According to the National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-2016 by R Srinivasa Murthy (Retd) Formerly of NIMHANS, Bangalore. 1 in 6 Indians needs mental health help. While drug treatments are widely used in mental health issues and can be effective, they sometimes come with troubling side-effects such as weight gain, headaches, and fatigue. Psychotherapy which includes talking therapy, and along with a host of other physical and mental exercises can be just as effective for many mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. These can be a good add-on therapy for those who are finding success with medications.
Psychotherapy also has the added benefit of not just treating the symptoms but also finding out the reasons behind the problems, the trauma and the non-conducive environment that perhaps contributed towards your problems in the first place.
So, what are your options for treatment?
Find a psychologist you feel comfortable around
For any psychological treatment to be highly effective, you must have an engaging relationship with your psychologist. If you don’t hit it off within the first couple of sessions, treatment is unlikely to be effective.
This, of course, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or your psychologist. No, it’s just that this particular relationship isn’t going to be helpful. And that is why you should seek out someone you can connect with. When you do connect with a psychologist, it is important to find a method of therapy that suits you the best.
Some people like to get clear instructions and advice, while others prefer to take time to discover their solutions. And that is why different people need different types of therapy and psychologists.
Different Types of Therapies
Cognitive behaviour therapy
CBT or Cognitive behaviour therapy is one of the most widely used and well-known therapies.CBT refers to a range of scientifically proven approaches that are based on the assumption that often the way a person feels influences what a person thinks and how they eventually behave.The treatment then uses activities to target and correct what people think (what is known as cognitions) and the things they do (their behaviours).
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
ACT or Acceptance and commitment therapy is a form of treatment that can be effective across a wide range of situations and problems.ACT, unlike CBT, doesn’t try to change a person’s way of thinking. It looks at the thoughts and situations that one is trying hard to avoid and creates greater psychological flexibility in their lives.ACT teaches us to accept our thoughts as our own. ACT tries to achieve a state of mind where we can notice our many problematic thoughts, feelings, or behaviours but not get overwhelmed or consumed by them. We also learn about commitment in the ACT. This is done by encouraging people to identify principles and morals that are important to them and implement those in their day-to-day life.
Behavioural activation was initially developed for the treatment of depression but has since gained traction in resolving a host of other mental health issues. The idea behind it is to identify and then implement activities that promote enjoyment or reduce stress.It helps people identify things in their environment that are contributing to their problems, and how these events are contributing and influencing their behaviour.Then the focus shifts to activating rewarding behaviours. This is concerned with developing goals and plans that people can engage in that are creative and achievable.Behavioural activation is similar to CBT but the focus here is more on a person’s behaviour than their thoughts.
What if nothing works?
These are but a selected few of the many psychological treatments available, and many psychologists will employ more than one treatment or may even combine different treatments. The most important takeaway is that if you shouldn’t despair if a particular treatment or a psychologist doesn’t work out for you. You will find someone you will relate to, who is interested in monitoring your progress regularly, and who will work flexibly with you about the things you’re troubled by.
Just like in life there are no guarantees of quick results or even of results in themselves. Psychological treatment is simply a source by which people can make sense of things that previously seemed senseless, and try to restore contentment & satisfaction in your life. It is YOU who can make treatments work.
* Get in touch with your local psychologist today and seek help for the troubles ailing you.