Struggling with mental health can last for weeks, months or even years. The truth is that trauma is at the heart of many mental health conditions. It can be hard to recognize this on your own, which is where an inpatient mental health treatment program can be truly beneficial. Not only can you begin to recognize and understand your trauma, but you can also build a toolbox of coping skills to help you combat it when you are going about your normal, everyday life outside of treatment.
Just what type of program will suit your needs best? That will likely depend on what you and your treatment counselor agree will be most helpful for you. Let’s take a look at some of the mental health treatment programs available for inpatient clients and how they work.
Gender-Specific Mental Health Treatment Programs
Lodgings for men and women are typically separate, but some inpatient treatment programs are also gender-specific. This allows individuals to feel more comfortable as they go through the treatment process and provides a sense of camaraderie with those of the same gender.
While some people might not mind a co-ed experience, others prefer the gender separation. Inpatient amenities often limit a bedroom to two twin beds for roommates to sleep in. Some people might have more privacy in a single-sleeper bedroom.
Mental health conditions can have different risks for each gender. For example, women are disproportionately more impacted by socioeconomic disadvantage, gender-based violence, income inequality, immense responsibility in caring for others, and lower social rank, which can all affect mental health.
There are also gender biases that might exist as women tend to get diagnosed with anxiety and depression far more than men. Men are more likely to tell their health care providers about substance use issues, but men are also more likely to die by suicide and do so in a violent way.
Inpatient treatment divided by gender means you can get treatment that’s a bit more specific to your gender risks while cultivating a sense of security and friendship with those of the same gender.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment Program
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of treatment that has shown great range in treating various mental health conditions, from depression to substance use disorders. Multiple studies suggest that CBT ultimately leads to a better recovery prognosis and enhanced quality of life.
The core principles backing CBT are the following:
- Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
- Psychological problems are also based on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
- People who suffer from psychological problems can develop better coping skills that help relieve their symptoms.
Strategies are implemented for changing the way you think by changing unhelpful and harmful thoughts into more realistic and useful ones. Examples of such are:
- Recognizing thought distortions and being able to rationalize them
- Developing a better understanding of others’ thoughts and behaviors
- Utilizing problem-solving skills to deal with problems
- Becoming more confident in your own abilities
Changing behavioral patterns can involve strategies like confronting your fears instead of avoiding them, learning mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and using role play to prepare for potentially problematic situations with other people.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Treatment Program
Like CBT, dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, has shown a lot of promise in treating a wide array of mental health conditions. Individual psychotherapy with DBT aims to enhance your motivation while also developing strategies to help you live your own life.
Mindfulness is at the core of DBT. It helps you become fully present and aware in the moment. Distress tolerance teaches you not how to change your pain but how to tolerate it in certain situations. Interpersonal effectiveness shows you how to ask for what you want while respecting yourself and others. Of course, there is also emotional regulation, which helps you learn to change the undesired emotions to more desired ones.
DBT relies on a lot of in-the-moment coaching, which is why it tends to work well in inpatient settings. Your counselor can help you address your issues and help you find solutions while you are staying at the inpatient facility.
Group Therapy Treatment Program
Group therapy is another important part of inpatient mental health treatment. Many people find group therapy to be helpful, and a study done in the United Kingdom in 2016 reflects this. Most people enjoy being in group therapy because it gives them a safe setting in which they can share their thoughts and feelings with individuals struggling with some similar problems.
While group therapy might sound intimidating at first, it can provide you with a lot of insight into your own thoughts and behaviors. It can also be a good place to develop and utilize your problem-solving skills with other people. When conflict within the group arises, the lead counselor and participants have to find constructive and creative ways to work through it together. That sense of community and togetherness is something some individuals lack in their outside, personal lives.
Family Therapy Treatment Program
Family therapy involves a therapist sitting down with you and a few close family members to resolve maladaptive transgenerational behaviors and settle issues you have with those family members. Addiction, for example, is a family disease in that it impacts everyone around you, especially your family.
Family therapy allows everyone involved to safely share some truly difficult emotions, such as shame, frustration, guilt and even anger, in a therapeutic environment. This can help you work on your individual goals in therapy too. Your therapist might hit upon traumas in the family, domestic violence issues, certain relationship dynamics and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people.
You and your family members get to share how you have experienced one another’s issues, and that can be quite telling as to why your relationships are the way they are right now. This gives you the opportunity to help make amends or move forward in a constructive, healthy way.
Individual Therapy Treatment Program
Individual therapy is, quite naturally, at the core of inpatient mental health treatment. You are there to work on yourself first and foremost. But this is far from being an easy task and one that you definitely will not have to go at alone.
Forming a trusting relationship between counselor and client is an integral part of individual therapy. Your counselor is there to guide you through the ups and downs of inpatient treatment and prepare you for what is to come after you leave the facility for home.
When you enter into an inpatient facility, you are likely to be in a great deal of distress. You might feel like your mind is a mess, and you don’t know where to start. A counselor can help you begin. They may work with all types of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, abuse and more.
Your therapist will speak with you about your past in all its aspects, including physical, mental and emotional. You are not obligated to answer every question, but doing so can help your therapist gauge how they can best assist you.
Dual Diagnosis Therapy Treatment Program
Dual diagnosis treatment is what gets provided for people who have co-morbidities, meaning two or more mental health conditions occur either at the same time or one following the other. Sometimes, trying to figure out which one triggered the other can be difficult, like trying to guess whether the chicken or the egg came first. All too often, a lot of environmental factors, such as growing up in an abusive household, come into play in both conditions.
When you opt into dual diagnosis therapy for a mental health condition and substance use disorder, you will be treated by a combined team of a board-licensed psychiatrist, addiction specialist, therapist and nurse working in conjunction.
Many people who go into inpatient treatment for dual diagnosis have substance use disorders along with anxiety, depression, PTSD or personality disorder. Being in the middle of addiction with any of these conditions at play is essentially the “perfect storm” for making unhealthy decisions.
Going through dual diagnosis treatment at an inpatient facility can facilitate recovery and growth for multiple conditions. However, traumatic memories that could resurface, which is why going through individual, group and family counseling can be so beneficial.
Medication-assisted therapy might also be a reality you need to face during your stay. Licensed psychiatrists and nurses are always on-hand to help with your medications and adjust them as needed to get you feeling better and thinking more clearly.
Technology has come a long way in the last few decades to help improve health in non-invasive ways. Alpha-Stim technology balances out the signals in the brain, providing you relief from anxiety and helping you sleep better. Each waveform passes between two electrodes attached to either side of your head. In turn, it stimulates and modulates particular nerve groups in the brain. This low-level electrical current isn’t one you will feel, but you might note its effects.
NanoVi is another helpful tool used for inpatient clients. It protects from and repairs damage caused by free radicals, improves how the body utilizes nutrients and oxygen, and boosts immune system functioning. Your physical health is just as important as your mental health, and NanoVi aims to put them on par with one another.
has also been shown to reduce the effects of depression and seasonal affective disorder while also enhancing your sleep. It essentially elevates your body’s ability to produce adenosine triphosphate, which provides energy to all of your body’s systems.
Fitness and Nutrition
Fitness and nutrition are an important part of inpatient treatment. Nutritional needs should be addressed since deficiencies can often correlate with mental health problems. For example, a lack of vitamin D could play into depression. Getting the right nutrition is an important step in your recovery journey. Your team of professionals will help you with your nutrition-based needs while you are in your program.
Physical fitness is a part of inpatient treatment too. Exercise not only enhances your energy and endurance, but it can help you develop healthier sleeping habits and combat anxiety and depression. Just 30-60 minutes of exercise about five days a week can help alleviate some of your physical, mental and emotional pain symptoms, but you have to keep at it even after your therapy program ends. Inpatient care provides you with the structure to cultivate this skill and keep it going once you have returned home.
When we talk about trauma-informed care, we include cases, including those where addiction is involved, that are rooted in some sort of trauma. You might not even be totally aware of what that trauma is or how much of a toll it has taken on your life.
Dealing with emotions at the start of treatment can be incredibly difficult. However, while participating in experiential therapy techniques such as equine therapy, music, play therapy, psychodrama, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, you can get to the core of your trauma with a compassionate team of caregivers by your side. The more they know about your trauma, the better equipped they are to help you work through it.
There are many ways of getting to the core of your mental health issues while you are in inpatient treatment. Reaching out and asking for help is the first step. You might not feel ready to take it, but there is no better time than the present to start working on your core issues. An inpatient mental health treatment program can be custom-fit to your unique needs and will prepare you to re-enter the world with a healthier set of coping techniques.