Behavioral therapy is the treatment generally used to treat mental health and behavioral disorders. This treatment aims to help patients get over destructive behaviors and help them develop healthy coping mechanisms.
This kind of therapy focuses on understanding the patient’s current state of mind and helps them resolve issues that affect their life and relationships. In this article, we’ll talk about behavioral therapy, when you might need it and how it can help people with mental disorders live healthily and happily. Let’s begin.
1. You’re struggling with depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are common mental health illnesses that are often subjected to behavioral therapy. Patients diagnosed with these disorders undergo a series of behavioral therapy sessions to help them control and cope with the symptoms.
With this therapy, patients can develop new behaviors and coping mechanisms that can compensate for or suppress their depression and anxiety triggers. Through a series of sessions, the therapist will ask you different questions to help them understand you and help you know yourself.
Sometimes, your therapist might prescribe drugs to regulate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, these drugs won’t make your depression or anxiety go away permanently. It only aims to help you feel better for you to apply your learning in therapy.
The most common behavioral therapy treatment for depression and anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This kind of therapy focuses on thoughts and beliefs and how patients respond to triggers as they arise.
2. You suffer from eating disorders or substance abuse
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia affect a person’s physical health. Forcing oneself to starve or to eat more is a psychological phenomenon. In the case of anorexia and bulimia, the brain’s ability to dictate hunger is impaired due to external stimuli that affect the patient’s self-image.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder wherein the person restricts themselves from eating food with the fear of gaining weight or getting fat. The opposite of anorexia would be bulimia nervosa to the extent that the person forces a vomit so that they can consume more food.
The root cause of these two eating disorders comes from external pressures from other people or the environment. Behavioral psychotherapy is a common treatment for behavioral disorders in adults coupled with participation in support groups to enhance recovery.
Substance abuse is another typical case in behavioral therapy. This problem roots itself with neglect, denial, and avoidance of reality, duties, and responsibilities. It is a form of escapism that leads to destructive behaviors and broken relationships.
3. You have anger issues and attitude problems
Behavioral disorders sometimes arise from anger issues and attitude problems. Though anger is a natural emotion in humans, excessive or destructive aggression can affect your mental well-being and relationships.
In behavioral therapy, the therapist will not teach you not to feel angry. Instead, it focuses on controlling anger and releasing it healthily and assertively. Anger issues can be passive, aggressive, or even both in rare cases. Through cognitive therapy, you’ll undergo a series of exercises that help you redirect your anger assertively.
In assertive anger, there’s no need for dominance or guilt-tripping. Therapy will help you become assertive with your anger by providing exercises that’ll focus on expressing clear messages, asserting your position without overstepping, self-awareness, and setting clear boundaries.
In retrospect, behavioral and emotional disorders often come from excessive emotion or the lack thereof. Through therapy, you’ll learn more about staying in control.
4. You suffer from specific mental illnesses
Specific mental illnesses include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and many more. These mental disorders require specific attention and techniques to help the patient cope.
The complexity and gravity of these mental illnesses will often involve prescription drugs and psychotherapy. Anti-psychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and stimulants are commonly prescribed to patients suffering from any illnesses mentioned above.
However, behavioral therapy remains vital to the treatment plan since it is the only way for the patient to confront their problems while in a healthy and safe environment. By helping the patient address their mood, emotions, and actions, therapists can recommend healthy coping mechanisms or activities to help patients bounce back in life.
Moreover, children who have mental disorders are the subjects of a special kind of therapy called cognitive-behavioral play therapy. Since children can’t be as expressive as adults, therapists use toys to gain insight into the child’s actions.
For phobias, the behavioral therapy technique used is called system desensitization. In this therapy technique, the therapists will teach relaxation and breathing techniques as a response to fear. Once the patient masters these techniques, fear will be introduced gradually to the patient for exposure.
5. You have suicidal tendencies or have attempted suicide
Suicidal tendencies often result from severe cases of depression. Behavioral health & psychiatry professionals would sometimes recommend in-patient treatment if there ware clear signs of imminent suicide. However, that is not always the case.
Even if there are suicidal tendencies, behavioral therapy can provide a lasting remedy to the patient’s mental health problems. Usually, these include mindfulness meditations, self-awareness exercises, and breathing techniques.
For people who have attempted suicide, behavioral therapy is an excellent supplementary treatment for continuous recovery. Attending weekly or biweekly sessions can help you gain control of your thoughts, understand why you’re having suicidal thoughts, and acknowledge the presence of these thoughts.
Need to Consult a Behavioral Therapist in Long Beach, CA?
Having mental and behavioral disorders isn’t something to be ashamed or afraid of. Through behavioral therapy, you can better understand and grasp the challenges you face because of these mental illnesses. More so, you can discover and develop ways to control your emotions in a healthy way.
Roots TMS can help you get through tough times through its psychiatry management and medication services. Our team of psychiatrists and psychologists can help assess your mental health needs, accurately diagnose your problem, and provide an effective treatment plan for you. Take the next step and call us now to book an appointment at 562-352-2035 or fill up our contact form and we’ll be sure to get back to you shortly.