We’re Going on a Road Trip
Although the stigma around mental health is fortunately on the decline, certain myths and misconceptions remain, especially when it comes to seeking help or treatment.
Part of the reason this confusion exists might be the fact that there is no “one size fits all” approach to addressing mental health challenges. In the case of two patients with the same diagnosis, what works for one might not work for the other due to the different social and biological factors at play.
Treatment could consist of medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination thereof.
That’s why, at FamilyCare, treatment plans are tailored to the individual and involve varying degrees of self-direction.
Dr. Blackburn, a therapist at FamilyCare’s Teays Valley location, uses the analogy of a road trip when introducing the practice of therapy to a new patient.
“It’s like we’re going on a car ride together,” she tells them. “You’re driving the car, and I’m in the passenger seat holding a map, presenting you with different options for our route. Ultimately, you choose where to go and how to get there.”
Dr. Blackburn says that she encounters an even mix of patients who’ve gone to therapy before, and those who are trying it out for the first time. She’s found that the most effective method, regardless of their past experience, is simply to meet them where they’re at.
“I believe in giving people the space to explore whatever complicated feelings pop up,” she explained. “With time, they begin to take on an active role in determining the best next steps for themselves.”
While therapy sessions at FamilyCare typically happen one-on-one, several support groups do exist—for instance, as part of the center’s medication-assisted treatment program—and FamilyCare hopes to initiate more in the future.
“There’s a special power in coming together to learn from one another,” said Dr. Blackburn.
This sentiment is also reflected in the way associates at FamilyCare collaborate with each other. Because individuals’ mental and physical well-being are interrelated, coordination of care across departments, and the provision of wraparound services, is essential.
The end goal, or destination, is always the same: helping patients achieve the best overall health outcomes possible.