Mental health treatments have undergone a sea of changes over the years. The most effective treatments today are likely to be different from those used in previous centuries.
In the past, people with mental health issues were often seen as dangerous or unstable, and they had to go through methods of treatment that would seem entirely out of place today.
Luckily, things have been changing rapidly over the last few decades, and now many approaches that were used earlier are considered outdated or even harmful by professionals who work in this field.
Not only the techniques of treatment but also the management of mental health practices have undergone an evolution. The introduction of mental health management software has made counseling more effective for patients.
A practice management solution for therapists not only aids the therapist with clinical decision support tools and secure messaging systems but also gives both parties the ease of booking appointments, checking medical records, billing, insurance claims, etc.
Some of the most recent mental health treatment techniques are:
Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that’s used to treat anxiety disorders, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It involves gradually exposing the patient to their fear to reduce their anxiety. For example, someone with arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, might be asked to look at pictures of spiders and then hold one while talking with an expert about it.
It’s not just for people who experience debilitating fears. Exposure therapy has also been shown effective in treating depression, particularly social anxiety disorder.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychological treatment designed to help with trauma. In EMDR, the patient focuses on disturbing memories and emotions while at the same time focusing on a stimulus that moves back and forth.
Patients are asked to notice when the memory becomes less distressing. This process allows them to slowly work through traumatic memories to desensitize themselves from their negative reactions.
EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 while she was working with war veterans suffering from PTSD. Since then, EMDR has been used by therapists all over the world as an effective way of treating anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is used to help people with borderline personality disorder. DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., who noticed that the people she was treating for suicidal behaviors were using different skills to cope with their emotions and deal with stress.
Instead of focusing on one set of skills, DBT teaches patients how to manage their emotions healthily while also teaching them new behavioral strategies they can use when they feel like they’re losing control.
In addition to helping people find a balance between emotion regulation and distress tolerance, DBT also focuses on interpersonal effectiveness. This means figuring out what the patient wants from their relationships, becoming clear about their needs in each relationship, and communicating those needs clearly and effectively so that everyone involved feels respected (and not just heard).
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on the present moment, acceptance of thoughts and feelings, and committed actions. ACT teaches people to be mindful of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by teaching them to accept their experiences at the moment. This can help them overcome anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
ACT helps patients understand that their thoughts can be inaccurate or irrational when it comes to their expectations about things like how other people should behave around them or how much work needs to get done at work or school. It also teaches them ways to cope with negative emotions, so they don’t control their life. Instead, they’re just one piece of who they are as an individual.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is often used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of CPT is to change people’s thoughts and feelings about their trauma.
As per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about six in every 100 individuals will have PTSD at some point in their lives. The data says about 12 million adults in the US suffer from PTSD during a given year.
The therapist under CPT will work to identify the negative thought patterns of a patient and teach them new skills for coping with anxiety rather than avoiding it altogether through avoidance behaviors like substance use or self-harm.
As per the 2020 data from the National Health Interview Survey, 20.3 percent of adults in the US received some sort of mental health treatment in the past 12 months. This includes 16.5 percent who had taken prescribed medication for their mental health and 10.1 percent that needed counseling from a mental health professional.
Hopefully, this article has given you an overview of the most popular mental health treatment techniques. As we’ve seen, many different options can help with anxiety and depression. If the symptoms of a patient are overwhelming or getting worse, it’s important to evaluate the treatment method used.