General Mental Health
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. Mental Health problems are common, and there is help. People who experience mental health problems recover through the use of psychotherapy and/or medication management. Positive mental health care allows people to realize their fullest potential, cope with the stressors of life, increase work productivity, and increase relationships with people in their life.
Early Warning Signs of Mental Distress
Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following can be early warning signs someone is struggling with their mental health.
Pulling away from people and usual activities
Having low or no energy
Feeling numb or like nothing matters
Feeling helpless or hopeless
Feeling confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried or scared
Yelling or fighting with friends or family
Experiencing severe mood swings
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the idea that the way someone thinks and feels affects the way he or she behaves. CBT is geared towards helping clients resolve present-day challenges such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, anger issues, stress or other common concerns that negatively affect mental health and quality of life. The primary goal of CBT is to help clients identify, challenge, and change maladaptive thought patterns in order to change their response to difficult situations.
CBT is used across all age groups and may be applied to individuals, families and couples. CBT can be used alone or in conjunction with psychiatric medications. Some studies have shown that CBT and medications are equally as effective in treating depression. There are many specialized forms of CBT that may be used to treat specific conditions.
CBT is a structured form of psychotherapy that can occur in a relatively short period of time. Oftentimes patents are seen between 5 and 20 weekly sessions for around 45 to 50 minutes each session. The initial session will generally focus on an assessment, during which time the therapist will help the client identify the symptoms or behaviors patterns that are causing them the most problems and set goals for treatment. In subsequent sessions the client will present negative or maladaptive thoughts and work with the therapist to determine if they are realistic or not. If those thoughts are deemed unrealistic, the client will learn skills to help them challenge and change their thinking patterns.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMR is a psychotherapy technique designed to relieve the distress associated with traumatic or disturbing memories. EMDR was initially developed as an individual treatment for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but has since been applied in the treatment of many other conditions. To be a candidate for EMDR, the patient must be able to tolerate some emotional discomfort and not shut down or become easily overwhelmed by feelings When participating in EMDR treatment, you can expect a course of treatment that consists of 6 to 12 sessions, typically delivered one to two times per week. The therapist will begin with obtaining a patient’s history and explaining the procedure, the therapist will then help the patient determine which past experiences will be the subject of treatment.
The therapist then asks a patient to visualize or experience thoughts, feelings, or body sensations related to the event, once the memory is activated, the therapist will assess the level of negative feelings and thoughts related to the event as well as positive beliefs about oneself. The therapist them administered the bilateral visual stimulation.
NOTE: EMDR is a targeted and specialized treatment modality. At Alium Health, we offer EMDR sessions. Prior to beginning EMDR, you will need to be screened by a provider to determine appropriateness of fit for that specific treatment modality.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a structured program of psychotherapy with a strong educational component designed to provide skills for managing intense emotions and negotiating social relationships. DBT is continually aimed at balancing opposing life forces and investigating the truth of powerful negative emotions. DBT acknowledges the need for change in a context of acceptance of situations and recognizes the constant flux of feelings without having to get caught up in them.
DBT focuses on four key areas:
Mindfulness which enables the patient to accept and be present in the current moment by noting the fleeting natures of emotions, which in turn diminishes the power of the emotion to direct the person's actions.
Distress Tolerance assists the person in the ability to tolerate negative emotions rather than needing to escape from it or acting in a way that makes the difficult situation worse.
Emotion Regulation provides the patient with strategies to give the person the power to manage and change intense emotions that are causing distress in their life.
Interpersonal Effectiveness allows a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relations. Interpersonal effectiveness allows a person to learn how to ask directly for that they want and diminishes resentment and hurt feelings.
Trauma Informed Care
Trauma informed care is a style of therapy that shifts focus from “what’s wrong with you” to “what happened to you.”
Trauma informed care allows healthcare organizations to gain a complete picture of the person, past and present, in order to provide the most effective healthcare services with a healing orientation.
Trauma informed care seeks to realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand the pathways for recovery, to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in patients, and avoid re-traumatization.
Trauma informed care guides a therapist to provide a safe environment for the patient, increase collaboration between t he patient and the clinician, provide the patient with empowerment and reduce biases and stereotypes while increasing humility and responsiveness.