Millions of people around the world struggle with mental health disorders each year. Thankfully, mental health treatment helps most of those who seek help find success in getting better. And the very reason mental health treatment is so effective is that there is no single approach to treatment.
Even individuals who share the same diagnosis will have different symptoms, situations, needs, experiences, and goals. For this reason, there are several mental health treatment options available to help anyone overcome their mental struggles and emotional barriers to live a healthier and happier life.
There are many therapeutic tools and resources to help someone on their path to getting better. Treatment options include therapy or counseling, medication, group or social support, and education. In many cases, mental health treatment is not limited to only one step, where the best path toward recovery requires a combination of steps.
This article will discuss common types of mental health treatment available and where you can find them. We will also explore alternative mental health treatment approaches, as there are many instances where traditional treatment approaches don’t work.
Popular Types Of Psychotherapy
Talk therapy alone has a wide variety of options for mental health treatment. When determining which treatment is most appropriate for a patient, a therapist or psychologist will consider many factors. A therapist will factor in their patient’s personality and the nature of their problem, as some patients respond better to one form of therapy than others.
A few of these common types of psychotherapy include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on mental health issues that involve behaviors and thinking patterns. CBT aims to help patients identify negative thoughts, feelings, and actions and replace them with more positive ones.
CBT helps you stop negative thought spirals, so they do not affect your mental health or lead to depression or anxiety. This mental treatment option can benefit individuals with eating disorders, addiction, phobias, and anxiety disorders.
Core principles of CBT:
– The thoughts we have to affect the way we feel and behave
– Our feelings arise from our thoughts and not from reality
– We can change our thoughts to change our feelings
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a mental health treatment that helps individuals with intense emotions. This therapy is designed to help people manage their emotions, tolerate distress, and improve relationships.
DBT is a cognitive-behavioral therapy specifically developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it is now used to treat other mental health disorders such as addiction, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
DBT is based on the concept that people with mental health disorders have difficulty regulating their emotions. The goal of DBT is to help people learn how to do this by teaching them skills related to mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Core principles of DBT:
– The mental health disorder is not the person
– Individuals with mental illness can be helped and treated
– People are capable of changing, improving, and growing
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a short-term mental health treatment that focuses on interpersonal relationships. IPT pays attention to the interplay between a person’s pattern of behavior and their interactions with others. For example, IPT can help someone going through depression that developed due to a divorce or break-up. IPT also helps patients address interpersonal deficits if they feel stuck in unfulfilling relationships or socially isolated.
IPT helps individuals improve their communication skills, develop better problem-solving skills, and identify and change negative thinking patterns. The goal of IPT is to improve mental health by helping people resolve interpersonal issues that may be contributing to mental illness.
Core principles of IPT:
– The patients are the experts in their own lives
– Patients need support and guidance from others to make positive changes in their mental health
– Patients can change their mental health by changing how they think and act
This type of therapy focuses on unconscious thoughts, feelings, and motivations. It assumes that suppressed mental conflicts or trauma often cause our mental disorders.
Psychodynamic therapy helps patients uncover these mental issues to understand the motivations behind their mental health disorders and resolve them.
This mental treatment option focuses on building a strong relationship between the therapist and the patient, known as transference in psychodynamic therapy. This therapy aims to help the patient resolve mental conflicts and improve their mental health.
Core principles of psychodynamic therapy:
– Mental health disorders are often caused by unresolved mental conflicts or trauma
– The therapist-patient relationship is important for resolving these mental conflicts and improving mental health
– Patients can understand the motivations behind their mental health disorders
Mental Health Treatment Settings
Individual mental health treatment takes place in a private practice setting. Patients meet with their mental health provider one-on-one to discuss mental issues, identify goals for mental health treatment, and learn new ways of thinking or acting to improve mental well-being.
Private practices often offer several different types of therapy so patients can choose which option is best for them.
While typically more expensive than other mental health treatment settings, private mental health practices offer a high degree of flexibility and personalized care.
This mental health treatment involves meeting people who have similar mental health issues. Group therapy can be tremendously helpful because it provides mental health support from peers.
In this setting, there is typically a focus on helping patients develop better communication skills, problem-solving skills, and social skills. Group therapy may also help people reduce feelings of isolation and improve mental well-being by providing a sense of community.
Online Therapy or Teletherapy
Online therapy or teletherapy is a mental health treatment that involves meeting with a mental health provider through the internet. The online therapy setting is convenient because it allows patients to meet with their mental health provider from home.
Online therapy can be helpful for people who have difficulty traveling or those who live in remote areas.
Online mental health treatment may be less effective for patients with mental issues involving social interactions or communication skills.
Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
Substance abuse treatment centers are mental health facilities specializing in treating mental disorders related to substance use and addiction. These mental health providers offer mental treatments such as individual or group therapy, 12-step programs, and other types of recovery support.
Substance abuse treatment centers often have a residential treatment program where patients live at the facility while they receive mental health treatment.
Substance abuse treatment centers can be expensive, but many offer scholarships or payment plans to help people afford treatment.
Education and Support Groups
Mental health treatment can also involve attending support groups or educational classes on mental illness. These can help someone learn more about mental health, find support from others, and get advice from professionals.
Alternative Approaches to Mental Health Treatment
The following treatments are only recommended when other traditional treatments haven’t worked, including therapy and medication. More often than not, this applies to severe cases of depression, such as treatment-resistant depression or TRD.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a mental health treatment that involves passing an electrical current through the brain to affect its neurons and chemicals.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a mental health treatment that creates magnetic fields to stimulate the brain. The pulses travel to the brain region understood to control moods.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy
This mental health treatment involves infusing ketamine into the bloodstream. While ketamine is an anesthetic drug, it can be highly effective for depression when administered in controlled, clinical settings.
Final Thoughts on Choosing Your Mental Health Treatment
It’s important to find a treatment that fits your goals, needs, and comfort levels. If you’re unsure which mental health treatment is right for you, talk to your doctor or mental health provider about your options. They can recommend an appropriate and useful starting point on your journey to better mental health.