Mental Health Recovery
Recovery is often referred to as a process, outlook, vision, conceptual framework, or guiding principle.
The recovery process includes:
A holistic view of mental illness that focuses on the person, not just their symptoms
Believes that recovery from severe mental illness is possible
Is a journey rather than a destination
Does not necessarily means getting back to where you were before
Like life, has many ups and downs
Calls for optimism and commitment from all involved
Is profoundly influenced by individuals’ expectations and attitudes
Requires a well-organized system of support from family, friends, and/or professionals
Requires services to embrace new and innovative ways of working
The Mental Health Recovery Model aims to help individuals with mental health problems to look beyond mere survival and existence. It encourages them to move forward, set new goals, get involved in new activities, and develop new relationships that give their lives meaning.
psychiatry vs psychology
Psychiatry and psychology are overlapping professions. Practitioners in both are mental health professionals. Their area of expertise is the mind and the way it affects behavior and well-being. They often work together to prevent, diagnose, and treat mental illness.
Metamorphosis Psyche is psychiatry, a private psychiatric practice that focuses on evaluation and management of medications for mental health.
Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. A psychiatrist is trained to differentiate mental health problems from other underlying medical conditions that could present with psychiatric symptoms. As a doctor, a psychiatrist is licensed to write prescriptions. If you are working with a psychiatrist, a lot of the treatment may be focused on medication management. Sometimes medication alone is enough to treat the mental illness. Sometimes a combination of medication and psychotherapy or counseling is needed. If that is the case, the psychiatrist may provide the psychotherapy, or in most cases refer you to a counselor or other type of mental health professional.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner has advance specialized training in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness, to providing mental health services. There are both Master and Doctorate level of training and certification. A PMHNP is licensed to prescribe medication/psychotropics for mental health disorders. In most states they work independently, in others, they work under the supervision of a psychiatrist or medical doctor. Some are certified and provide treatment in the form of psychotherapy. Sometimes medication alone is enough to treat the mental illness. Sometimes a combination of medication and psychotherapy or counseling is needed.
Most work collaboratively with therapists (Psychologist, LMHC, LMFT, LCSW) to provide mental health services.
Psychologist: A psychologist has a doctoral degree (PhD, PsyD, or EdD) in psychology, which is the study of the mind and behaviors. Licensed psychologists are qualified to do counseling and psychotherapy, perform psychological testing, and provide treatment for mental disorders. They are not medical doctors/practitioners. That means that, with the exception of a few states, psychologists cannot write prescriptions for psychotropics. Often a psychologist will work in association with a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or other medical doctors who provide the medical treatment for mental illness while the psychologist provides the psychotherapy.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC): A psychological counselor is a mental health professional who has a master's degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field. They are able to obtain certification in various modalities of mental health counseling. A mental health counselor is qualified to evaluate and treat mental problems by providing counseling or psychotherapy.
Licensed Marriage and Family Thrapist (LMFT): A mental health professional with a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy. They are trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems. LMFTs broaden the traditional emphasis on the individual to attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks such as marriage and the family.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): A clinical social worker with at least a master's degree in social work and training to be able to evaluate and treat mental illness through counseling or psychotherapy. They are able to obtain certification in various modalities of mental health counseling. In addition to psychotherapy, social workers can provide case management services, as well as work as an advocate for patients and their family.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if I need a psychiatric provider?
If you are having difficulty functioning in your daily life and feel nervous or unhappy most of the time. If you cannot perform your usual tasks at work or school or your relationships are falling apart, you cannot eat or sleep well, or you have thoughts about dying frequently, you should seek help. Some people try to deal with these problems by abusing drugs, misusing alcohol, isolating, overeating, self-mutilating, overextending with work or hobbies to avoid addressing the underlying issue.
What if I really don’t want to be on medication?
The decision about whether to take medications or not is a very personal one. Evaluation will include education about your diagnosis and treatment recommendations that include a discussion about the risks and benefits of treatment or lack of treatment.
Be aware that some mental disorders have a strong biological basis (chemical imbalance) and that medications are the most effective way to treat them. However, in certain situations, it may be possible to try only a course of therapy before resorting to
medications as well.
How long will treatment need to last?
The length of a course of treatment is variable. For situational or circumstantial issues, a brief course of therapy (6 – 9 months) is all that is required to help people function well again. However, when frequency of episodes increases, a biological basis is more significant. Also, if there’s a hereditary or genetic component, you are more prone to neurochemical balances. This will require a longer period of medication and/or psychotherapy. There are some mental conditions that will require treatments with medications for at least a year and others that require lifetime management.
How do I know if my child or adolescent needs a psychiatric evaluation and treatment?
Poor school performance
Inability to form friendships
Talking about wanting to die/kill themselves
Suspected drug use
Preoccupation with weight issues
The American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) recommends psychosocial care as first line treatment (includes individual or group therapy, crisis intervention, peer services, activity therapy). Psychosocial care for at least 90 days prior to medication management or within 30 days of prescribing medication if there’s an urgent need for medication treatment.