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Treating a Dual Diagnosis with Mental Health Counseling

There is a strong connection between substance abuse and mental health. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reports that those who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder are responsible for the consumption of 69 percent of alcohol, 84 percent of cocaine and 68 percent of cigarettes. Other statistics show that roughly half of people with addiction also have mental illness. When a person is diagnosed with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, they are given a dual diagnosis.

Seeking Treatment for a Dual Diagnosis

A dual diagnosis requires specialized treatment and mental health counseling in South Florida. Both conditions can cause their own set of symptoms and complications, so both need to be successfully addressed and treated.

Whether you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, or you believe that you or a loved one may have one, it’s crucial to choose a treatment facility that is versed in dual diagnosis.

Compassion Behavioral Health is a dual diagnosis treatment facility. We are unique in that we offer two tracks of care: our Substance Abuse (SA) track and our Mental Health (MH) track. We recommend our SA program for those who are mostly struggling with addiction but also have an existing mental health problem. We recommend our MH program for those who are mostly struggling with mental illness but use drugs and alcohol to cope.

Let’s learn more about the benefits of mental health counseling in South Florida and how it can aid in your recovery.

Benefits of Mental Health Therapy

Mental illness has a negative impact on health. Whether you are struggling with bipolar depression, generalized anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your personal relationships, work/school performance and quality of life can decrease. The goal of mental health therapy is to work through these difficulties and put you on a path of healing. Talk therapy is most effective when combined with other therapies and medications.

Let’s explore some of the key advantages you have to gain from receiving mental health counseling in South Florida.

  • Balanced brain chemistry. People with mental illness usually have a chemical imbalance in their brains, which is further exacerbated when drugs and alcohol are used. Mental health therapy changes the brain in positive ways.
  • Life skills. Therapy teaches essential life skills that can help you deal with stressful situations. It’s possible that you were never taught these skills, contributing to the desire to use drugs and alcohol. Examples include setting boundaries, balancing work and play, building self-esteem and reaching goals.
  • Improving relationships. Problematic relationships are common in dual diagnosis. Mental health counseling can help you work through problems in your relationships and establish new, healthy ways of interacting with others.
  • Self-care. When dealing with mental illness and substance abuse, most people forget the importance of self-care. As you get back to your new normal, mental health therapy will teach you ways to enjoy “me” time.
  • Trauma resolution. Past trauma or abuse can have negative effects on your life decades later. Counseling can help you identify past trauma, disperse its painful memories and reduce the impact it has had on your life.

Approaches to Mental Health Treatment

When thinking of mental health counseling in South Florida, many people think of sitting in a chair across from a therapist and pouring out their emotions. But, there are many approaches to mental health treatment. As long as you working toward improved mental health and wellness, you can benefit from a number of treatment styles.

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach effective at treating PTSD, phobias, stress and panic attacks. The goal of EMDR is to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral approach that helps transform negative patterns of thinking. In DBT, you will learn new skills to manage difficult emotions and improve conflict in relationships.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combines talk therapy and behavioral therapy to change negative thinking patterns into positive ones. CBT is effective at treating depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marital problems and more.
  • Trauma therapy addresses past trauma that continues to cause problems in your life. The goal is to help you cope and heal from the bad things that may have happened to you.
  • Talk therapy is an opportunity to speak freely in a non-judgemental setting. In group therapy, you can connect with others going through the same challenges. Individual therapy teaches skills to facilitate change. Family therapy strengthens the family unit and prevents enablement and codependent behaviors.

CBH Offers a Full Mental Health Treatment Program

Compassion Behavioral Health offers all of the above forms of mental health counseling in South Florida. We understand that our clients need a wide range of treatment approaches to be fully engaged in their recoveries. Some need to confront past problems while others need to develop life skills that help them manage stressful situations.

Many clients wonder how long they will need mental health treatment, and the honest answer is that it’s different for everyone. You can continue seeing a therapist long after treatment for a dual diagnosis to manage stress, be held accountable for your goals and find your greater purpose in life.

When mental health treatment is combined with other therapies, such as 12-step support groups, meditation or deep breathing, the benefits are even greater. At Compassion Behavioral Health, we recommend sticking with mental health counseling for as long as possible because it forms a protective barrier and prevents relapse. Plus, if you are faced with a difficult situation in life, you will already have someone to turn to and a positive, trusting relationship to seek comfort in.

To learn more about either our Substance Abuse or Mental Health track, contact Compassion Behavioral Health today.