Behaviour therapy

Behaviour therapy is the main treatment for addressing mental health problems and over 70 per cent of patients are helped by this method of treatment (Maheu et al. , 100). In coping with anxiety, for example, it comprises gradual exposure to the feared situation while strengthening strategies for coping. Exposure may be accomplished in prolonged and made again and again doses called ‘flooding. ‘ It is usually used in combination with response prevention. However, this can cause distress and should be used carefully with children.

Another technique that can be used is systematic desensitisation, which involves teaching the patient to relax. Then the patient is exposed to increasing levels of anxiety while he or she remains relaxed. Behavioural analysis can also be used to disclose factors that may automatically contribute to the problems. Cognitive behavioural therapy, which is also used, teaches the patient to understand how his or her thinking contributes to their mental problems and how to remove them. Family interventions

Whilst family factors may not cause mental disorders, they are often connected with maintaining the condition since family members have often been manipulated into a helpless, weak role. Family therapy actually is an important part of treatment of mental health problems. Some family members, understandably, feel that helping their loved person is appropriate and useful, but allowing patients to avoid fearful situations can be harmful. Therefore, family members should be encouraged to create clear boundaries and reduce overprotectiveness.

Methods that deal with the family context may have more continual and efficient outcomes than those solely focused on the patient (Schulz and Greenley 95). Electro-convulsive therapy Although the use of electro-convulsive therapy is disputable, it has been shown to be useful with some patients with schizophrenia, particularly those who respond poorly to drugs. Studies do indicate long-term benefits. However, there appears to be little agreement regarding its role in treatment of patients with schizophrenia and it is unlikely that it would be considered in the early stages of the illness.

Individual therapy In adults with mental health problems, individual therapy, including social skills training, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and vocational rehabilitation, has been shown to be effective (Kemp 1993). The gaining of insight is often an important point in a proper recovery. The patients with mental health problems require a long-term, trustful one-to-one relationship with someone who is able to provide reassurance, as well as give occasion to test reality. Group therapy.

Group therapy can be helpful with purpose to reduce the patient’s social isolation. This therapy might be in particular relevant for children and adolescents as it can remove absence of interest and enthusiasm and withdrawal. Many activities, such as sports and music, should be incorporated in order to try to remotivate the patient so that he or she is able to re-engage actively with society (Sheppard 1991). Behaviour modification Modifying behaviour through targeting certain behaviours usually results in improved behaviour.

However, there is no support for generalisation and maintenance of treatment gains with this method. Kent and Hersen (2000) indicated that the problems of ADHD patients are so pervasive and so long-lasting that they need individualised, broadly based and long-term intervention and he also noted that a combination of treatment with drugs and behaviour modification is the most effective. Since the patients with ADHD have problems with regulating their behaviour, teaching self-control and self-evaluation can be advantageous (Schulz and Greenley 15).

For example, children with ADHD are at a high risk of peer conflicts. Social skills training is very important, in particular for those with inattentive symptoms (Kent and Hersen 58). In this case, extending over long time, multi-faceted programmes are essential and parents, teachers and peers need cooperate in order to create meaningful improvements (Sheppard 1991). Self-Report Measures Self-report measures mean questionnaires and behaviour self-monitoring strategies. Many questionnaires have long been helpful in the assessment of phobias.

For instance, questionnaires have been created to assess fears relevant to snakes and spiders (Schulz and Greenley 52). Other questionnaires have been created to evaluate problematic thoughts that contribute to mental health problems. In this procedure, patients can use scale to report their level of fear or anxiety. These subjective assessments are helpful in treatment. Medication A variety of medications have been created and practiced to treat the symptoms of mental health problems in the patients. Medications are often used in combination with behavioural techniques.

Fluoxetine (Prozac), for instance, has been shown to be very much effective for separation anxiety and social phobia (Brooker and Repper 1998). However, some findings for the effectiveness of drugs in the treatment of mental health problems, however, have been inconsistent (Brooker and Repper 1998). Clinicians often guard against drug use as it can be considered as an easy treatment and also indicate that the problem is inherent within the patient. Conclusion After being directed toward psychodynamic approaches, mental health services were enlarged by a variety of new therapeutic methods.

Behaviour therapies quickly assumed different methods that were not dictated by any particular learning theory and could not be integrated within a single theory. The discovery of the effects of certain drugs on people who have mental health problems helped to stimulate biological research. Various therapies shared important feature: They were almost absolutely nondevelopmental. They focused on the current status of each mental disorder and tried to change it by improving environmental contingencies, biochemical variables, constraints on the inner effort for self-realization, or family systems.

Today decisions about the aims of support are important, but it is also of great significance to have a model to guide the way in which a patient’s mental problems are understood, the priorities and interventions identified, and how the success of interventions is evaluated. A range of different models have been used in work with patients who have serious developing mental health problems. Methods that may be used include clinical interviews, self-report measures, behaviour observation, various therapies, physiological/biological evaluation, skills training, behaviour modification and medication.

As indicated in the paper, each method yields unique insights. Therefore, the best outcome is achieved when multiple methods are used.

References Brooker, Charlie and Repper, Julie. (1998). Serious Mental Health Problems in the Community: Policy, Practice, and Research. Balliere Tindall: London. Kemp, Donna R. (1993). International Handbook on Mental Health Policy. Greenwood Press: Westport, CT. Kent, Alan J. and Hersen, Michel (2000). A Psychologist’s Proactive Guide to Managed Mental Health Care. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ. Lazarus, A. A., Davison, G. C. , & Polefka, D. A. (1965).

Classical and operant factors in the treatment of a school phobia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 70. Maheu, Marlene M. , Puller, Myron L. , Wilhelm, Frank H. , Brown, Nancy E. , and Connolly R. N. (2005). The Mental Health Professional and the New Technologies: A Handbook for Practice Today. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ. Neugebauer, R. (1979). Medieval and early modem theories of mental illness. Archives of General Psychiatry, 36. Neugebauer, R. (1979). Medieval and early modem theories of mental illness.

Archives of General Psychiatry, 36. Ollendick, T. , & Gruen, G. E. (1972). Treatment of a bodily injury phobia with implosive therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 38. Schulz, Rockwell and Greenley, James R. (1995). Innovating in Community Mental Health: International Perspectives. Praeger Publishers: Westport, CT. Sheppard, Michael. (1991). Mental Health Work in the Community: Theory and Practice in Social Work and Community Psychiatric Nursing. Falmer Press: London. Wolpe, J. (1958). Psychotherapy by reciprocal inhibition. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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