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Mental Therapy

Mental Therapy, Behavioral Therapy – Strategic Behavioral Center Charlotte.

What is Therapy?

Mental Therapy is defined as a treatment intended to relieve or heal a mental illness or disorder.   Therapy is intended to develop strategies and methods to manage emotions and feelings that are usually out of one person’s control.

What is the purpose of Therapy?

The main purpose of mental therapy is to help treat personal and emotional challenges, and learn how to best live with or overcome the illnesses and disorders that may affect a person’s daily life.  There are many mental illnesses that people can overcome through therapy, but not every mental illness is curable.  For these illnesses, therapy helps patients learn how to best manage their condition and live with a specific illness.

Before an individual reaches out to make an appointment for mental therapy, they should consider what outcome they are trying to achieve.  As with most meetings, it is important to understand your goals and objectives beforehand.  Some people may want to overcome a constant feeling of sadness, others may want to learn how to manage their stress in their lives.  Each person is different and every therapist should work with the patient on his or her specific goals.   By thinking about what it is a person wants to achieve before the session, it also makes the best use of time for the patient.  If it is hard to pin point a goal or objective, most therapists should be able to work with an individual to come up with plan of action.

Benefits of Therapy

Through life, most people experience several events in which they have a hard time managing their emotions and feelings.  There aren’t many people that go through life without at least a few hard times that test a person’s emotional well-being.  Common life events that many people experience include losing a loved one or a friend, not getting along with co-workers or a boss, getting fired from a job, experiencing hard financial decisions, and relationship problems. Below is a list of some more formal terms in which someone would want to seek therapy.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Health problems
  • Spiritual Issues
  • Phobias
  • Trauma/PTSD
  • Family Issues
  • Relationship Issues
  • Substance Abuse Problems

Types of Therapy

Therapy can come in many different forms.  There is no one type of therapy for all mental illnesses and disorders, which leads to different types of therapy that may be effective for patients.  Below are some of the common forms of therapy that help in treating the different mental illnesses and disorders.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT has two main components, cognitive and behavioral.  The cognitive side helps to develop a positive view of a person’s feelings and emotions.  The behavioral side works to change previous negative behaviors and turn them into positive behaviors.  CBT is used for a number of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – Dialectical behavioral therapy is a form a therapy that helps patients learn how to cope and react to specific situations that trigger negative thoughts and behaviors.  Skills taught in DBT therapy include mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.  Through time, dialectical behavioral therapy has been known as a type of therapy for treating suicidal thoughts.  Today, DBT is one of the most common types of therapy for suicide prevention.  In addition, DBT has been found to be an effective form of therapy for treating substance abuse, depression, eating disorders and PTSD.

Individual Therapy – Individual therapy, often called counseling, talk therapy, or psychotherapy, is a form of therapy that involves a patient and a trained therapist.  Individual therapy normally takes place in the private office of a trained therapist, but it can also take place in a hospital, mental health facility, work setting, school, over the phone, and even chat or video conferencing in some cases with the advancement of technology.  In therapy, it is important that the patient feel safe, secure, and know what they tell the therapist is confidential.  Without truly opening up, most therapists will have trouble getting to the core of the problem.

Group Therapy – Group therapy is when two or more people participate in a therapy session with one or more trained therapist at the same time.  On a broad scale, group therapy can apply to a range personal disorders and problems including but not limited to eating disorders, anger management, and substance abuse.  Group therapy can take place in professional settings, places of worship, peoples’ homes, and even public places.  Group therapy can benefit those that go through improving self awareness and motivation to change, building trust and self-esteem, and feeling less isolated knowing others are facing similar problems.  To benefit from group therapy, individuals must be willing to participate and be open to talk about their problems and challenges.

Family Therapy – Family therapy can be helpful for many families because a patients’ family members are often times the people who can and will help aid the person back to recovery.  Family therapy can be helpful in any situation that causes stress, anger, conflict, or grief.   Family therapy can also occur when more than one person in a family is not getting along.  Sometimes all family members participate in the therapy sessions while on the other hand, only members willing or wanting to participate will join.

Marital/Couples Therapy – Couples therapy is typically more focused on everyday relationship difficulties and is designed to focus on managing situations and feelings.  Marital and couples therapists can help in how the relationship between two people is viewed, modifying dysfunctional behaviors, decreasing emotional avoidance, and improving communication between two people.  Instead of focusing on only what is not working well, relationship and couples therapy also focuses on the strengths of the relationship.

Experiential Therapy – Experiential Therapy helps the patient differentiate between harmful or misguided thoughts from healthy emotions and thoughts.  While many types of therapy focus on a therapist being neutral, experiential therapy works when the therapist is supportive and empathetic.

Recreational Therapy – Recreational Therapy is a type of therapy that uses recreation and activity based endeavors to rehabilitate a person’s independence in life along with their personal health and wellness.  The principle to recreational therapy is that people are healthier and happier when they live an active lifestyle.  With incorporating activities and recreation into a treatment plan, the patient is encouraged to continue the activities after formal therapy is complete.  Patients that may benefit from recreational therapy include geriatrics, people suffering from mental health illnesses, people with developmental disabilities, and pediatrics. Recreational therapy is different from other therapies because it not only focuses on eliminating the illness, but it also promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.

Types of Therapists

            Psychiatrist – A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who treats mental illnesses.  Psychiatrists are the only mental health professionals in some states that are legally allowed to provide prescriptions for medication.  Some patients only see Psychiatrists to get a prescription while others see psychiatrists for prescriptions and talk therapy.

            Psychologist – Psychologist help patients talk through their problems and help them come up with strategies to overcome specific mental illnesses.

Evolution of Therapy

Therapy is constantly emerging and evolving.  One of the newer and more popular therapies among patients these days is animal assisted therapy.   Today, you will often see companion animals such as dogs and cats in hospitals, nursing homes, and psychiatric wards.  There has been no major study on this type of therapy as of today, but the people who are involved with this type of therapy feel they see a benefit.

How long does Therapy Take?

According to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the average number of therapy visits for a specific treatment ranges between 3-10 visits.   1 in 9 people had more than 20 therapy sessions for treatment.

Factors that attribute to length of therapy include insurance contribution, personal finances, work schedules, type of disorders or problems being treated, and the goals of the patient.

Is therapy the best solution for help?

Therapy is usually the best option to overcoming mental illnesses, fears, and phobias.  When therapy is not enough, a combination of therapy and prescribed medication can help.

When choosing a therapist, one of the most important factors to consider is whether a person is comfortable speaking with the therapist.  Unless a person is truly comfortable speaking with a therapist, they usually will not be able to truly resolve their problems.

Call us today – 855-537-2262 and ask about Mental Therapy!

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