When you think of therapy, you probably think of lying on a couch talking about your feelings, while a stoic doctor jots down everything you say and hands you a prescription on your way out.
That might be what mental health treatments used to be like, but not anymore. At Alpha Care Medical, our experts use behavioral health therapy to help patients understand how their behaviors can affect their physical, mental, and emotional health. Understanding this connection can help you correct what’s harming you and help you live a healthy, full life.
Behavioral health explained
Most people understand the fields of physical medicine and mental health, but behavioral health is less familiar. In short, behavioral health therapy focuses on identifying and addressing harmful, self-destructive behaviors that impact your physical and mental health.
For example, we might help you discover that your weight problems are caused by unhealthy eating behaviors. Or we might uncover certain behaviors that are causing you stress, depression, or anxiety and are affecting your mental health.
Conditions that benefit from behavioral health therapy
Behavioral health therapy takes into account your health history and current struggles to identify patterns of thoughts and actions. The theory is based on the premise that somewhere along the way, you learned unhealthy behaviors, and now you just need to unlearn them to address the mental and physical problems they’ve caused.
Some of the most common reasons our patients seek behavioral health therapy include:
- Substance abuse
- Opioid addiction
- Chronic stress and pain
- Relationship issues
- Eating disorders
- Anger issues
- Loss and grief
We also work with you to manage the mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes. Behavioral health therapy can address the unique needs of children and adults.
Types of behavioral health therapy
Behavioral health therapy is a great option for a wide variety of conditions, and each technique takes a slightly different approach. Depending on your needs, we may suggest either of the following types of behavioral health therapy.
Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy refers to therapies that help you understand your behavioral, mental, and emotional difficulties, and then help you find ways to cope with them. Psychotherapy can be done individually or in a group setting and may be recommended in conjunction with medication.
Some other common forms of psychotherapy include:
- Interpersonal therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy, which shows you how to live in the moment and cope with stress
- Psychodynamic therapy, which explores self-reflexion and self-examination to treat emotional suffering
- Psychoanalysis, which explores your unconscious thoughts and feelings
- Supportive therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Creative arts therapy
We work with you to determine which type of behavioral therapy will work best for you, including how frequently you should schedule sessions.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured type of talk therapy that’s aimed at helping you become aware of negative thought patterns and harmful behaviors and tendencies. You meet with one of our therapists to discuss ways you can change your approach to challenging situations.
You’ll likely experience a wide range of emotions during your sessions, such as anger and sadness, which might cause you to cry, get upset, or feel drained after your sessions. These feelings are normal and all part of the process.
Types of CBT include:
- Guided discovery and role playing
- Stress reduction and relaxation techniques
These emotions might become particularly intense if we have you participate in exposure or immersion therapy, which helps you confront your fears head on.
Talk to our specialist about any concerns or questions you have before your sessions. We’re here to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
If you’d like more information or are interested in starting behavioral health therapy, request an appointment online or over the phone at any of our four Delaware offices today.