What Are the Types of Therapy for Mental Health Disorders?
Learn more about mental health therapy and the important role it plays in people’s lives.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is an umbrella term that refers to an individual's behavioral, cognitive, and emotional well-being. It directly affects how people think, behave, feel, and interact with others. Good mental health is characterized by the ability to manage and express a wide range of negative or positive emotions.
However, every person has a different definition of mental health well-being. For some, it could be autonomy, self-efficacy, the actualization of self-potential, or intergenerational dependence. For others, it is the ability to create the perfect balance between life and psychological resilience.
Those who struggle and find it challenging to cope with emotions could benefit from therapy. Mental health therapy is an effective solution for people looking to overcome a wide variety of mental disorders.
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Understanding Mental Health
What’s the Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Illness?
Mental health and mental illness can be seen as similar but have separate meanings. Mental health is the state of well-being, and mental illness affects thoughts and behaviors. Since mental health reflects well-being, it can either be positive or negative. However, poor mental health is not characterized as mental illness, and mental illness does not necessarily imply poor mental health. When conditions start affecting people’s well-being and altering how they think, feel, or behave, especially for a long time, it becomes a mental illness.
Mental illness and mental health have the same concept as physical health and illness—there is a difference between having the flu and being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The term mental health could be simplified to the lack of any mental disorders. Nevertheless, mental health is an individual state, meaning there are many ways people can be mentally healthy or ill.
Understanding the difference between the two can help eliminate some of the barriers that prevent people from attending mental health therapies. Mental therapy helps by avoiding the mischaracterization of the mental health disorder, ensuring people get the correct treatment.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Maintaining a positive mental health lifestyle is good for one’s overall health. Unfortunately, many people struggle with managing emotions in a healthy way. Mental health is a significant problem in the US, with one in five adults experiencing at least one mental health disorder annually. 1
People should regularly keep awareness of their mental health and seek therapy if issues arise that they feel cannot be handled alone. This helps develop a solution that best addresses the situation. The following are some of the benefits associated with a healthy mental state:
How to Maintain Mental Health and Well-Being
To maintain mental health and well-being, people should:
What Are the Most Common Mental Health Conditions?
There is a wide variety of mental health conditions that alter behavior, mood, and thinking, ranging from mild to severe. Acute mental health disorder poses a high suicide risk, pressing the importance of mental health awareness and seeking help when needed. A shocking 90% of individuals who commit suicide were suffering from a known mental health condition. 2
The signs of mental health conditions vary greatly depending on the condition and other factors. Nonetheless, there are some common symptoms that may indicate a mental health condition:
When signs and symptoms of a particular disorder become frequent, affecting people’s way of life, it would be wise to book and attend mental health therapies. Fortunately, mental therapy and medication can treat many common mental health disorders.
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders and causes of disability globally. Depression is estimated to affect about 5% (280 million) of the entire adult population and is responsible for over 700,000 deaths caused by suicide every year. 3
Depression is mainly associated with persistently low mood or loss of enthusiasm in activities. It is very different from the normal mood fluctuation or temporary emotional response to everyday life.
There are various proven treatments for mild, moderate, and severe depression. Unfortunately, most people, especially in low- and middle-income families, don't receive any form of treatment.
Major Depressive Disorder
Panic disorder is a mental health condition characterized by frequent experiences of sudden fear or panic attacks. It is normal to feel anxious or panic under the right circumstances because it is a natural reaction to dangerous or stressful times. A panic disorder differs from regular panicking due to its random occurrences and, in most cases, for no particular reason.
Panic attacks are the most common symptom of the disorder, often associated with increased heartbeat, nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, and chest pain. The attack takes between five to twenty minutes, with severe ones lasting for an hour. It is estimated that panic disorders affect about 2.7% of the American adult population. 4
While the condition might be terrifying, it’s not dangerous. However, people should seek immediate therapy in mental health centers if they experience frequent panic attacks. Mental health therapy and medication is the most effective treatment for panic disorder episodes.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This mental health condition is often triggered when an individual experiences or witnesses a terrifying, shocking, or dangerous event. In America, 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, and about twelve million of the adult population suffer from the condition each year.5
PTSD can last from a few months to years, and since it's based on triggers, it is often challenging to get rid of the condition entirely. Some of its symptoms include severe anxiety, daily nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD treatment includes different types of therapy coupled with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) medication.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a mental health disorder associated with excessive fear and unwanted thoughts that result in repetitive behaviors. The condition can take any form, such as obsessive cleanliness due to fear of germs or the urge to arrange items in a specific manner.
The symptoms are often gradual and will vary throughout the individual’s lifetime. Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects 2.2 million adults in the US, with one-third experiencing symptoms during childhood. 6
There are several well-being therapies available that implement a humanistic approach to OCD and a behavioral approach to therapy to treat the mental health condition.
Eating disorders are often characterized by irregular eating patterns or behaviors that have a negative impact on overall health. The most common eating disorders are binge eating, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. Around eight million adults in the US suffer from an eating disorder, with diagnoses being more prevalent in women than men. 6
This severe condition can damage the digestive system, heart, mouth, and bones and is a risk factor for other diseases. The disorder often develops during adolescence through young adulthood.
Treatment for eating disorders varies based on the specific condition, but it typically involves nutrition education, mental health therapy, medical monitoring, and in some cases, medications.
Eating Disorders Explained
There are many different types of therapy, such as individual therapy, process-based therapy, holistic therapy, emotional therapy, and intervention therapy. Each therapy follows its own methods and targets varying conditions, so it is useful to become familiar with them.
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the most effective form of treatment for mental health disorders. It helps people understand the emotions, behaviors, and ideas causing the mental disorder. Psychotherapy can be used alone or with medication.
Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Therapies
Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies are usually described as in-depth psychotherapy. They tend to create deep-seated change by examining how people’s unconscious thoughts and perceptions developed since they were a child. In addition, they also analyze how upbringing and childhood affect people's current thoughts and behavior.
Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies revolve around improving inner self-awareness and influencing positive behavior.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is one of the most effective evidence-based treatments for many different types of mental health conditions. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychosocial intervention in psychotherapy that effectively lowers the symptoms of mental health disorders. It explores the connection between emotions, thoughts, and behavior and helps people develop adaptive behaviors and cognitions.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on treating interpersonal conflicts and personality disorders. The therapy comprises four components: consultation team, skills training group, dialectical behavioral therapy, mobile coaching, and individual treatment. Dialectical behavioral therapy has been documented as an effective treatment for suicidal thoughts, mood disorders, and altering behavioral patterns.
Rational Emotive Therapy
Introduced by Albert Ellis, rational emotive therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that is philosophically and empirically based. It helps individuals identify unwanted thought patterns and irrational beliefs resulting in behavioral or emotional complications. Once identified, the patient is taught to have a positive outlook on their thoughts and beliefs.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
IPT is a temporary treatment for depression. It is an attachment-focused mental therapy that revolves around symptomatic recovery and solving interpersonal issues. Interpersonal therapy is highly structured and meant to be completed between twelve and sixteen weeks.
Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT)
Unlike IPT, mentalization-based therapy is a long-term approach to treating mental health conditions, especially borderline personality disorder. The therapy helps individuals develop the ability to think about thinking. MBT is responsible for helping make sense of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and wishes by linking them to the individual’s behavior and actions.
Family plays a huge role when a person is trying to deal with their mental health condition. Family therapy focuses on the family and loved ones of the person who has a mental disorder. It helps the family understand what their loved one is going through, what they can do to help, and how they can cope with the situation.
Group therapies involve one or more therapists who treat a small group of about five to fifteen clients together as a group. The therapy is often used alone, but it can also be integrated with other forms of therapy like individual therapy.
Play therapy leverages fun activities to unearth and resolve mental health disorders. The therapy mainly focuses on children, and some consider play therapy equal to counseling therapy for adults. Therapists gain insight into children’s mental health conditions by observing them play. By playing, children develop new coping mechanisms and how to react to inappropriate emotions.
Behavioral psychotherapy is an umbrella term for therapy that relies on techniques borrowed from cognitive and behaviorism psychology. The logic behind behavioral therapy is that behaviors are learned based on the environment and can be changed.
Systematic desensitization is an evidence-based approach to therapy that combines elements of applied behavior analysis and cognitive behavioral therapy. The treatment is effective if the mental health condition results from classical conditioning.
Aversion therapy uses electrical, chemical, or imagined stimuli to help people avoid or reduce a particular behavior. During each session, clients are repeatedly exposed to the stimuli while being subjected to discomfort. Over time, the clients begin to associate the undesirable behavior with discomfort, causing them to reduce that unwanted behavior.
Similar to aversion therapy, flooding is a technique for reducing fear by directly exposing an individual to a stimulus that evokes anxiety at maximum intensity. It helps individuals develop new self-relaxation techniques before being exposed to the stimulus. While still generally new, flooding therapy is highly effective, with three out of four patients becoming symptom-free after fourteen sessions.
Humanistic therapy is a general term that emphasizes staying true to oneself as an individual with unique potential. It adopts a holistic approach to treating mental health conditions allowing the patient to focus on their potential, free will, and self-discovery.
Existential therapy helps individuals discover their purpose and meaning in life. The main objective of the therapy is to eliminate the fear of what is unknown. It focuses on four components that are applicable to human life: freedom, the meaning of life, death, and responsibility. During sessions, therapists guide clients to find their meaning in life by acting and thinking responsibly.
Person-centered therapy, also known as client-centered therapy, tackles how people view themselves consciously instead of how the therapist interprets their unconscious thoughts. The people’s experience is a critical part of person-centered therapy and focuses on setting clear boundaries. To that end, the relationship between the client and therapist has to be open, positive, and empathetic.
Gestalt therapy interventions are a humanistic approach to mental health disorders. The therapy focuses on increasing people’s self-direction, awareness, and freedom to respond fully and reasonably. Unlike other forms of therapy, Gestalt therapy focuses on people’s well-being in the present instead of past experiences. It is driven by the belief that an individual can be influenced by their current environment.
Integrative or Holistic Therapy
Holistic/integrative therapy or body-centered psychotherapy is an integrative form of mental health therapy that combines traditional and non-traditional treatments to help the client as a whole. The therapy relies heavily on psychosynthesis, which focuses on the relationship between spirit, mind, and body. Since it is a holistic treatment, it helps the patient heal and thrives at an even deeper level than other types of therapy.
Pets can be used to treat some mental health conditions. Clients spend time with animals that have been trained to deliver specific treatment during sessions. The type of animal a patient gets depends on the mental condition they are suffering from and the type of therapy they are receiving. It is built on the concept of the human-animal bond, which is a desire for people to interact and relate to animals.
Art therapy for adults is similar to play therapy for children. It incorporates various creative methods to improve overall well-being. The therapy has been proven to help clients feel more in control of their lives, which is the entire goal of mental health disorder therapy. By leveraging the creative process, people find new ways to gain personal insight.
Find Help With Mental Illnesses at Genesis Recovery
The stigma associated with mental illnesses is the main reason why affected individuals are reluctant to seek medical attention. Fortunately, the negativity and skepticism surrounding mental health are dissipating as awareness, acceptance, and openness grow. As a result, society as a whole is becoming more accepting of mental health treatment and the benefits hat come from different types of therapies.
At Genesis Recovery, we offer a spiritually therapeutic treatment experience. We implement a three-phase treatment model which addresses all aspects of a person's mental health. Our mission is to help all those trapped in unhealthy mental situations.
We provide a wide range of treatment options that allow us to create a personalized treatment plan for each client. Some of our treatments include mindfulness meditation, group sessions, cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, 12-Step programs, medication management, and family therapy.
You can overcome whatever mental health issue has taken hold of your life. Our highly qualified team will help you recover and live a positive and healthy life. Get your mental health back today by getting in touch with our staff at Genesis Recovery.