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Holistic and lifestyle therapies

Holistic and lifestyle therapies are used alongside clinical treatments to provide a whole of body and mind treatment plan. Below are some of the therapies offered by Western Sydney Local Health District Mental Health Services.

Exercise physiology

Exercise physiology aims to prevent or manage short term (acute) or long term (chronic) disease or injury, and assist in restoring a person’s physical function, health, or wellness to the highest possible level. 
Exercise physiology interventions are exercise-based and include: 

  • health and physical activity education
  • advice and support
  • lifestyle modification 

This kind of therapy has a strong focus on achieving behavioural change.

Nutrition and dietary

A dietitian can help provide support to people who are:

  • experiencing problems with weight
  • concerned about their diet
  • have problems with health that relate to diet

They will give feedback and advice on diet. They will also help to set food-related goals to manage these aspects.

Nutrition and dietary
Art therapy

Art therapy

Art therapy uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. It encourages people to express and understand emotions through artistic expression and through the creative process.
Art therapy can have the following benefits:

  • Reduction in anxiety
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Creates a safe space to explore your emotions

Pet therapy

Pet therapy (also known as animal-assisted therapy) is a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal that also involves the animal’s handler. 
The purpose of pet therapy is to help someone recover from, or cope with, a health problem or mental health disorder. Benefits can include:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved interactions with others
  • Better verbal communication

Dogs and cats are most commonly used in pet therapy. However, fish, guinea pigs, horses, and other animals that meet screening criteria can also be used.


Emotional clinic

Emotions are not only an important part of our daily lives; they also contribute to our identities. They help us to understand who we are and allow us to share who we are with others.
Emotion-focused therapy recognises the importance of emotions and makes them the focus in therapy sessions. A lack of emotional awareness or avoiding unpleasant emotions can be harmful, so this kind of therapy teaches people to be more aware of their emotions and how to cope with unstable emotions.

Sensory rooms

A sensory room is a space designed to help people with sensory issues learn to regulate their brain’s negative reactions to external stimuli by developing coping skills for these experiences.Sensory rooms aim to provide a relaxed atmosphere where the person is surrounded by pleasant sensations such as unique tactile experiences, relaxing aromas, and interesting light effects.

Emotional clinic
Diversional therapy

Diversional therapy

The aim of diversional therapy is to enhance a person’s quality of life by encouraging them to participate in recreation and leisure activities to improve their personal satisfaction and self-esteem.
Recreational programs can include: 

  • games
  • gardening
  • listening to music
  • pet therapy
  • education sessions like cooking and grooming

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is used when someone is having difficulty with everyday tasks that allow them to live independently. These difficulties may be caused by illness, accident or workplace injury.
An occupational therapist can identify a person’s strengths and difficulties, such as looking after themselves or taking part in social activities, and will help them work out practical solutions to improve their quality of life. 
From a mental health perspective, occupation therapy can help a person develop ways to cope with mental illness day-to-day.