Treatment and therapy options
Treatment and therapy offer many tools and resources for improving overall well-being and relationships. Mental health care is a recommended part of treating depression, anxiety, suicidality, attention problems, hyperactivity and substance misuse. Therapy may be helpful too, when navigating an adjustment to a new or chronic medical condition. For certain types of problems, medication can also be helpful too.
The list below includes treatments and therapies that have been well-studied and have proven to be effective.
Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Treatment
This program may be a good treatment option for children in a variety of situations, including those on leave from school, those needing more support than once a week counseling or those who have recently completed a hospitalization. Intensive outpatient treatment provides an opportunity for kids who are recovering from a mental illness to continue their recovery, offering group therapy for depression, anxiety, substance abuse or other mental health issues.
Outpatient Mental Health
Not just one specific type of treatment, instead it is a general term for treatment that takes place in an office, hospital or clinical setting. It involves no overnight stay.
This structured mental health treatment program runs for several hours each day, three to five days per week. Clients participate in the scheduled treatment sessions during the day and return home at night. This program is a step down from 24-hour care in a psychiatric hospital setting (inpatient treatment). It can also be used to prevent the need for an inpatient hospital stay.
Types of therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
This therapy teaches children how to respond to difficult thoughts and emotions by learning to accept instead of avoid emotions, while identifying behaviors that are aligned with personal values. It is also used to treat stress, substance use and challenges arising from chronic health conditions and chronic pain.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This therapy focuses on changing unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and behaviors and enhances emotional coping skills. It is also used for sleeping difficulties.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Using this type of therapy kids focus on enhancing emotional regulation, distress tolerance, acceptance and mindful awareness.
A form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. This type of therapy is widely available at a variety of locations, including private therapeutic practices, hospitals, mental health clinics and community centers. Group therapy is sometimes used alone, but it is also commonly integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that includes individual therapy and medication.
Sometimes called psychotherapy, talk therapy or treatment, this is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained mental health clinician in a safe, caring and confidential environment.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
This therapy focuses on current life events, including relationship dynamics and communication patterns.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Combining cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness techniques like meditation and breathing exercises, MBCT may help individuals more readily make mental and emotional shifts.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
Using play therapy and behavioral therapy, PCIT focuses on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship.
Parent Management Training (PMT)
This behaviorally based therapy teaches parents skills to help their child engage in more positive behavior when interacting with others and to reduce oppositional, dangerous or defiant behavior. PMT is effective with a wide variety of behaviors across different ages.
Play therapy is a form of therapy used primarily for children. That’s because children may not be able to process their own emotions or articulate problems to parents or other adults.
Systemic Family Therapy (SFT)
This therapy seeks to identify unhelpful family behavior patterns that lead to family stress. The therapist's role is to help families identify and change attitudes and behaviors towards each other.