Mental Health Treatment

  • At your first appointment, the therapist is likely going to ask you to talk about what's going on and why you're there. They're in fact-finding mode, and trying to determine a treatment program for you.

    They will try to find the most appropriate level of treatment for you, and will be able to help direct you to the type of treatment you need. You'll probably leave your first appointment with a tentative diagnosis, which is necessary for your sessions to be covered.

    Chemical dependency or substance abuse, eating disorders, and complex mental health illnesses often require focused treatment in the form of intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, and sometimes residential treatment. Your primary care or any mental health provider can help direct you to appropriate care.

    Here's a sampling of what your plan might cover:

    • Inpatient: A hospital, state psychiatric hospital, or in Washington state, a designated Treatment and Evaluation facility. Some admissions require pre-approval.

    • Residential treatment center: A live-in health care facility that provides care for substance abuse, mental illness, or other behavioral health issue. Admissions require pre-approval to be covered.

    • Partial hospitalization: A structured program of outpatient care usually 4 to 6 hours a day. This works well for those who are transitioning from an inpatient stay or trying to prevent from being hospitalized. This treatment is less intensive than being inpatient and more intensive than you'd get at a therapist's office.

    • Intensive outpatient treatment: An outpatient program that provides structure and an intensive level of care. This is a good option for those who need intensive treatment, but want to ensure they can continue with job, family, or other responsibilities while addressing their addiction or mental illness.

    • Outpatient: Scheduled appointments usually once or twice a week with your care provider. Good option for people who are motivated to address their addiction or mental health and don't need a more intensive form of treatment.
    Therapist with patient

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