According to several studies, therapy options for behavioral health patients may play a stronger, more preventative role in the development of disorders in older adults than otherwise recognized. Typically, the same behavioral health patients, especially those who are older, would have significantly more symptoms or would be forced to choose medication as a solution to their health issues if there were no therapy options.
Behavioral health patients tend to struggle with issues including mild to moderate depression, anxiety or panic disorders, social phobia and bulimia in some older adults. Therapy helps behavioral health patients reduce or eliminate negative patterns of thinking that contribute to these struggles. Therapists help patients through replacement of counterproductive thought patterns with positive, rewarding associations. Additionally, particularly with older adults, therapy possibilities may include a spiritual or religious aspect.
Specific therapy options are usually tailored to the individual’s unique needs. For example, therapy may consist of attending an exercise class to combat depression or anxiety. The behavioral health patient would work with a therapist to discuss specific strategies to encourage attendance and participation in the class. Then, the therapist could help the patient identify the positive attributes of the experience and help the individual form consistent habits to encourage frequency.
Many times, therapy for behavioral health patients require older adults to consider these new experiences as experiments so that any extra pressure of making the therapy successful can be reduced. Other times, therapy options promote the practice of keeping a diary or a log of activity as a source of reflection to enhance growth in the behavioral health patient. Overall, the wide variety of therapy options can help determine the best solution for each individual’s specific needs.