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Finding the Right Therapy for You

Not everyone has access to quality mental health care. Mental Health America (MHA) reports that more than 50 percent of adults with mental illnesses receive no treatment. For many people managing alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD), mental health conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression are often part of a dual diagnosis. Proper counseling helps tremendously, but what might be the right therapy for you? Here are some tips to help you find the answer.  

First, Normalize the Process

Views on mental health and addiction are often skewed by stigma, which damages a lot of potential regarding how people can get the quality care they deserve. But normalizing conversations about mental health—just as we would when talking about a broken leg or heart disease—goes a long way toward changing how we perceive therapeutic value. Additionally, people might be more likely to get counseling when they need it, especially before conditions become more serious.

The Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy points out that even now, there are still internal and external misconceptions about the need for therapy including, but not limited to: 

  • A person must be “crazy” or “weak” to need therapy.
  • If you can’t fix the problem on your own, there must “be something wrong with you.”  
  • Considering getting help prompts feelings of shame or fear.
  • Believing what you think or feel is atypical of societal norms.  

The American Psychological Association indicates other reasons some people don’t get counseling, such as: 

  • Thinking they could “handle the problem without treatment.” 
  • Not knowing where to turn to for services or what type they might need. 
  • Believing they couldn’t invest the time required.
  • Not trusting the confidentiality of the process. 

As you read through these points, do any resonate with you? Whether you’re someone who’s never experienced therapy before, or you’ve had sessions that didn’t seem effective, it’s all too easy to believe the process doesn’t work or simply isn’t your thing. While your thoughts and feelings on the subject are valid to acknowledge, so is keeping an open mind about how different avenues of healing are available to you. 

Do Your Best to Remove Other Barriers

Maybe you really want quality mental health care, but certain obstacles stand in the way. MHA notes that in 2022, approximately 27 percent of people with some form of mental illness went untreated for various reasons, which we provide verbatim: 

  • No insurance or limited coverage of services.
  • Shortfall in psychiatrists, and an overall undersized mental health workforce.
  • Lack of available treatment types (inpatient treatment, individual therapy, intensive community services).
  • Disconnect between primary care systems and behavioral health systems.
  • Insufficient finances to cover cost, including copays, uncovered treatment types, or when providers don’t take insurance.

If it’s going to take some time to minimize these challenges, consider a small step like Warmline.org. This free, confidential service is staffed by trained volunteers willing to have a conversation with you and provide support. They’ve been through mental health challenges as well and understand how important it is to have access to help. 

Here are other outreach lines to consider that connect you with people who can help and direct you toward more resources: 

Research the Right Therapy for You

Finding the best therapeutic approach for you involves thoughtful research and consideration of key factors. 

Look into different types of therapy

There really is a strategy to many counseling approaches, and some may be better suited to your needs than others. For example, at Great Oaks, we provide our clients with access to

But there are dozens of other methods to consider, including but not limited to: 

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Brainspotting
  • Contingency management
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
  • Humanistic therapy
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Multicultural therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Neurotherapy
  • Positive psychology 
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • The Gottman Method

Check credentials, licensing, and approach

Learn how to determine what level of therapist you might require. There are: 

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC): These are doctoral and master’s level mental health care providers trained to work with mental health, behavioral, and emotional problems.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): They have a master’s degree and a high level of knowledge in diagnosing and treating mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.
  • Psychiatrist (MD): This medical professional treats mental health conditions and prescribes medications for mental health treatment if necessary.
  • Psychologist (PsyD or Ph.D.): They have a master’s or doctoral degree and diagnose and treat various mental and behavioral conditions.
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT):  LMFTs have extensive knowledge in treating issues within the family and teaching clients how to build healthier relationships. 
  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC): For individuals struggling with addiction, working with a CADC can help get you on the right path toward recovery.

Each of these professionals have varying levels of degrees and specialities. You have every right to ask about their education, years of experience, and approach. 

Discover New Ways of Healing at Great Oaks

Individuals who trust their care to the board-certified professionals at Great Oaks Recovery Center outside of Houston, Texas have access to medical doctors, licensed and certified counselors, licensed social workers, and a broad range of nurses and nursing assistants. We provide comprehensive and holistic therapeutic techniques that address each person’s specific needs to enable lasting recovery. If you or a loved one needs this type of quality care, please call us today.

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