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BWMC: When to consider talk therapy

Maryland Gazette - 10/21/2017

Do you ever feel overwhelmed or depressed on a routine basis? If so, you are far from alone.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than a quarter of adults experience depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. Some people struggle to cope with divorce, unemployment, daily stress, substance abuse or other issues.

However, there is help. Talk therapy provides individuals with depression and/or mental health conditions an opportunity to talk to a psychotherapist one-on-one about their particular issue(s). In a typical setting patients meet with a psychotherapist, who is a licensed mental health professional (usually a social worker, counselor or psychologist).

Talking with a psychotherapist can help individuals deal with thoughts, feelings, behaviors, stresses, goal planning, past experiences and other areas that can help promote wellness.

During standard talk therapy sessions medication is not prescribed or administered; the therapy sessions are for discussion only. However patients can have medication prescribed by their primary care provider or their psychiatrist if they are undergoing additional treatment.

The type and length of therapy depends on each individual and talk therapy may be part of an overall plan that includes other treatment options. Average talk therapy sessions are about one hour long and the course of treatment can last anywhere from three to six months.

There are a wide variety of talk therapy treatments available. The type of therapy depends on each individual and the issues he/she is facing. Treatment models may include, but are not limited to: supportive counseling, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and mindfulness based therapy.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, helpless and have a prolonged sense of sadness, seek treatment. Remember no matter how down you may feel, there is always a way out. Consider talk therapy if your quality of life isn't what you want it to be.

Don Schmitt, LCSW-C is a psychotherapist at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center. He can be reached at 410-787-4948.

Credit: Don Schmitt


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