Minding Your Mental Health

 Section I - Mental Health Facts

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Various Treatment Approaches


Use of face-to-face discussions to talk about, define, and resolve personal problems. Several types of psychotherapy include:

bullet Individual Therapy – The most common form of professional assistance. A therapist works one-on-one with the client using a variety of treatment methods to sort out the problems and find resolutions.
bullet Psychoanalysis – Places emphasis on linking early childhood memories and events to current behaviors. It normally takes several years to complete this therapy and involves a basic rebuilding and modifying of a patient’s personality to overcome psychological problems. Two drawbacks to this approach are that it takes a long time and it’s very costly.
bullet Group Therapy – An approach in which a therapist conducts treatment in a group setting of 6 - 12 members. Through this supportive environment, members help one another resolve their problems.
bullet Family Therapy – A type of counseling provided to two or more family members to assist a troubled individual and/or promote better functioning of the family unit. The interaction among members serves as the key to resolving conflicts.
bullet Couple Therapy – Helps couples understand how conflicts get expressed by their interactions with each other. The goal is to develop a more rewarding relationship.
bullet Play Therapy – Most often used with young children. Uses play with dolls or puppets to identify and resolve problems.

Behavioral Therapy

bullet Behavior Modification – Uses techniques, such as relaxation training, biofeedback, positive reinforcement, punishment, and altering triggers to teach new substitute behaviors. The emphasis is on altering outward behavior rather than the resolution of early childhood events.
bullet Hypnotherapy – A state of heightened suggestibility that allows the client to tune out unimportant information and focus only on what the hypnotherapist is saying. The client then is given suggestions to change personal behavior, i.e., lose weight, manage stress, or overcome fears.

Biomedical Therapies

bullet Drug Therapy – Uses medicines, such as antidepressants and tranquilizers to help correct chemical imbalances, mood, and/or thinking disorders. Drug therapy is often used in conjunction with other treatment approaches.
bullet Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – Low “doses” of electrical energy currents are delivered to a patient’s brain. ECT is used only for certain extreme conditions, such as chronic depression or aggression that has not responded to other treatment methods.

Copyright 2004, 5th Edition, American Institute for Preventive Medicine. All rights reserved.