Psychotherapy and Mental Health

Psychotherapy and Mental Health

The time to rethink therapy is now. Mental health treatment doesn't mean passively lying on the couch talking while your therapist sits and writes notes. Instead, psychotherapy — or talk therapy — is engaging and tailored to meet your needs.

Psychotherapy

You may wonder how psychotherapy works. Psychotherapy is an evidence-based approach to several mental health disorders. People use psychotherapy to define a general process to address harmful thoughts, behaviors, or emotions. While in psychotherapy sessions, your therapist will engage you in verbal and psychological techniques. Your therapy sessions focus on a specific mental health disorder or a stressor in your life.

Your mental health diagnosis determines the type of talk therapy you will receive. This is because there are a wide variety of strategies used to address your specific type of mental health issue. Yet, regardless of your diagnosis, every type of psychotherapy is based on a client-therapist relationship. A healthy therapeutic relationship includes open communication, trust, a healthy dialogue, and working together to overcome harmful thoughts or behaviors.

The field of psychotherapy is considered a separate category in mental health approaches. For this reason, you need to undergo talk therapy with a certified therapist. Therefore, before you begin psychotherapy, make sure your therapist is a licensed expert in their field.

Reasons to Seek Psychotherapy

There are several reasons why people reach out for help with their mental health. If you have any doubts about the cause of physical or emotional issues, you can schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out potential health issues. A wellness check appointment can determine if therapy could help your physical and emotional health.

You can schedule an appointment with a professionally trained therapist and your doctor. Appointments with a therapist and a doctor can identify and focus on physical and mental health issues. Some reasons to seek help from a doctor or a psychotherapist are:

  • Severe or long-term stress: You may experience pressure from your job, the loss of a loved one, family problems, or relationship issues.
  • Health issues that don't have physical explanations: These symptoms can include loss of appetite, sleep, decreased energy, hopelessness, or a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Your doctor can diagnose a mental health disorder: When you see your doctor, they may suspect you have or diagnose you with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health issues.

Most doctors who suspect you have or diagnosed you with a mental health disorder will recommend you go to a therapist. Once a psychotherapist diagnoses a mental health disorder, you can discuss treatment.

Forms of Psychotherapy

The style or type of psychotherapy you receive depends on your therapist's treatment style or the type you need. However, you will receive one of these forms of therapy:

  • Individual therapy: One-on-one sessions with your therapist
  • Couples therapy: Relational therapy for you and your significant other where you work with a therapist together to identify and address damaging behaviors
  • Family therapy: Similar to couples therapy in that it focuses on improving your relationship with loved ones
  • Group therapy: Involves receiving support from a group of people who are working toward building healthy outcomes for common goals

All forms of psychotherapy include various elements. Some of these elements are:

  • Ways to help you become aware of how your thoughts and behaviors can damage your self-confidence
  • Learning to identify and cope with stress by creating healthy problem-solving and coping strategies
  • Journaling your behaviors and emotions to help you connect how each affects the other

Within these forms of therapy are specific approaches for certain types of mental health diagnoses. In addition, each psychotherapy technique focuses on helping you learn healthy coping skills.

Psychotherapy Techniques

The distinct form of psychotherapy used in your therapy sessions is tailored to meet your unique needs. Two psychotherapy techniques often used in sessions include CBT and DBT.

#1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on replacing negative thoughts and behaviors with healthy alternatives. Psychotherapists often use CBT when they diagnose the following:

  • Anxiety disorders: Therapists can combine CBT with medication therapy to help with anxiety.
  • Bipolar disorder: CBT helps those with bipolar disorder learn to identify and change destructive behaviors and emotions. Often, CBT is combined with medication. Your therapist may also decide on using other treatment options to increase the benefits of CBT. Some possibilities are trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), exercise, and proper nutrition.

#2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) evolved from CBT. DBT aims to teach you how to live in the present and build healthy coping skills for stress and emotional upheaval. Psychotherapists developed DBT to address borderline personality disorder (BPD). Over time, DBT evolved and is used to benefit those with:

Psychotherapy is a healthy process that can help you identify and learn how to use healthy coping skills for your mental health diagnosis.

Psychotherapy is an integral part of your goal to build a healthier life. For talk therapy to work, you should have open, honest conversations with your therapist about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Throughout your sessions, stay true to who you are while allowing yourself to feel your emotions. You can be open to the process without losing yourself. You can work toward your goals when you let go of emotions like stress, grief, depression, or anxiety. Finding healthy ways to move toward your future is possible with the support of the therapists at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute. Our program incorporates evidence-based therapies like TMS, CBT, and DBT with holistic treatments. Your mental and physical health can begin to heal through our comprehensive care programs. We want you to develop the skills necessary to live the life you deserve. For more information, call (760) 477-4754.


Psychotherapy and Mental Health

Psychotherapy and Mental Health

Having the courage to seek mental health services is a significant step and one that is worth celebrating. If you have been looking at treatment options, you have probably come across psychotherapy in the process. The plethora of therapies available can seem vast and confusing when searching for treatment – so, what is psychotherapy exactly?

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy, also referred to as talk therapy, is an evidence-based approach to several treatment techniques that help individuals identify and adjust distressful emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Psychotherapy is a way to allow individuals to face their mental health issues and symptoms and learn how to process thoughts and behaviors. This encourages new coping skills that manage symptoms effectively.

In addition, psychotherapy can help individuals identify and understand triggers that cause them to act impulsively and create strategies that help control their reactions, improve self-reliance, and enhance conflict communication.

Some of the reasons for seeking psychotherapy include:

  • Displaying symptoms with no physical rationalization, such as fluctuations in sleep or appetite, decreased energy, a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, insistent irritability, worry, or a feeling of discouragement that will not go away
  • Struggling with severe stress from difficulty at a job, family issues, losing a loved one, or relationship problems
  • A recent diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Types of Psychotherapy

Now that you know what psychotherapy targets, it's essential to know the different types of psychotherapy. Since everyone is unique, what works for one person may not work for the next.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy that links thoughts and actions. It is established through a balanced model of the relationships between cognition, emotion, and behavior.

CBT functions under three aspects of cognition that address how a person thinks, how they behave, and how they cope with trauma. It is intended to support people in modifying thought patterns that trigger unhealthy, unproductive, or unbearable behavior. Therapists often use CBT for individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, stress, or phobias.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy concentrates on how particular past experiences influence their current behavior. It is intended to help people acknowledge and understand negative feelings and inhibited emotions so they can resolve internal psychological conflicts and enhance life experiences, self-esteem, and interpersonal relationships. This therapy is often used to treat individuals who suffer from depression.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT that focuses on techniques to change behaviors through acceptance. The primary goal of DBT is to give the client the skills to regulate emotions, manage stress, and enhance relationships. Through DBT, the mind is rewired, and the client learns new ways to approach what were once distressing situations.

Humanistic and Existential Therapy

Humanistic therapy involves two types: client-centered and gestalt. The holistic approach of humanistic and existential focus on the whole person, their positive behaviors, their ability to grow and heal, and finding their self-actualization through self-exploration.

While humanistic therapy focuses on acceptance and growth, existential therapy emphasizes the responsibility and freedom of the client. Individuals with depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem can benefit from humanistic or existential therapy.

Client-centered therapy eliminates the idea that the counselor is the expert, emphasizing care and concern to enable individuals to make their own choices in their reality.

Gestalt therapy focuses on the entirety of a person’s experience, encouraging clients to accept responsibility for themselves and pushing them towards self-actualization and awareness of being in the here and now.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapy applies more than one type of therapy. Counselors that use holistic approaches blend different elements to personalize treatments to the client’s needs. Using a holistic approach allows the client to progress psychologically and physically. Holistic techniques encourage a sense of personal fulfillment during treatment, which becomes an inspiration to keep going.

Benefits of Using Psychotherapy

Psychotherapies offer improvement in many aspects of a person’s life. Some of the benefits of applying psychotherapy can include:

  • Increasing understanding of self and others
  • Acknowledging and accepting a broader range of emotions
  • Progressively becoming more adept at confronting challenges
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Developing the capability to acquire rewarding relationships
  • Increasing confidence in individual abilities

Finding Psychotherapy Treatment

Psychodynamic therapy provides clients with a more profound acknowledgment of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so that they can make positive changes moving forward.

To find a psychodynamic therapist, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a behavioral health treatment services locator to assist in finding mental health treatment centers that provide specialty care in your area.

Psychotherapy can be a powerful treatment approach for different mental health conditions. It helps get to the root cause of symptoms and any self-destructive patterns. If you or a loved one struggles with anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, co-occurring disorders, or other mental health disorders, Crownview Co-Occurring Institute in San Diego, CA, can help. Our unique program provides individualized quality care with positive and proven outcomes. We develop individualized and comprehensive treatment plans tailored to the needs of each client. The full range of services offered at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute helps our clients take control of their lives. We will support you from crisis to independence in a therapeutic environment with a compassionate team of professionals. Let us help you achieve a long-term recovery with the quality care you deserve. One of our team members is available to answer your questions. Call us today at (760) 477-4754.


Can Depression Be Cured?

Can Depression Be Cured?

As of now, despite the many advancements in modern medicine, there is no known cure for clinical depression. But don’t let that fact scare you—there are still plenty of ways to treat this mental health condition. People with depression can still live full, healthy lives with a combination of treatment techniques, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

While nothing can completely vanquish clinical depression, there are times when symptoms go into “hiding,” so to speak. You may think that if your symptoms disappear, you’re “cured.” Let’s look at some depression symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and why symptoms fluctuate over time.

How Is Depression Diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose depression with a physical examination and an intake that asks questions about the patient’s personal and family history. You will be asked about specific symptoms and how long you’ve had them. Symptoms may include:

  • Pervasive feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Significant changes in weight (gained or lost)
  • Insomnia, excessive tiredness, or loss of energy
  • Difficulties concentrating at work or school
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Clinical depression is diagnosed when at least five of these symptoms persist for two weeks or longer.

Is It Normal for Depression to Disappear and Reappear?

Some mental health professionals call an absence of depression symptoms a “remission.” That term implies that it can come back at some point in the future, which it does for many. If your depression symptoms appear to be fading, that’s excellent news. However, before you stop your treatment, you should be aware of some of the following reasons this could be happening:

Your Treatment Plan Is Working

If you have depression, the most likely reason you feel better is that your treatment, be it therapy, medication, or both, is working as it’s supposed to. If you stop your treatment, it’s likely for your symptoms to return. Just as a cancer patient completes chemotherapy even when scans show that the tumor has shrunk, it’s essential to follow through with depression treatment to keep your symptoms under control.

Your Depression May Not Be Clinical

Only your doctor can verify if this is the case. For some people, depression symptoms result from a specific life change, such as grief or loss, rather than a chemical imbalance in the brain. Some people feel better after a period of therapy and don’t experience depression symptoms again. Others need ongoing treatment, the same way one manages other lifelong conditions.

There is no shame in managing clinical depression for the majority of one’s life. If you wouldn’t feel guilty about managing diabetes, please don’t feel ashamed about having to manage depression.

What Are the Best Treatments for Depression?

Once diagnosed with clinical depression, your doctor may recommend one or both of the following:

Psychotherapy

There are many therapeutic techniques for improving mental health, but Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) remains the most popular. This type of therapy involves working one-on-one with a mental health professional to learn how to “reframe” negative thought patterns.

Prescription Medication

Medication tends to work best when paired with therapy, but it is quite effective at helping people manage depression triggers. The most common antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which increase the brain’s supply of serotonin, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which address co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety.

Is It Ever Okay to Stop Taking Antidepressants?

There is no correct answer to this question, as it highly depends on the person and how bad their symptoms are. However, it is highly unadvisable to stop the medication abruptly without a discussion with your doctor first. Doing this could potentially worsen the symptoms that the drug was intended to treat.

If you’re considering stopping medication due to adverse side effects, it’s possible the prescription isn’t the right one for you. Different people respond to medicines differently, so it’s not uncommon to try a few different types before finding the right one.

How Else Can I Prevent a Recurrence of Depression?

The success of certain treatments depends highly on the person. Mental health professionals recommend a combination of lifestyle changes to help keep depression symptoms at bay, including:

Keeping in Touch With Your Community

Having an emotional support system is crucial for people with depression. These could be family members, friends, or a mentor you trust. These are the people who can encourage you when you’re feeling down and motivate you when you need a pick-me-up. We encourage you to turn to this network when depression symptoms creep in.

Taking Care of Your Health

You may be surprised at how simple lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet, limiting alcohol, and exercising regularly, can help improve your mood. It’s also important to be aware that mixing certain antidepressants with alcohol is dangerous.

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Depression is a known sleep disrupter. Not getting enough sleep can worsen the effects of symptoms already present. Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults and consistent sleep schedules. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble falling asleep at night.

Doing Things You Enjoy

Boost your mood and feel better about life by setting aside some time for an enjoyable activity like reading, watching a favorite show, walking your dog, or eating a favorite meal.

Unplugging as Needed

Social media and anxiety-inducing news headlines can take a toll on our emotional well-being, whether we have depression or not. Consider turning off your phone for a few hours at a time, or set aside a day you don’t sign on to social media.

Whether your depression is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, or a challenging life change, there’s no shame in reaching out for help. The licensed mental health professionals at Crownview Co-Occurring Institute of Oceanside, California, are here to help. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” approach in therapy; we recognize that some patients benefit from medication, treatment, or both. Our therapeutic practice meets state requirements and involves a variety of techniques, depending on the patient’s unique needs. The feedback we have received from our patients speaks to the success of these techniques. You, too, can benefit from depression treatment, no matter how bad your symptoms may seem right now. For questions about our treatments, call us today at 760.433.4357. We also have a contact form on our website and helpful information regarding insurance coverage. 
 

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