Therapy Services

What is the difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy?

52.9 million people suffer from a variety of mental health issues, and seeking an outpatient therapist would help to improve their mental health. The issue lies within determining whether outpatient therapy in Elkridge, Maryland, or inpatient therapy will work the best for your personal needs.

Read on now and find out the main differences between inpatient and outpatient therapy.

What is Outpatient Care?

Outpatient therapy in Mt. Airy, Maryland, is when you receive a variety of services from a treatment facility without having to stay in the facility around the clock. While you might spend a significant amount of time in group therapy in Elkridge, Maryland, you'll still go home at the end of the night.

It's best to speak in-depth with your care coordinator to find out if outpatient group therapy is going to work well for you.

What is Inpatient Care?

You should think of inpatient care as a more intensified version of outpatient care. Instead of spending time at home, you dedicate 100% of your focus and time to improving your mental health status.

Another thing to remember when you're entering inpatient care is that it will be on the more extensive end as far as costs go. While we've taken the time to detail inpatient and outpatient care for you, there are some differences you should know about.

-

Structure of Treatment

One of the main differences between inpatient and outpatient group therapy in Mt. Airy, Maryland is the structure of the treatment. When you're in inpatient therapy, the structure of your treatment plan is going to be more rigid.

You'll receive care around the clock, including sticking to specific meal times and rehabilitation services. When you opt for an outpatient group therapy near me, you'll find that the structure you adhere to is much more flexible in terms of what you can and can't do.

Although the structure of the therapy services is different, you can guarantee that the outline of the therapy groups you participate in remains the same.

-

Services Offered by the Facility

Another key difference between inpatient and outpatient services is the type of services offered. Before you begin participating in any form of therapy, you're going to have to submit to an assessment.

During the assessment, the care coordinator will collect information about you, including:

  • Past medical history
  • Current medical status
  • Medical condition needs

It's essential to be as honest as possible during the medical assessment because it will ensure you receive a care plan that is personalized for your needs. Another service that could be offered by the facility you seek treatment from is medication management help.

Part of improving your health and wellness is to ensure you're taking your medication as it's prescribed, even if you start to feel better. Your care coordinator will teach you about taking your medication and why it's important.

You will also tap into education sources. Sometimes the reason people don't take advantage of mental health resources is that they don't know as much as they should about mental health and how to improve theirs.

The more educated you are about mental health, the better off you'll be.

-

Length of Time Spent in Treatment

Different people will spend different lengths of time in treatment depending on their personal needs. It's important to consider how much help you need and discuss this with your care coordinator.

They will provide a recommendation, and from there, you can decide the length of time that works for you. It might prove even more beneficial if you don't make a decision about how much time you spend in treatment because it's about mental health progression.

If you're in a better place when the time of your stay is up, you can leave, but if you feel you need more work and time in your program, you can extend the time you'll be in treatment.

-

Treatment Success Rate

Why would you seek treatment if the place offering the treatment has a low success rate? Take time to review the comments left by former clients.

Past client testimonials will give you insight into what the facility does well and other areas where they'll need to make improvements. It will help you determine if the facility you're reviewing is the one for you.

Sometimes the facility will provide you with their own list of references; all you've got to do is ask for them. A facility that is being transparent and only wants to provide quality care will always be forthcoming about what they can do for their clients.

They only seek to offer the best to their clients and assist them in turning over a new leaf while taking back more control.

-

Medical Professionals in the Facility

When you're deciding between inpatient and outpatient therapy, one thing that may be different is the providers. In an inpatient facility, there might be a higher number and variety of providers. This is because they offer different things to the clients.

For example, you'll have access to therapists, nurses, medical doctors, and counselors that provide different services.

Difference Between an Inpatient and Outpatient Therapist

When you decide between having an inpatient and outpatient therapist, there are several key differences you need to know about. Some of the differences between the two are the services they offer and the structure of the therapy provided.

Are you ready to enter a facility that will offer you the mental health services you need? Schedule a consultation with Gemini Health today.

Read More
Therapy Services

Therapy Goals for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, but they can also be experienced separately. Going to therapy is usually one of the best forms of treatment for both conditions, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most popular type of therapy. Research has shown CBT to be effective in treating multiple mental health conditions, such as panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, etc. 


Therapy Goals for Anxiety and Depression 

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, but they can also be experienced separately. Going to therapy is usually one of the best forms of treatment for both conditions, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most popular type of therapy. Research has shown CBT to be effective in treating multiple mental health conditions, such as panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, etc. In therapy you and your therapist will set attainable goals for your progress, and you will spend your sessions learning techniques to help you achieve these goals.  


Anxiety Disorders Treated by Therapy 

Anxiety is a complicated mental health condition that covers a broad set of symptoms. In general, anxiety itself is the body’s response to stress and fear. It is the catalyst for the human body’s fight-or-flight response. A small amount of anxiety is normal, but for some they can experience extreme bouts of anxiety for a continuous amount of time. Individuals suffering from extreme anxiety related symptoms are more likely to be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder and with this disorder, people can feel extreme levels of anxiety in a number of situations, like work, school, social outings, etc. It is termed ‘generalized’ because it does not have to be anything specific that triggers symptoms. Generalized anxiety disorder is not the only condition in terms of anxiety that people can have and there is a wide range of disorders that falls under this category. Some of the different anxiety disorders include: 
 

  • Panic Disorder: Anyone struggling with panic disorder deals with repeated panic attacks that can become very intense very quickly. When someone is having a panic attack, they can literally feel like they are dying.    
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): Social anxiety causes a fear of social situations because people may believe that the way they behave will be viewed negatively. Performance anxiety also falls under social phobia and people will be afraid of doing things like giving speeches.  
  • Specific Phobia: This is a disorder where a person has a fear of a specific object or situation. People can have fears of just about anything, such as spiders, heights, clowns, and much more. These fears are typically exaggerated in their mind, as there is no actual danger. 
  • Agoraphobia: Those with agoraphobia have a major fear of places or situations where they might feel trapped. It can be a very debilitating condition, as many people become so anxious that they cannot leave their homes.  

The classification of anxiety disorders matters in relation to therapy. How your therapist goes about designing a treatment plan for you and setting goals for anxiety therapy will be different based on what disorder you have. Although there are many forms of therapy to treat anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are typically the most effect approaches 


What is a Treatment Plan 

For a therapist or counselor to provide effective coping skills when managing anxiety symptoms, they will develop a uniquely tailored treatment plan.  Treatment plans are a good way to track progress and ensure that clients are receiving the appropriate care. When a therapist creates a client’s treatment plan they will include the goals that you have both discussed and agreed on. Having concrete goals set out at the beginning of your therapy is an important way to help you overcome your mental health conditions and get the most out of your treatment. They give you the chance to actively engage with what you are taught in therapy. Whether you are seeking treatment for anxiety or depression or both, a solid treatment plan will have set goals, measurable objectives, and a reasonable timeline for your progress. The treatment plan will also be tailored to your specific needs and what you are hoping to get out of therapy.  


General Structure of Goals 

A popular approach for patient goal setting is SMART goals. The SMART approach is frequently utilized in cognitive behavioral therapy .The SMART approach incorporates a set of 5 criteria to develop effective goal setting. SMART stands for: 

 

  • Specific: Clearly defined objectives that include actions you will need to take or skills you need to learn to be able to hit your goals. By setting a goal that is specific, rather than vague, and incorporating how you will accomplish it will make it more attainable. Also keep in mind that it is okay to be flexible when you need to be (ex. Having to change the time of day you actively work on your goal) and give yourself grace to make sure you can meet your goals.  
  • Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable and measurable so you know how far you’ve come. This includes the standards that will be used to measure your progress towards those goals. Being able to clearly see your progress will help keep you motivated to meet your goals and also give you an idea of whether a goal and your actions are actually working to improve the symptoms of your mental health condition.  
  • Achievable: You need to set goals that challenge you to grow. They should also be realistic for you to meet in a certain time frame, so that when you meet these goals you see that you are fully capable of achieving things for yourself and grow your confidence levels. If you set unrealistic goals and can’t meet them then this can cause you to give up entirely and possibly even set you back in your treatment. 
  • Relevant: Goals should directly relate to the mental health conditions and symptoms you are experiencing. They should also be inspiring to you specifically to keep you motivated to continue trying. If you're uninterested in that goal then you are less likely to stick with it and might give up when obstacles present themselves, as they naturally do. This also means that the goal should have significance to you and not to your therapist. 
  • Time-Bound: Having a clear time-line for you to meet your goals will help you stay on track and not want to give up as easily. Being able to conceptualize a time frame will also help you to prioritize your goals and work them into a potentially busy lifestyle. You can set either long-term or short-term goals, as long as there is a tangible deadline in place. 

Individuals can also take the concept and create SMART goals on their own to change any lifestyle behaviors they wish, which may lead to healthier and happier lives.  


Therapy Goals for Anxiety 

As stated above, the specific goals that you have will depend on the type of anxiety you experience and will be established between you and your therapist. Some general example goals for anxiety could be: 
 

-A client wants to be less isolated and will initiate at least one social contact per week for the month. 

-A client wants to better manage anxiety during the week and will reduce panic attacks from the current 7 times a week to 4 times or fewer in the next three months and will track the number of panic attacks they have in this time period. 

-Client wants to correct distorted, spiraling thoughts that trigger anxiety and will practice challenging those thoughts with realistic thoughts and breathing techniques when they occur over the next two weeks and will journal about their thoughts.   

Therapy Goals for Depression 

Depression treatment goals can address a range of symptoms. If you do not know what goals you want to set then your therapist can help you decide what is important to work on for you.


Some general example goals for depression could be: 

-Client wants to have less negative thoughts about themselves and will practice positive self-talk when negative thoughts start to encroach for the next two months and will complete a scored questionnaire to determine if negative thoughts decrease. 

-Client has trouble with sleeping and will keep a sleep journal over the next two weeks to identify any unhealthy habits that should be changed. 

-Client wants to be more active in order to boost their mood and will engage in at least one physical activity, such as going for a walk, three times a week for the next three weeks and will track how many times they complete an activity. 

 

Need Help for Anxiety and Depression? 

If you are looking for therapy services for mental health concerns, or if you have any questions regarding our services, call Gemini Health today! Our highly skilled mental health professionals are experienced in treating various mental and behavioral health concerns. They offer both individual and group therapy. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!  

Read More
Therapy Services

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

 CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps people identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and change those patterns/behaviors. It is a valuable tool in mental healthcare that can considerably improve the quality of life and a person’s ability to function in daily activities. 

According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychological treatment that has shown to be an effective way to target a range of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, drug addiction, eating disorders, and severe mental illnesses. CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps people identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and change those patterns/behaviors. It is a valuable tool in mental healthcare that can considerably improve the quality of life and a person’s ability to function in daily activities. This therapy can also be good for those who are not necessarily struggling with a mental health disorder, but simply struggle with stressful life situations and need help with learning how to cope.

A common form of psychotherapy, it is actually a combination of two different therapies known as cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy.  

  • Cognitive therapy: This type of therapy is meant to focus on someone’s thoughts, attitudes, and expectations. A cognitive therapist will help someone recognize their thought patterns and work with them to change false or distressing ideas. Targeting negative thoughts is important in terms of how someone might perceive situations and the way it can affect their day-to-day lifeday-to-day. For example, a person might over-generalize a situation and make it out to be bigger in their heads than it actually is. The cognitive therapist would help someone recognize when they are doing this so that they can change their thoughts and they can go on with what they are doing. 
  • Behavioral therapy: The theory behind this type of therapy is that behaviors are learned and can be unlearned or changed in order to improve someone’s quality of life. A behavioral therapist will work with someone to identify the behavioral patterns that are having negative effects on their life and then help them to change those behaviors. For example, someone with panic disorder will worry about having a panic attack to the point that they will actually give themselves a panic attack and the cycle will continue. A behavioral therapist will teach that person techniques, like breathing exercises, so that they can calm themselves down when they start to have a panic attack. 


The History Behind CBT 

Cognitive behavioral therapy came about in the 1960s when it was founded by Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis. Both men had been trained as psychoanalysts and were dissatisfied with the lack of results they were seeing with the therapy. They looked to develop a better and more effective way to treat anxiety, depression, and other related disorders. Ellis created rational emotive behavior therapy and Beck developed cognitive behavior therapy, which drew from the philosophies of rational emotive behavior therapy.  


Why Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? 

Cognitive behavioral therapy isn’t a one-size-fits all, but it is recognized for being very effective for numerous people and with a wide variety of issues. One of the biggest reasons it is so successful is because it actually focuses on identifying the issue and solving it, unlike previous approaches like psychoanalysis. It gives people the tools they need to be able to handle their problems as they come, with the end goal being to send people out of therapy and them not needing to return. Those who go through CBT are taught that they need to build new habits and continuously practice the methods shown to them in a mindful way. CBT can be helpful with the following mental health conditions: 

-Anxiety Disorders 

-Depression 

-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 

-PTSD 

-Phobias 

-Sexual Disorders 

-Sleep Disorders 

-Eating Disorders 

-Bipolar Disorders 

-Schizophrenia 

-Substance Abuse 

Cognitive behavioral therapy can also be combined with medication, such as antidepressants, for optimal treatment. There is evidence that CBT can treat those with chronic pain, as well. CBT tries to reduce pain through changing physical sensations, catastrophic thinking, and maladaptive behaviors.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approaches 

CBT therapists will work with people to figure out their individual approach and treatment needs are. There are a number of strategies that they might employ to address both the thought and behavior aspects of a mental health disorder. Some of those strategies could be: 
 

-Changing thought patterns by having someone realize their distorted thinking and getting them to have a more realistic viewpoint on situations. 

-Giving people better problem-solving skills so they can cope when things get hard. 

-Inspiring people to have more self-confidence in themselves and their abilities. 

-Demonstrating more of an understanding of the actions of others. 

-Having someone face their fears rather than continuing to avoid them. 

-Role-play to work through potential situations and interactions with others. 

-Teaching relaxation techniques so people are able to calm themselves when they begin to get stressed or anxious. 

 

Therapists will also assign homework so people can start to apply what they learn from their sessions in their day-to-day activities. This helps solidify the changes in thoughts and behaviors and increases the chances that someone will not need to return to therapy. The primary focus in CBT is the events going on in someone’s life currently, rather than past experiences. Although, there will be some discussion of a person’s past to give a better understanding of who they are. The point though is to look towards the present and future to develop the necessary coping skills to better handle difficult situations. 


What to Expect with CBT 

Cognitive behavioral treatment can be done in one-on-one sessions or in groups and it can take some time to find the right therapist for you, so do not feel disheartened if your therapist is not a good fit. You can generally find therapists for cognitive behavioral therapy through a referral from your general physician or through your insurance provider. Some employers also offer counseling services or referral programs as part of your health benefits package. Also, keep in mind that not all counselors have the same qualifications or titles. So, if that is something that is important to you then you need to check their credentials. For example, if you would like a therapist who can prescribe medication as well then you will need to find a licensed psychiatrist.  

 

Your first session will mostly consist of your therapist gathering your history, figuring out what your goals are and what you want to get out of therapy, and seeing if they are a good match for you. The therapist will also decide on the course of your therapy treatment and what your sessions will focus on. This is a type of talk therapy, so your therapist will encourage you to discuss your thoughts and feelings to help you begin to work through your issues. CBT is generally effective in a relatively short amount of time and sessions can range from about 5 to 20. 

 

Just remember that if you truly want CBT to be effective then that means you have to be willing to put in the work. You have to be able to be open and honest with your therapist, even if it makes you uncomfortable. They are not there to judge you, but simply to help you. You also have to be sure to attend all your sessions and not skip any, otherwise, you won’t get the full benefits. Putting in the work also means completing all “homework” assignments because they are meant to give you practice in applying what you learned in therapy to your actual life. If you feel that therapy isn’t working or your therapist isn’t for you then talk to them so that you aren’t wasting your time. They might try a different approach or may be able to refer you to another therapist. 

Are There Risks Involved with CBT? 


There is a certain kind of risk with cognitive behavioral therapy, although not the same as with medication. CBT forces you to confront uncomfortable or downright painful thoughts and experiences. This can be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. So, it is not something to consider lightly and your therapist should work with you to ensure that you maintain your boundaries.  


Want to See a Therapist? 

If you are interested in seeking help for a mental health disorder or any mental health issues you may be experiencing then reach out to Gemini Health for the appropriate treatment. Our healthcare professionals are highly skilled and experienced to provide you with quality health services. They offer both individual and group therapy, as well as access to psychiatrists for all patients. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!   

Read More
Therapy Services

OCD Treatment in Maryland

A mental health condition that can be defined by compulsive and obsessive behaviors, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects 2.2 million adults in the United States. These repetitive behaviors can become so frequent that they start to interfere with an individual’s daily activities, such as work, school, or social interactions. 
 

Gemini Health provides behavioral and mental health services to the community. We offer a variety of treatment options for anxiety and related disorders, such as OCD, to meet individual needs and concerns. 

What is OCD? 

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health disorder that affects 2.2 million adults or about 1% of the US population, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. OCD is found equally among men and women, with the average age of onset being 19. The American Psychiatric Association classifies OCD as “a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions).” These repetitive behaviors can become so frequent that they start to interfere with an individual’s daily activities, such as work, school, or social interactions. 

 

While many people have intrusive thoughts or repetitive behavior, they do not typically have any bearing on someone’s ability to get through the day. Anyone with OCD will feel a compulsion to act out their behaviors, and if they don’t it can cause them great distress (until they finally give in to the compulsion). It is a vicious cycle that is exhausting and very debilitating.  

Symptoms of OCD 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be broken down by obsessive symptoms and compulsive symptoms. Not everyone will experience both and might only deal with obsessions or compulsions.  
 

Typical Obsessions: 

  • Contamination: Fear of being contaminated by people or things in the environment. 
  • Some examples are body fluids, germs or disease, asbestos or mold, dirt, cleaners, or solvents. 
  • Losing Control: Fear of acting on an impulse. 
  • Some examples are of hurting oneself, violent or horrific images in one’s head, blurting out obscenities or insults, or stealing things. 
  • Harm: Fear of causing something bad to happen or harm to someone else. 
  • Some examples are causing a fire or for someone to fall. 
  • Perfectionism: Resulting from a fear of negative consequences of actions. 
  • Some examples are concerns about evenness or exactness, fear of forgetting important information, an inability to throw things away, fear of losing something. 
  • Sexual Thoughts: Unwanted or pervasive thoughts about sexual acts. 
  • Some examples are forbidden sexual images, impulses towards others, aggressive sexual behavior towards others. 
     

Typical Compulsions: 

 

  • Washing and Cleaning: Needing to constantly wash and clean things. 
  • Some examples are excessively washing one’s hands, excessively showering or grooming oneself, excessively cleaning household items or other things. 
  • Checking: Constantly checking on things to make sure nothing bad has happened. 
  • Some examples are checking that you did not harm yourself or others, checking that you did not mess something up. 
  • Repeating: Repetitively acting out certain behaviors. 
  • Some examples are rereading or rewriting something, repeating typical behaviors (walking in and out of a room, getting out of bed), repeating bodily actions (tapping, throat-clearing, sniffing), and repetitive actions for the “perfect” number of times. 
  • Other Compulsions: Typical compulsions that fall outside the groupings just listed. 
  • Mentally reviewing the day, mentally reviewing specific actions, counting until hitting a good number, avoiding situations that might trigger other compulsions.  

What Causes OCD 

Medical professionals still do not fully understand what causes OCD, but there is some consensus that biological factors, such as brain chemistry and genetics, play a role. In this case, brain functioning is impaired by an issue with the neurotransmitter known as serotonin. This is a chemical, and key hormone that involves mood regulation and overall feelings of well-being. Brain scans have shown it to be a contributing issue, but researchers are still inconclusive in whether it is the main cause.  
 

There is also research that shows that OCD does run in families. However, it is not clear exactly how these genes are triggered and turned on, like if it is due to trauma or an illness. Stress might be a potential trigger and it definitely can make symptoms worse.  

 

It should also be noted that children sometimes develop OCD after having a streptococcal (strep) infection, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. If a child already has OCD then it may become exasperated after they have a strep infection. This is known as PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. 


Effective Treatments for OCD 

There is no cure for OCD, but it can be managed through a combination of medicine and therapy. Treatment will most likely be lifelong. 

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:  A form of psychotherapy that combines key aspects of behavior therapy (therapy targeted towards the way people act) and cognitive therapy (therapy targeted towards the way people think). The objective of this therapy is to change thought patterns and behaviors that trigger OCD symptoms. 

 

Exposure Therapy: The most effective form of CBT for treating OCD. This type of therapy is designed to show you that you can control your thoughts and actions. With exposure therapy, your OCD therapist will place you in a situation that triggers the obsessions and will ask you not to give in to the compulsions that may ease the anxiety. For example, if you have a fear of germs then your therapist may ask you to expose yourself to something that would normally trigger a compulsion and wait longer to do the action, and gradually increase the response time until you have conquered the fear and compulsion. 

 

Medication: Doctors typically prescribe a type of medication known as Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This is a powerful medication that is meant to lift your mood by evening out the chemicals in the brain. Typical medicines include Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft. 


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment in Maryland 

Gemini Health provides therapy services to those who are interested in getting treatment for OCD. Our office offers a free consultation, where you will receive a mental health assessment with one of our professional therapists. This consultation should only take an hour and the therapist will make a recommendation for different therapy approaches based on your specific needs and wants. A person-centered plan is designed to help you meet your goals while providing effective treatment. Once this is done then you may start a group or individual therapy. 

 

We Offer the following treatment options: 

  • Outpatient Therapy: Unlike inpatient therapy, which requires people to move into a facility, our outpatient therapy program allows people to stay at home and in their community while they work on their issues. 
  • Tele-Counseling: We offer the option of virtual counseling for all clients in our Outpatient therapy or intensive Outpatient therapy. 
  • Intensive Outpatient Therapy: A course of treatment geared towards treating a wide variety of conditions. Clients who are suffering from addiction, depression, anxiety, and trauma can find this form of treatment more effective. 
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programs: Individual and group sessions that focus on self-care skills, establishing interpersonal communication, and developing healthy social skills.  

We strive to address individual needs by giving patients a safe and discreet place to work through things. By equipping you with the proper tools and resources you need then you will have the confidence to continue to address issues as they come and set yourself up for a successful future. 


Ready for OCD Relief? 

If you are interested in seeking help for OCD and any related symptoms you may be experiencing then reach out to Gemini Health for the appropriate treatment. Our healthcare professionals are highly skilled and experienced to provide you with quality health services. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today! 

Read More