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Mental Health Therapies

The two main types of therapy utilized for mental health disorders are psychotherapy and drug therapy.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy (or counseling) is a type of treatment that is meant to improve your emotional and mental well-being by talking about your issues or problems. Sometimes treatment will involve the combination of psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy is provided by a licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or mental health counselor.

Therapy is more than just talking about your problems. Therapy can teach you new ways to think about the situations that bother you and help you cope with your feelings. For example, it can help with feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, fear, and panic.

Different Kinds of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy involves talking face-to-face with a therapist. There are many different methods that therapists utilize to treat their clients. Here are a few of the types of therapy:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During CBT, a therapist will actively work with a person to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.

Expressive Therapy

These methods include the use of movement, art or music to express emotions. Effective for persons who cannot otherwise express feelings.

Family Therapy

Includes discussion and problem-solving sessions with every member of the family.

Group Therapy

Includes a small group of people who, with the guidance of a trained therapist, discuss individual issues and help each other with problems.

What is Drug Therapy?

Drug Therapy, also called pharmacotherapy, aims to treat psychological disorders with medications. The patient should ask about risk, possible side-effects and interaction with certain foods, alcohol and other medications. Medication should be taken in the prescribed dosage and at prescribed intervals and should be monitored daily. Many people benefit from a combination of psychotherapy and drug therapy.

There are other medical interventions that do not involve medication such as ECT and TMS.

Electroconvulsive Treatment (ECT)

ECT is a procedure in which electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses. ECT is usually used for treatment resistant forms of major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and mania. Discuss with your physician about the risks and side effects of ECT.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

TMS is a procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS may be tried when other depression treatments haven’t worked.