We see and hear about it all the time.
When wrestling with issues from addiction to depression to PTSD and beyond, people tend to think mental health care is purely prescriptive: medication, talk therapy and so on.
However, remaining engaged for the entire process is key to experiencing real progress and healing. This means practicing the developments you and your doctor or clinician make – beyond the short period of time you spend together.
To take your mental health a step further, here are five ways you can maximize your treatment.
1) Be First
While it’s noble to put others before ourselves, mental healthcare is about prioritizing YOU. After all, getting better ultimately benefits those you care about most.
When you need it, don’t be shy about asking for help. Act in your best interest—and make sure your mental health providers do as well.
2) Speak Up
Communication is essential when working through any mental health issue.
Concerned about certain aspects of your therapy, the effects of a medication or understanding symptoms of a diagnosis?
Talk directly to your provider who will listen and adjust your treatment plan as needed to best achieve your goals.
Want help but don’t feel much like talking?
At Centerstone, for example, we offer art and play therapy (it’s not just for kids!) plus highly effective treatments that don’t involve talk therapy, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for trauma.
3) Write It Down
Taking notes works well at school and at the office. Journaling along your road to optimum mental health can really make a difference, according to Centerstone clinicians.
Here’s what they suggest: Write out any questions you have for the therapist ahead of your first appointment. Between sessions; jot down comments that resonate with you in treatment. Re-read this knowledge you’re compiling daily, and let it fuel your forward momentum.
Also, be open to homework that puts what you’re learning into practice.
4) Embrace Whole-Person Health
Mental health is more than taking care of yourself “from the neck up.” The connections between physical and mental health are well-documented and undeniable.
It’s remarkable how treating your body right—exercising regularly, eating healthier, sleeping enough—contributes to a well-toned mind.
5) Be Patient With Your Mental Health Treatment
Remember, huge changes rarely happen overnight. Just as physical therapy demands repetition and time to arrive at healing and strength, so does mental health therapy.
It’s important that you set realistic and attainable goals. Many of our clinicians have told us celebrating small victories, even when you might prefer leaps and bounds, can make a big impact for you becoming successful with your treatment.
Studies suggest that early withdrawal from treatment can ultimately have a negative impact.
Following these tips will make the treatment work better for you – by taking an active, informed role in the process.
Remember: Be your own advocate, ask questions and dive into your chosen therapy.