In the United States, about one in every five adults struggles with mental illness each year. Without treatment, people with mental illness who do not seek treatment have higher likelihoods of dropping out of college, losing work opportunities, and even dying earlier. GBHP offers several types of mental health treatment options for the people of Georgia.

Patients who find the right combination of treatments can learn to thrive with their illnesses or even recover fully. However, the same therapies that work for one patient may not be right for another. That’s why we offer non-medication options including psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, couples’ therapy, family sessions, and other forms of therapy.


Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the foundation of behavioral health treatment. It is a non-medication approach to treating mental illness. The technique is patient-focused and rooted in empathy. During psychotherapy, a therapist and patient will work together to identify and use the patient’s strengths to his or her advantage.

They may discuss difficulties that the patient faces in life, how symptoms manifest, and strategies for making life better for the patient. Each session is unique, and therapists typically allow patients to lead the discussions where they need to.


Types of Psychotherapy

Because psychotherapy is such a broad topic, researcher and practicing professionals have developed several different types of it. Below is a list of types of psychotherapy and the conditions which therapists may use them to treat:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, low self-esteem
  • Behavior or Exposure Therapy: phobias
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: bipolar disorder, combinations of other illnesses
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy: PTSD
  • Interpersonal Therapy: depression, eating disorders, substance abuse
  • Mentalization-Based Therapy: borderline personality disorder
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: anxiety disorders, depression, borderline personality disorder
  • Humanistic Therapy: anxiety, depression

Therapists may use a combination of any of the major types of therapy to treat a patient. Furthermore, psychotherapy is sometimes one important part of a larger treatment plan. Patients may also need medication or lifestyles changes.


Psychoanalysis

Although the term “psychoanalysis” may conjure thoughts of Sigmund Freud or the Oedipus Complex, the practice has come a long way since the days of Freud. Today, psychoanalysis can help people overcome difficulties in their pasts, understand themselves better, and thrive in the future.

Psychoanalysis is a sub-type of psychotherapy. In this method, therapists and patients uncover deep-rooted issues from the past that affect their mental health in the present day. Clients also learn how to restructure their relationships with themselves, their loved ones, and the world around them in healthier ways.

Who Should Get Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis is best suited for patients with chronic mental illnesses rather than those whose disorders are direct responses to recent traumatic events. Patients who benefit from psychoanalysis often experienced difficulties in childhood or early adulthood. The trauma then stayed with the patient and continues to affect the way he or she interacts with the world.

Potential patients should not fall into the trap of thinking their past experiences are not “bad enough” to affect their lives now. The same event can change two people in different ways. Patients should also not try psychoanalysis on their own, as tempting as it may be.

Instead, patients should seek professional guidance. The expert knowledge of the therapist can help patients gain better insight than they could alone. Mental health professionals can also be neutral third parties, which can be useful in this pursuit.


Couples therapy

Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which the mental health professional works with two people who are in a relationship with one another. They meet the therapist together, but may also schedule individual appointments. While most patients who attend couples therapy are married, these are not the only people welcome to couples therapy. Those who are dating, engaged, or in domestic partnerships may also benefit from this treatment.

Who Should Go to Couples Therapy

Many people understandably believe that couples therapy is only a last-ditch effort for failing relationships. Although it can help people who have used every resource at their disposal to save their relationships, happy couples can benefit as well.

Couples therapy can be either a preventative measure or a crisis intervention, depending on how to couple feels about the relationship when they seek treatment. People can think of it as the difference between getting the flu vaccination and taking antivirals after one gets the flu. It’s best to take the preventative measure when possible. However, the treatment can help when that doesn’t work or when the couple already needs assistance.

Couples therapy can also help when one person suffers from a mental illness, and the patient’s partner wants to learn how to help.

Other Myths About Couples Therapy

Although couples therapy can help many people, some misperceptions keep people from seeking help. For example, some people worry that the therapist will takes sides in an argument and only make things more difficult. However, a well-trained therapist will not do this. Instead, mental health professionals give each person in the relationship tools to create more productive and loving conversations.


Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of therapy that involves the therapist and several people who all share relationships with one another. The patients can be couples with teen children, adult sibling groups, divorced couples who want to co-parent, or any other groups who want to work toward solutions together.

What to Expect in Family Therapy

In the initial appointment, the therapist will try to assess the status of the family, relationships between the members, and what brought them into therapy together. If the issue is an acute one, the therapist may be able to help immediately.

However, the family may need additional appointments to help sort out more complex issues. Generally, family therapy does not require as many sessions as individual therapy does.

When Family Counseling Can Help

Families often come to therapy either in the midst of a crisis or when one person is struggling. If a loved one passes away, the family experiences a traumatic event, or built-up tensions boil over, family therapy can help the patients cope and have meaningful interactions.

When one person in a family struggles from a mental disorder, such as depression or substance addiction, family therapy can help as well. Clients can learn to support the person in need, and the patient can make amends if necessary.

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