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OF mental health care and mentally ill

therapeutic interventions ideas

The term ‘therapeutic intervention’ covers a range of treatments and activities aimed at enabling individuals to recover from a disorder or distress. The treatments and activities may have specific functions but each contributes to the overall well-being of the individual and that of the family, where appropriate. Therefore, no single treatment or activity can claim superiority or sole efficacy in the process of enabling individuals to recover.

Treatments and activities are delivered by different health care professionals or jointly, each having specific expertise and skills to offer. Increasingly, health and social care professionals (practitioners) share some common core expertise and skills. For example, family therapy may be delivered by practitioners who may be nurses, social workers (SWs), doctors (DRs), psychologists or occupationaltherapists (OTs). Hence, no one profession can claim the monopoly of expertise or skills in mental health (MH) care.

The term ‘discipline’ or ‘professional’ is usually employed to describe the practitioners.Each group has its own distinct education, which leads to a qualification that entitles an individual to practise within that profession. For example, music and drama therapists undergo preparation specific to their practice. The same applies toother professional groups. However, there are some elements within the different groups that are common. The teaching of communication skills features highly in the education of all professionals. It is the fusion of the expertise, specialist skills and attributes of the different professional groups that provides a holisticover view of the service user’s condition, thus making the contribution of therapeutic interventions invaluable.

Prior to delivering therapeutic interventions in MH care, careful deliberations and considerations routinely take place by the multidisciplinary team (MDT), which is made up members of the different professional groups. While the professionals have the expertise and skills, engaging with the service user is the key to success in delivering meaningful interventions. Working in partnership with the service ser and their family is essential before any decision is taken as to the appropriate intervention to be delivered. Family members are important partners in the care process; they provide support to the service users round the clock and are under intense pressure and stress themselves.

Options of therapeutic interventions depend on the nature and severity of themental disorder. It is therefore vital that individuals and families seek help early so that the interventions required do not become too complex. The interventions required may not involve admission to hospital and could be delivered as an outpatient or at home. Interventions should integrate both health and social care need sin order that a holistic perspective of the service user’s position, in the context of a family where relevant, is not compromised.

For the purpose of this chapter, therapeutic interventions may be categorised into three groups:

1. activity-based interventions

2. psychotherapeutic interventions, including family work

3. physical treatments.

While it is beyond the remit of this chapter to provide full details for each of the interventions, the following provides a brief overview of these therapeutic interventions.

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