First, it’s important to understand that many mental health disorders are treatable. When someone first begins to experience symptoms of mental illness, they can get help. With the correct treatment, a person can learn to manage their mental health conditions and live a full life, despite the presence of ongoing symptoms.
Psychiatric services can help identify any mental health disorders, the severity of the condition and the appropriate treatment needed.
In general, psychological treatments are the most effective for mild to moderate mental health symptoms. These treatments focus on treating the way people react to, think about, or perceive their environment. These treatments are particularly relevant for people suffering from anxiety or depression. It may take several months before a person starts to notice the benefits of psychological therapies.
There are different psychological treatment strategies available to help someone who is suffering from a mental health disorder. The type of treatment or level of care a person needs depends on numerous factors, such as the severity of mental illness, physical well-being, and the type of treatment modalities prescribed or indicated. Psychological treatment can be provided in both residential treatment and outpatient service programs.
Inpatient Treatment Programs
One of the best-known methods of treatment is enrollment in an inpatient (or residential) treatment program. This approach may not be feasible for everyone, due to a number of possible complications.
In some instances, a person who needs mental health treatment cannot commit to a residential program because they cannot take off time from work and family responsibilities. In other cases, a person is unable to enroll in a residential program because their insurance won’t cover the high costs associated with this type of program. Some programs have travel requirements, which can be an insurmountable obstacle for others.
Fortunately, when it comes to effective mental health treatment, there are alternatives to inpatient programs.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
For individuals who need mental health treatment but are unable to take part in an inpatient treatment program, there are alternative strategies available. Among the most effective alternatives to residential treatment programs are intensive outpatient programs, or IOPs. This type of outpatient program is geared toward offering stabilization to those with moderate to mild symptoms on a short-term basis.
In some ways, an IOP will resembles a partial hospitalization program, also called a PHP. While a PHP does not require a person to stay in a clinic around the clock (like an inpatient program), it does require the individual to spend more time in the treatment facility than an IOP.
Benefits Associated with IOP
One of the primary reasons that people take part in an IOP is they cannot get away from obligations to their family or work in order to participate in an inpatient treatment program. Because an IOP does not require as large of a time commitment as an inpatient program or a PHP, it gives the individual an opportunity to attend to their pre-existing obligations while simultaneously receiving the benefits of a full-time mental health treatment program.
Treatment Strategies Used by Quality IOPs
An IOP offers a number of structured clinical services and evidence-based treatment modalities to help a person manage symptoms of mental illness. A popular form of therapy that may be included as part of an individual’s treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT). This widely utilized approach to psychotherapy focuses on transforming negative patterns of thought into more constructive ones. Another treatment approach that is often included in a person’s treatment plan is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). An effectiveIOP will have a wide variety of possible treatment options available to enhance the treatment strategies utilized in individualized one-on-one therapy, so they can provide each individual with the support necessary to treat their mental illness symptoms.
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