How Can You Adapt Therapeutic Approaches to Meet Patient Needs?


    How Can You Adapt Therapeutic Approaches to Meet Patient Needs?

    In the evolving field of mental health, therapists and psychiatrists are continually adapting their methods to meet the unique needs of their patients. From adjusting the directness of feedback to focusing on sleep, nutrition, and fitness, discover the strategies five mental health professionals employ to enhance patient care.

    • Adapting Directness in Feedback
    • Tailoring Therapy with Eclectic Approaches
    • Incorporating Digital Tools for Engagement
    • Integrating Mindfulness for Anxiety Management
    • Focusing on Sleep, Nutrition, and Fitness

    Adapting Directness in Feedback

    It is important to recognize that there are many different therapeutic approaches to take when it comes to individual therapy. Some patients seek longer-term relationships, whereas others seek short-term, practical solutions. Some patients benefit from behavioral therapies, whereas others prefer to explore their well-being in a more existential way. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' therapy, and no 'one-size-fits-all' therapist.

    One way I typically find myself adapting to patients is in how direct I am with my feedback. With approaches such as Motivational Interviewing, the therapist will typically guide the patient to their own conclusions over time as opposed to giving explicit advice. For many patients, this is an empowering experience that helps them to solve their own problems. However, for others, the experience of looking for answers and not getting any clear-cut guidance can be frustrating. In these cases, I adapt my style to be more direct, while also analyzing with the patient why they are looking to be 'told' what they 'should' do. This can help them to feel more supported, while also avoiding giving explicit instruction without question.

    Brittany Hunt
    Brittany HuntTherapist, Clinic Les Alpes

    Tailoring Therapy with Eclectic Approaches

    As a therapist with a holistic approach, it is paramount for me to individualize treatment for each and every client. Humans are as unique as mosaics, musical compositions, and fingerprints. I have found that implementing a person-centered and eclectic approach has helped my clients feel heard during their journey and make significant strides in their healing.

    I individualize treatment by weaving modalities together based on my client's unique needs. If a client's goals are centered on somatic awareness and working through trauma, we will tailor therapy to build a strong nervous system regulation foundation, along with gentle somatic awareness through yoga and somatic exercises. After building that solid foundation, we can journey into trauma processing, keeping the client's window of tolerance in mind throughout the process.

    Jenny Flora Wells
    Jenny Flora WellsHolistic Therapist, Licensed Social Worker | Associate Clinical Social Worker

    Incorporating Digital Tools for Engagement

    One way I've adapted is by incorporating more digital tools into my practice, a necessity for patients who respond well to interactive and tech-based interventions. Integrating technology, such as apps for mood tracking and mindfulness, plays a pivotal role in modern mental health practices. These tools not only cater to tech-oriented patients but significantly boost their participation and consistency in treatment, which are essential for delivering personalized and effective mental health care.

    Utilizing digital applications provides dual benefits: it aligns with the digital inclinations of many patients and intensifies their therapy engagement. This approach is crucial in fostering a supportive environment that encourages consistent therapeutic involvement. Adopting digital tools in mental health practices is not just a trend but a necessary evolution to effectively address the diverse needs of patients. By embracing technology, therapists can offer more tailored and impactful care, leading to better patient outcomes.

    Tanveer Padder
    Tanveer PadderPsychiatrist, Psychopharmacologist, Addiction Speacalist

    Integrating Mindfulness for Anxiety Management

    One way I've adapted my therapeutic approach to better suit a patient's needs is by integrating elements of mindfulness and grounding techniques for a client who was struggling with severe anxiety. This client found traditional talk therapy challenging due to their difficulty in verbalizing their feelings. By incorporating these techniques, we were able to create a more holistic and effective treatment plan that resonated with them, leading to significant progress in managing their anxiety.

    Ronnie Adamowicz
    Ronnie AdamowiczPsychotherapist, RonnieAdamowicz

    Focusing on Sleep, Nutrition, and Fitness

    My motto for our therapeutic support for both children and families lately is "back to basics." We know sleep, nutrition, and fitness form the basis of mental health, and for many, the habits and routines around these factors are a constant struggle and were disrupted during COVID-19. While all the CBT, DBT, ACT, etc., are great empirical interventions, they seem far less effective if these first three factors are not optimized.

    John KearneySchool Psychologist