Mental Health Therapy

What is Mental Health Therapy?

Mental health therapy is a way for people to work through and process their negative feelings and emotions.  Typically, mental health therapy is administered by a licensed mental health professional. This includes social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. There are several types of mental health therapy. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, play therapy for children, acceptance commitment therapy, etc. Although all therapies have significant differences, the purpose behind them all is to help improve overall life. Mental health therapy sessions can be held as often or as seldom as the patient and mental health professional see fit. It is important to understand that mental health therapy is not a perfect fix for people, but a way for individuals and families to learn and understand how to improve their daily functioning and mood.

What Does Mental Health Therapy Look Like?

Mental health therapy is done in so many different ways. Mental health therapy varies in the amount of sessions and how often the patient is seen. The severity and frequency of negative emotions or other symptoms will usually determine how mental health therapy is done. Mental health therapy begins with a patient coming to a facility and will fill out an intake form. This intake form gives the mental health professional an idea of the patient’s social, mental, and physical history and presenting problems. The professional can then help the patient create a plan based on this information. Termination, or the end of therapy is dependent on whether or not the patient feels they reached their goals

How does Mental Health Therapy Benefit Children?

Mental health therapy can benefit children in many ways. A child’s world is unique and can often involve problems such as mental disorders, trauma, and just the general difficulties of growing up. Mental health therapy can help a child feel like they are able to meet the challenges of life in healthy, positive ways. Children often have fewer negative thought patterns, reduce feelings of anxiety, or process traumatic events. In regards to mental health therapy for children, mental health therapy can help with children’s functioning at school. Oftentimes, child therapy is used to help process common events in children’s lives like moving schools or learning how to interact less aggressively with parents or siblings.

What Kinds of Mental Health Are Used at Whole Child Therapy?

  • Play Therapy

Children communicate their emotions and experiences through imaginative play. Play therapy uses this natural language of play to help children process difficult emotions and experiences. Play therapy is usually most effective in children ages 3-12 years old. Play therapy has been known to help children learn better social skills, decrease aggressive behaviors, and regulate their emotions. There are several types of play therapy. Some play therapies are more directed by the therapist while others are not. Play therapy can also involve parents and caregivers. 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that primarily looks at the challenging of negative thoughts and beliefs. There are many types of cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT can be used with all types of mental disorders, but has been used most successfully with anxiety and depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy identifies an individual’s negative core beliefs about themselves. These could include feelings of low self esteem, phobias, etc. As an individual looks at these beliefs, they can identify their negative thought patterns and behaviors. CBT can be very helpful with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma as well. 

  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma focused-cognitive behavioral therapy is basically the same as cognitive behavioral therapy, but more geared toward children who have experienced trauma (abuse, death, accidents). It uses the same foundations and techniques as cognitive behavioral therapy to help children and adolescents learn to cope and heal from their trauma. This specific kind of cognitive behavioral therapy is aimed toward children 3-18 years old.