Traditional Therapies to Treat Mental Illnesses

Mental health professionals use various approaches to deal with troublesome, ingrained behaviour patterns and to assist in managing mental illness symptoms. Usually, their approaches involve different methods or therapies.

Among these therapies are behavioural therapy, which focuses on changing undesirable behaviour through reinforcements, rewards, and desensitisation, and cognitive therapy, which aims to identify and correct patterns of distorted thinking. The combination of the two is another method. Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps alter people’s negative patterns of thinking, behaviour, and beliefs.

Couple counselling and family therapy are similar approaches that involves problem solving and discussions facilitated by a therapist, sometimes in the presence of the entire family. In addition, electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is a technique used when other therapies have failed. This technique uses low voltage electrical brain simulation to treat major depression, schizophrenia, and acute mania. Group therapy is another method, usually involving four to twelve people with similar problems who regularly meet with a therapist.

Moreover, interpersonal psychotherapy aids in identifying and resolving patients’ problems by building their strengths. Light therapy is used for treating patients with seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression triggered by insufficient exposure to natural light. Moreover, play therapy uses various activities such as paintings, dioramas, and puppets in establishing communication with young patients. Psychoanalysis focuses on the patient’s past conflicts as the foundation to current behavioural and emotional problems. Additionally, psychodynamic psychotherapy recognises the important influence that unconscious motivation and emotion have on human behaviour.

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