Choosing the Right Mental Health Treatment

Choosing the Right Mental Health Treatment

Choosing the right mental health treatment can make the difference between recovering from or getting stuck in the cycle of your symptoms. Several factors determine what kind of treatment is best for your individual journey. Treatment choices for mental health conditions vary from person to person even if you have the same diagnosis as someone else. Each person has different experiences, needs, goals, and objectives for their individual treatment. 

If you are someone with anxiety but can still participate in daily tasks, then an outpatient program may suit you best. If you struggle with depression to the point where it is difficult to show up to your life and you find yourself isolating, then a residential program may be best for you. Continue reading to discover the key differences between the various kinds of treatment options, and how to decide which is the right one for you.

Outpatient Therapy 

This is the least intensive and also the most common form of psychiatric treatment. Clients have a regularly scheduled office appointment with a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. 

These appointments last about 1-2 hours on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. 

Those who outpatient therapy is best for: 

  • Self-motivated individuals
  • Mild to moderate mental illness symptoms
  • Have a strong support network where they are comfortable asking for help from 
  • Those trying to navigate stressful situations (divorce, traumatic experience, becoming a parent, death of a loved one, a major change in life, etc.)

Treatment modalities: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Conflict resolution therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy

Day Treatment Programs 

Day treatment is a step up from outpatient care. Day treatment programs are typically a few hours a day a couple times a week and can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

You will often see these advertised as intensive outpatient programs (IOP) or partial hospitalization programs (PHP).  

Southern Live Oaks PHP program is from 9:00am-3:00pm. The activities that those in the day treatment programs will range from life skill groups, individual counseling, group therapy, and expressive therapies. 

Those who day treatment programs are best for: 

  • People who need more intervention than traditional outpatient therapy
  • Symptoms are present but not severe enough that they need to be monitored on a regular basis
  • Those who may need medication management 
  • Those who need life skills to cope with stress, improve mood, address disruptive or harmful behavior
  • Those seeking community 

Treatment modalities: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Conflict resolution therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy

Residential Treatment Programs

Residential programs usually last a few weeks to a few months and the client stays at the facility as a resident. Residential treatment is often the next step for someone leaving an inpatient hospital or an acute care facility after a crisis. 

Residential treatment programs offer 24/7 supervision and care. 

Those who residential treatment programs are best for: 

  • Those experiencing their first episode of mental illness (this can include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.)
  • Someone who has struggled for years but now finds their symptoms overwhelming
  • Those who are need of a structured and supervised environment
  • Those seeking to re-learn healthy habits such as personal hygiene, healthy eating, and healthy sleep patterns
  • Those needing to identify what makes you feel good, what your strengths are, and positive aspects of self
  • Those in need of learning life skills and coping mechanisms 
  • Those whose family members may need to learn techniques to help them support and understand what the individual is going through. 

Treatment modalities: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Conflict resolution therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy

Hospitals and Inpatient Psychiatric Units

Inpatient hospitals are for those in extreme mental distress, which can include severe suicidal thoughts or psychosis. Those who are admitted are no longer able to care for themselves and their behavior presents a risk to themselves and to those around them. 

You can be voluntarily admitted or involuntarily by family members, healthcare professionals, or law enforcement. 

This is the most intensive level of care and is utilized to stabilize the patient where they are no longer suicidal or psychotic. The patient typically stays for a few days or a few weeks and the next steps after hospitalization is a residential or day treatment program. 

Mental Health Treatment at Southern Live Oak Wellness 

SLOW offers a number of evidence-based mental health treatment programs which include residential to outpatient programs. Alongside making the decision of what level of care would be most helpful for you, you will also need to consider what kind of treatment aligns best with your diagnosis and goals for your individual recovery. 

By contacting our admissions team, we can help guide you on which of our programs suits your goals the best. If we are not the right fit for you, we will advocate for you and help you find the right place for you to begin your journey.  Choosing the right mental health treatment can be confusing but we are here to help.