Mental health problems can arise at any time whether we are the sufferer or we are trying to help a loved one through issues, it is a very distressing time for everyone involved. When you are first diagnosed with a mental illness, or you first realise you might be depressed it can be a very confusing time, especially when there are so many outlets for therapy available. The first step in any treatment plan is to talk to someone who understands. There are many people out there who can help and lots of places you can turn to.
Here we will look at the general forms of therapy that will be available to you and help you understand the differences between them. Remember that there is no single cure for everyone, so the key to recovery is by finding the best treatment to suit you.
Counselling or Talking Therapy
Counselling is by far one of the most common forms of therapy available. Look for counsellors that are registered with British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy or speak to your GP to get recommendations of fully qualified counsellors in your area.
Counselling works by looking at practical ways in which the person can help heal themselves and move forward. Sometimes this is undertaken through talking to the patient and some forms of counselling also involve a level of cognitive behavioural therapy tips, such as how to apply a positive outlook in your home. There are many reasons that a person will seek out counselling, they may be suffering from bereavement, depression, anxiety and/or stress; there really is no problem too small for this form of therapy which is exactly what makes it such a useful resource. Counselling will usually come in a 6 week set of sessions, but obviously this can be elongated depending on your needs, remember that this is all about your healing journey and there are no set rules for this.
Psychotherapy and Psychiatry
Psychiatrists are very different to a counsellor and in turn the form of therapy is then different. Psychiatrists, much like doctors, can write prescriptions and help you with the physical symptoms in the brain as well as the support and talking therapies. Much like doctors, they are specifically trained to not only treat mental illness, but prevent it at the same time. They will usually have a speciality such as ADHD, Schizophrenia, eating disorders, to name but a few. This means that selecting the right psychiatrist is key to starting the healing process.
Psychiatrists will generally take a three pronged approach to your treatment; talking, medication and practical help within the community. This is sometimes worked out between you, the psychiatrist and district mental health nurses; so choosing to see a psychiatrist will give you a very in depth approach to your treatment which can include a full multi-disciplinary team for your all round support.
If this approach is a bit too intense for you then consider psychotherapy. This is a mixture of counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which utilizes your own skills in order to help you approach your current mental health issues, and psychiatry so your treatment will be partly your own work and partly the work of your psychiatrist.
This may not be everyone’s first thought when looking for treatment for mental health Issues, but by remembering that minds and bodies go hand in hand, it is just as important to make sure our bodies are well. When suffering from stress or depression we can often get a whole host of physical manifestations from tense shoulders through to insomnia. By incorporating physiotherapy into our treatment plans we can make sure that those persistent aches can be forgotten about. This will give us much more time to focus on healing our minds.
Sarah Brookes is a Health and Wellbeing Journalist who specialises in writing articles relating to mental health and wellbeing.
To learn more about your therapy options please visit https://www.benenden.co.uk/healthcare-membership/personal-healthcare/healthcare-services/counselling-psychology/