Behavioral Health & Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Mental Illness & Behavioral Health
Mental Illness and Behavioral Health are two terms often used to address the same situations: when things are not going well in the psychological realm of the mind, and various issues related to our thinking, understanding, and expression are influencing our behaviors, interfering with our efforts to live successful lives.
The term Mental Illness is more common and well established, and is the basis of many of the support systems (medical and societal) available to those suffering. Professionals treating mental illness may address everything from mild anxiety to severe, crippling psychosis. It is all "mental health", and when disorders prevent successful independent living, the patient may be classified as "mentally ill".
Behavioral Health is a more modern term. Considering behavioral health instead of mental illness can sometimes be more positive for the patient, and may avoid some of the stigma associated with being deemed "mentally ill". It is often considered "evidence-based" treatment, due to some research already performed on its effectiveness.
A Clinical Assessment is needed in all cases, to determine wellness, and to establish a basic understanding of the potential for treatment, whether considered mental health or behavioral health.
Behavioral therapy involves therapists working with clients to study, understand, and address certain behaviors that interfere with living life successfully, amplify other negative factors, or may precede the behaviors we want to stop or avoid. Treating mental illness and improving behavioral health will likely involve a collection of treatment methods, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, or any of many types of counseling and therapy.
The term "dual diagnosis" is used when there is mental illness as well as substance abuse. This is very common. Many people with mental illness have ongoing substance abuse problems, and many people who abuse drugs and alcohol also experience various forms of mental illness.
In many cases individuals have turned to alcohol or drug abuse as a way of "self medicating" a mental illness they have not recognized, or not accepted, or which has not been acknowledged. The relationship between substance abuse and mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health disorders is complex. The treatment of people with co-occurring substance abuse (or substance dependence) and mental illness is more complicated than the treatment of either condition alone.
The counselors and staff at The Counseling Center at Cherry Hill, NJ (just minutes from Philadelphia) are all well trained in recognizing and dealing with clients suffering from substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. All outpatient treatment is assigned after an initial Clinical Assessment, which is an essential tool for understanding current status, including the need to recognize and treat a dual diagnosis.
All of our counselors are trained, certified, and appropriately supervised to ensure we can give our clients the treatments they need to regain control and go on to live healthy, happy lives.