The online information boom of the last decade has been both a boon and a bust when it comes to informing the public on issues of mental health. Undoubtedly, it has been a boon in the way that it has brought social awareness and understanding of the enormity of the mental health crisis in this country. However, it has also impacted the trustworthiness of the information they receive. For example, there is a lot of misinformation about effective treatments for mental health. This type of misinformation can be disastrous for a person’s ability to recover. Thus, understanding the importance of an evidence-based practices in mental health treatment is necessary.
Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we offer an array of mental health treatment modalities. While not all of them are evidence-based practices, we ensure that our recovery plans are primarily curated upon evidence-based modalities, keeping supplemental modalities secondary for healing and recovery.
What Are Evidence-Based Practices?
The concept of evidence-based practices is pretty straightforward. However, the implementation is slightly more complex. For example, it’s straightforward in that evidence-based practices are treatment modalities that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and are listed in the Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
However, the complexity of these practices involves how the information is interpreted and utilized in treating specific mental illnesses. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be approved as an evidence-based therapy for mental health disorders. Therefore, the question becomes, “For which disorders has CBT shown the most efficacy?” This is why it is critical to reach out to mental health care professionals that have interpreted the information and understand which practices work best for certain disorders.
Another aspect of evidence-based practices to understand is that solely being evidence-based does not automatically make a treatment modality effective for every individual. This is true even if two people have the same diagnosis. Moreover, this is yet another reason to always seek professional help when it comes to issues of mental health. A responsible and qualified recovery center is going to know which evidence-based practices are going to work best for each individual’s unique situation.
Evidence-Based Practices for Mental Health Treatment
As previously mentioned, there are several specific approved evidence-based practices for mental health, such as CBT, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). But, evidence-based also means more than simply being “approved.”
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), evidence-based practices integrate “the best-available research with clinical expertise in the context of the patient’s culture, individual characteristics, and personal preferences.” They also explain that “the best research evidence refers to data from meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, effectiveness studies, and process studies, as well as information obtained from single-case reports, systematic case studies, qualitative and ethnographic research, and clinical observation.”
This definition tells us that “evidence-based practice” is not solely based on what the evidence claims, but also on how it is professionally administered in relation to the individual client’s needs. Again, this highlights the significant importance of individualized recovery planning. At the Phoenix Recovery Center, this includes adding supplemental treatment modalities to our evidence-based treatment foundations.
What Are Supplemental Treatment Options for Evidence-Based Practices?
Just because a treatment option is not considered evidence-based does not mean that it is absent of success potential. Rather, complementary and supplementary options should be used in addition to evidence-based practices, and not in place of them. This further highlights the importance of individualized care.
At the Phoenix Recovery Center, we focus on each of our clients individually as soon as we begin the intake process. When an individual’s whole story is taken into account, rather than focusing only on their diagnosis, the potential for a customized plan with complete care becomes possible. Yes, the plan will begin with a foundation of evidence-based practices. However, after that, different treatment offerings can be added to strengthen that foundation.
It should also be noted that having an evidence-based recovery plan does not mean that there is only one evidence-based treatment modality. Quite often, evidence-based treatments work best when used in tandem with each other. The use of EMDR alongside CBT is just one example.
There is a reason that the recovery industry focuses on highlighting the need for evidence-based practices to be at the forefront of treatment planning. Undeniably, there is just too much misinformation on mental health treatment out there claiming recovery practices that have no basis in evidence or fact. When it comes to treating issues of mental health, these claims are not only dangerous, but they can potentially be deadly. Mental illness is a severe issue that needs serious solutions, which can be found in evidence-based practices.
Receive Evidence-Based Care Today
With how information is shared and distributed in this digital age, it is no surprise that there is a lot of misinformation and misrepresentation surrounding mental health care these days. It is for this reason that it is critical to connect with mental health professionals to learn what treatment modalities are effective. While it is true that there are many great supplemental mental health treatment options available, they should always be used in addition to evidence-based practices and never in place of them. If you think you may have a problem, we can help. For more information on the importance of utilizing evidence-based treatment options, call The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.