional object that can help ease their anxiety about opening up. This tool allows the client to express themselves and their worries better. According to Suzanne Phillips, PsyD., “Sometimes the things we cherish are things that are valued purely for their emotional meaning.”
If you can’t seem to find the right treatment for your condition, you may want to try this type of therapy. It is never too late to try using stones in your treatment. Sometimes, the unknown may be the solution you’ve been looking for.