What are the Different Types of Mental Health Treatment?

What are the Different Types of Mental Health Treatment?

Sometimes you may need more intensive mental health services than traditional outpatient therapy. What is the difference between other levels of care in mental health treatment?

There are many different types of mental health treatment so treatment can be catered to the needs of each individual client.  Some may refer to these types of mental health treatment as levels of care. These can include outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial-hospitalization, residential treatment, and inpatient treatment.

WHAT IS OUTPATIENT TREATMENT?
Outpatient mental health treatment is the most common type of treatment in the mental health field.  This includes traditional individual counseling sessions that occur in a face-to-face format between a client and their therapist.

Couples counseling and family counseling are also included in the outpatient treatment category.  These sessions entail meeting with two or more members of a family or partnership along with a therapist.

Group therapy is also considered outpatient treatment.  This involves meeting with several other clients, typically who are dealing with similar issues as yourself, as well as a therapist who facilitates the group session.

Finally, the length of time a client stays in outpatient therapy treatment can range from a few months to a few years.  This depends on the severity of their mental health concerns.  Group therapy is typically shorter term and for a more fixed period of time, such as a few weeks or months.

WHAT IS INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT TREATMENT?
Intensive outpatient treatment is also called IOP for short.  IOP is a step up in intensity from a routine outpatient level of care.  As such, IOP commonly occurs in more of a clinic or hospital setting.  Intensive outpatient programs typically meet 3-4 days per week for 3-4 hours per day.  During that time, a client will typically receive a mixture of individual therapy and group therapy sessions.

These programs can be designed to focus primarily on:

  • mental health concerns
  • substance use disorder concerns
  • eating disorder concerns
  • dual diagnosis program that can focus on multiple concern areas at a time

Often clients who have not been able to make sufficient progress in traditional outpatient treatment or require more support will be referred to an intensive outpatient treatment program.  The amount of time a client remains in an IOP program depends on the severity of their symptoms and the rate of their progress in improving their symptoms.  As a result, treatment could be a few weeks to a few months.

WHAT IS PARTIAL HOSPITALIZATION TREATMENT?
Partial hospitalization is also referred to as PHP.  PHP is a further step up in intensity from intensive outpatient treatment.  As such, it commonly occurs 5-7 days per week for 5-8 hours per day. Clients live at home while they attend this treatment and will travel to the facility or hospital for their treatment during the day. During a partial hospitalization day of treatment, a client will receive a mixture of individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Typically, once per week, clients meet with a psychiatrist who can review and adjust any psychiatric medications they are prescribed.

These programs can be designed to focus primarily on:

  • mental health concerns
  • substance use disorder concerns
  • eating disorder concerns
  • dual diagnosis program that can focus on multiple concern areas at a time

Clients who are having such significant symptoms that prevent them from being able to function in their day to day life and are not able to use the coping skills they need to function can commonly benefit from partial hospitalization care.  The amount of time a client remains in partial hospitalization treatment depends on the severity of their symptoms and the rate of their progress in improving their symptoms.  This could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

WHAT IS RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT?
Residential treatment is another step up in the intensity of treatment than a partial hospitalization program. These programs provide 24-hour supervision and clients live at the facility while receiving their treatment.

While in residential treatment, a client will receive at a minimum:

  • a weekly individual therapy session
  • multiple group therapy sessions per day
  • weekly family therapy
  • weekly psychiatrist visits to evaluate their psychiatric medications

These programs can be designed to focus primarily on:

  • mental health concerns
  • substance use disorder concerns
  • eating disorder concerns
  • dual diagnosis program that can focus on multiple concern areas at a time

Residential programs can vary in that some are locked programs.  This means clients are not able to walk out on their own.  Alternatively, other residential programs are unlocked, meaning clients are permitted to leave.  The amount of time a client remains in residential treatment depends on the severity of their symptoms and the rate of their progress in improving their symptoms.  This could be anywhere from a few weeks to months.  Finally, it is key to ensure clients have thorough aftercare, or discharge plan prior to leaving residential treatment.  This is important to ensure a smooth re-entrance into the community.  As a result, this assists clients in being able to maintain the gains they have made in treatment.  It is very common after residential treatment to continue seeing an outpatient therapist.

WHAT IS INPATIENT TREATMENT?
Inpatient treatment is the most intensive form of mental health treatment and may also be referred to as acute hospitalization.  Inpatient treatment always occurs in a facility or hospital setting.  In addition, it provides 24-hour medical monitoring and nursing care/supervision.  While in inpatient treatment, a client is typically on a locked unit overseen my medical and nursing staff.

Clients will receive:

  • daily visits from a psychiatrist who will oversee both their psychiatric medications as well as their overall care while in inpatient treatment
  • daily nursing care
  • a weekly individual therapy session
  • multiple group therapy sessions per day
  • weekly family therapy
  • discharge planning sessions commonly with a social worker that will assist the client in arranging aftercare appointments to continue to address their symptoms and concerns, often in an outpatient setting.

The type of clients that require inpatient hospitalization are those who are experiencing an imminent risk of harm to themselves or others.  For example, intense suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or psychotic symptoms, such as seeing or hearing things that are not real.  In addition, if a person is experiencing such grave inability to care for themselves due to their mental health symptoms, they require 24-hour medical care.

Inpatient treatment programs can be designed to focus primarily on:

  • mental health concerns
  • substance use disorder concerns
  • eating disorder concerns
  • dual diagnosis program that can focus on multiple concern areas at a time

Because this treatment occurs in a hospital setting, it is shorter-term in nature.  Importantly, inpatient care is primarily aimed at relieving the most acute, or high risk, symptoms a client is experiencing.  The goal is to make sure the person can be more safely treated in a lesser restrictive level of care, such as outpatient treatment.  The amount of time a client remains in inpatient treatment depends on the severity of their symptoms and the rate of their progress in improving their symptoms.  Ultimately, this can vary from a few days to a few weeks.

GETTING HELP
Finally, partnered with your therapist, you can best determine what type of mental health treatment will best be able to help you with your mental health concerns.  Wellspring Women’s Counseling is happy to provide a free-of-charge, 30-minute consultation to answer any questions you have about what type of mental health treatment may be best suited for you. Learn more at https://wellspringcounseling.online