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Benefits of Combining Therapy and Psychiatry in Mental Health Treatment

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Milk and cookies. These are just a few “dynamic duos” that just go together. It’s time to add therapy and psychiatry into the mix, too.

Often mistaken for being the same thing, therapy and psychiatry are two different types of mental health treatments and have very specific purposes. Therapy focuses on resolving behaviors, issues, feelings, and responses related to a mental health disorder. Psychiatry is there to diagnose, treat, and prevent mental health disorders. Put the two together, and you have combination therapy and a recipe for success.

What is the difference between therapy and psychiatry?

During individual therapy, you will sit with a therapist to work through any specific struggles you are going through. Through conversations, your therapist will begin to notice patterns and behaviors that are associated directly with your mental health disorder. They will then be able to provide you with healthy coping mechanisms and skills to change your behaviors and responses to any triggers.

Group therapy is also an option. Instead of a one-on-one session with a therapist, you will be surrounded by a group of your peers and one to two therapists/group moderators. As a group, stories and experiences will be shared and you may be split up into smaller groups to role-play different scenarios. This allows you an opportunity to take what you learn in individual therapy and put it into practice, in a safe, supportive, and controlled environment.

In psychiatry, a psychiatrist will evaluate you to diagnose your mental health disorder. Providing a proper diagnosis opens up a world of possibilities for treatment options. Treatment of a disorder usually involves medication and talk therapy. Medication can be beneficial to your treatment because it can help regulate your mood or the symptoms connected with your disorder. It can also make mental health episodes not as frequent and/or less intense. In addition to prescribing medications, psychiatrists often include talk therapy into your treatment plan to ensure that the medications are working properly and that you are getting well-rounded treatment.

How can the two work together?

Talk therapy is often a part of psychiatry in addition to the use of medications because medications can only do so much. At the end of the day, addressing the actual problems at the root of your disorder and learning healthy coping mechanisms are going to help you get better. With combination therapy, you get to take the best parts of psychiatry and the best parts of therapy and combine them for (hence the name) so you have the best chance possible at treating your mental health disorder. Combination therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Psychiatrists and psychologists can either work together or separately to create customized treatment plans to help you.

Combined therapy to treat mental health

Combination therapy is becoming the new treatment method, especially for people dealing with depression and anxiety. A publication by the National Alliance on Mental Illness states; “In research involving adolescents with major depression, the best outcomes were seen in adolescents who were given an antidepressant medication combined with cognitive behavioral therapy.”

At Harmony Bay Wellness, you can receive therapy and psychiatry in Cherry Hill and the surrounding New Jersey areas. Whether you are looking for in-person sessions or telehealth services you can access from the comfort of your own home, we provide both options. For more information on combined therapy services, contact us today at 855.857.6050.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.