Antidepressant medications and psychotherapy provide relief for millions of people who suffer from depression. However, for some, these methods are ineffective, or the side effects of antidepressants are too much to tolerate. For these individuals, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers a non-invasive, drug-free alternative for treating depression. TMS has also been shown to effectively treat other mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. Research indicates that there is excellent potential for TMS to reduce or eliminate cravings for drugs and alcohol. If traditional treatment methods have not worked for you, you may be a candidate for the TMS therapy program at Westwind Recovery®.

How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Work?

The exact causes of addiction, depression, and other mental health conditions are unknown. What is known is that the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine that influence how we experience pleasure, how we react to stress, and mood regulation are all linked to these conditions. TMS therapy uses magnetic pulses to encourage neurotransmitter activity along specific pathways in the brain known to have a role in addiction, depression, and other mental health disorders.

TMS should not be confused with Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which involves brief electrical stimulation of the brain while under anesthesia, and has side effects, including confusion and memory loss.

What Happens in TMS Therapy Sessions?

TMS is administered by a technician or physician specially trained in the process. At Westwind Recovery®, if your doctor recommends TMS therapy as part of your comprehensive treatment plan, we refer you to experienced providers such as the Southern California TMS Center. During your first session, the technician will measure your head to determine where to place the magnets and choose the best dose of magnetic energy for you.

In subsequent treatments, here is what you can expect:

  • You will be awake, sitting in a comfortable reclining chair with earplugs. You may also bring earphones to listen to music if you prefer.
  • An electromagnetic coil is placed against your forehead and turned on and off repeatedly, creating stimulating pulses.
  • You will hear a clicking, similar to an MRI, and feel a light tapping on your forehead.
  • Your session will last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Following your treatment, you can resume all regular activities. Your sessions are repeated five days per week for approximately four to six weeks. The exact length of treatment depends upon your specific condition and your response to treatments. TMS therapy is safe for most clients and has proven beneficial for both mental health and addiction treatment.

TMS as Part of a Substance Abuse Treatment Program

Westwind Recovery® offers various therapy options for clients seeking substance abuse treatment and co-occurring mental health treatment. These evidence-based and holistic therapies help clients gain insight into their addiction, develop healthy coping skills, improve communication and interpersonal skills, and break the cycle of addiction.

Along with our TMS therapy program, some of the other evidence-based treatments we provide include:

The Westwind Recovery® team believes that addiction treatment and mental health treatment should not only heal body, mind, and spirit but be fun and engaging. To that end, we also offer a variety of holistic and experiential therapies, including:

We understand addiction as a family disease and know the importance of the role of the family in the recovery process and, as such, have developed a comprehensive family therapy program that is available for all who want to participate.

Contact Westwind Recovery® to See if a TMS Therapy Program is Right For You

For many who do not respond to medication and therapy for depression, TMS is a highly beneficial alternative. Your doctor might recommend TMS as part of your addiction treatment plan for clients with addiction who also suffer from depression and other mental health disorders. Use our online form or call us to learn more about the TMS therapy program at Westwind Recovery®.