Did you know that American adults almost have a 50% chance of having a mental challenge at some point in their lives? Such challenges can find us in the form of the death of a loved one or finding out we have an illness. Sometimes they creep up on us leaving us feeling lost and unsure about what to do next.
In addition to mental challenges, our physical health can also require therapeutic strategies. Therapeutic strategies are vital when ensuring recovery and prevention when facing illness. These strategies are most often implemented as therapeutic intervention strategies. But that is not to say that they can’t be used as preventative measures.
Therapeutic strategies are present in both physical and psychiatric medicine. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common ones found in each.
Therapeutic strategies in physical medicine are often referred to as treatment plans. A physician will construct a treatment strategy based on your diagnosis. A treatment strategy for cancer is likely to consist of radiotherapy, chemotherapy drugs, and diet changes. If you visit a doctor with a broken leg they will prescribe your physical therapy and pain killers in addition to the setting of the broken bone.
Non-pharmacological strategies in physical medicine refer to a broad array of treatment options. They are non-invasive and don’t include medication or surgery. Non-pharmacological strategies used in physical medicine include:
These could be prescribed for the treatment of symptoms such as chronic pain that may or may not be part of a larger diagnosis.
Pharmacological strategies focus on the use of drugs in the treatment of illnesses. Pioneers such as Kenneth Chien are always working to discover and develop new drugs to treat diseases and their symptoms.
The pharmacological strategies employed will always depend on your condition. Drugs that slow tumor growth is often used with chemotherapy drugs that target cancerous cells in cancer patients. Beta-Blockers and ACE inhibitors are used to treat congestive heart failure.
Invasive strategies refer to surgical procedures used to treat a patient. This can be the removal of a cancerous growth or the initial resetting of a broken bone. Any type of surgery is considered an invasive strategy.
More often than not, an overall medical strategy will involve more than one of the above. Take a broken leg for example. The break will be reset during surgery. Then pain killers will be prescribed. Finally, physical therapy will be used to help restore the leg to its original function.
Therapeutic strategies in psychiatric medicine refer to different types of therapeutic treatment. They also refer to important aspects of the therapist-patient relationship. We shall consider these first:
A successful therapeutic relationship depends on a successful collaborative effort between both parties. For this to occur several things must take place. The patient must believe that the therapist is competent. The patient also has to trust in the therapeutic process. The therapist’s responsibility is to build and maintain rapport during therapeutic sessions.
There are several therapeutic devices used to build rapport:
These are a few techniques used to help build rapport in the therapeutic setting:
Factors affecting Consistency in therapy vary. It could be the length of time or cost of each therapeutic session. It could also be using the same therapeutic approach throughout the entire course of therapy. Consistency and congruency are essential strategies in therapy as they are both key building blocks of trust. Consistency helps to provide the safe space necessary for therapeutic progress.
A therapist uses validation to reassure the patient. It means to reassure the patient that their experience and behavior is explicable in the context of their situation. Therapy wouldn’t work if a psychiatrist spent session after session proclaiming that the patient was mad.
Empathy, respect, and appropriate tone are strategies that therapists use to ensure that the patient feels their experiences are being taken seriously. Another validation strategy is to acknowledge the severity of particular events. This can help the patient to understand that their pain is justified.
Everyone who seeks out therapy is looking for a change, but change doesn’t always come easy. One of the key therapeutic strategies is to motivate change.
Therapies such as CBT need to motivate change so that the patient is willing to face increasingly difficult situations. Without the motivation for change, there would be no desire to face difficulty. The therapist must continue to motivate the desire for change within the individual.
In addition to these four core strategies that should be present in any therapeutic relationship, there are crossovers between what was mentioned earlier when we were discussing therapeutic strategies in physical medicine.
Outside of the therapeutic setting other strategies may also be suggested to support the individual. You might recognize them from the therapeutic strategies used in physical medicine. They will often include medication, relaxation techniques, regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to therapeutic strategies. Novel therapeutic strategies are always being developed in both psychiatric and physical medicine.
And therapeutic strategies don’t just belong in the clinical setting. Our self-care routines can also be described as therapeutic strategies.
Our exercise routines and daily vitamins are all part of a preventative therapeutic strategy to keep us well. We even borrow therapeutic strategies from psychiatric therapy when we’re being there for a friend in need. Having an understanding of what therapeutic strategies can benefit you and others. They highlight the importance of a multi-faceted approach to wellness.
If you enjoyed this article and you’re looking for more interesting insights into wellness and ways to improve your health then don’t hesitate to take a look at the rest of our blogs.