Types of Treatment

Many Americans suffer from a variety of mental disorders or emotional problems and a broad range of treatment options are available at the NYU Department of Psychiatry including pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and others.  

Behavior Therapy is a form of psychotherapy used to treat a variety of psychopathology. Its philosophical roots can be found in the school of behaviorism which states that psychological matters can be studied scientifically by observing overt behavior, without discussing internal mental states. Classical conditioning (often associated with the work of Pavlov) is another important feature of behavior therapy. As a result of experience, or associative learning, individuals often respond in predictable ways to certain stimuli or life events which may no longer be appropriate. These techniques follow from the premise that maladaptive behaviors are learned, and therefore can be unlearned as well. Among the behavioral techniques employed are training in both assertiveness and relaxation, and gradual desensitization to feared objects.

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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy(CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach comprised of both cognitive and behavioral techniques. The premise underlying a cognitive-behavioral orientation is that difficulties in living, relationships, general health, etc., have their origin in (and are maintained by) both cognitive and behavioral factors. CBT aims to influence problematic and dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. CBT is often brief and time-limited and is used in individual therapy as well as group settings.

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Cognitive Therapy essentially involves helping an individual think in more effective ways and aims to uncover the irrational and problematic thinking styles that often accompany psychological distress. The goal of cognitive intervention is to challenge, and ultimately change, maladaptive, self-defeating cognitions, and allow the client to lead a more productive and satisfying life. Simple to learn cognitive strategies provide clients with practical and powerful skills that can be applied over a lifetime as effective tools in life-management.

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Group Psychotherapy or group therapy is a form of psychotherapy which one or more therapists treat a small group of clients together as a group. In group psychotherapy the group context and group process is explicitly utilized as a mechanism of change by developing, exploring and examining interpersonal relationships within the group.

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Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock, is most often used as a treatment for severe major depression which has not responded to other treatment, and is also used in the treatment of mania, catatonia, schizophrenia and other disorders. Treatment can be either on an inpatient or outpatient basis and usually in a course of 6-12 treatments administered 2 or 3 times a week. After treatment, drug therapy can be continued, and some patients receive continuation/maintenance ECT. Certain types of ECT have been shown to cause persistent memory loss, whereas confusion usually clears within hours of treatment.

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Individual Psychotherapy see Psychotherapy

Inpatient Services is the care of patients whose condition requires hospitalization. Progress in modern medicine and the advent of comprehensive out patient programs ensure that patients are only admitted to a hospital when they are extremely ill.

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Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) offers psychiatric evaluation and psychotherapeutic treatment enhanced by techniques derived from a psychotherapy model developed by Habib Davanloo, MD. ISTDP's primary goal is to help the patient overcome internal resistance to experiencing true feelings about the present and past which have been warded off because they are either too frightening or too painful. The technique is intensive in that it aims to help the patient experience these warded-off feelings to the maximum degree possible; it is short-term in that it tries to achieve this experience as quickly as possible; it is dynamic because it involves working with unconscious forces and transference feelings.

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Pharmacotherapy is the treatment of mental illness or mental disorders with medication. This type of treatment can be combined with psychotherapy and can also stand alone.

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Psychiatric Evaluation is an examination or assessment of the mental health of an individual and is the mental equivalent of a physical examination. A psychological evaluation may result in a diagnosis of a mental illness or disorder.

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Psychoanalytic Treatment is a therapeutic partnership focused on helping each patient become aware of underlying sources of his or her difficulties, not just intellectually, but emotionally by re-experiencing them with the analyst, in ways that lead to deep and lasting changes in the patient’s life.

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Psychotherapy or Individual Psychotherapy is an interpersonal relational intervention used by psychotherapists to help individuals, couples, families or groups in problems of living. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of the individual or to improve group relationships. Psychotherapy may be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, licensed clinical social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, music therapists and creative arts therapists.Typically, the patient comes four or five times a week, lies on a couch, and attempts to say everything that comes to mind.

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