What would happen if you decided to put a diesel into a gasoline vehicle? It might work for a while, but eventually, it will break. In fact, if you know anything about cars, it’s not only going to break, it will break badly! In some instances, the damage to the car may even be beyond repair. So now is a fair time to ask yourself the question, what do cars have to do with mental health?
This diesel analogy is meant to illuminate the issues of misdiagnosing or mistreating mental illness. Just as you cannot fill a car with the wrong fuel, you cannot treat a disorder with the wrong treatment. The treatment will be ineffective, and the result could potentially leave the client in a worse condition than when treatment was initiated.
Just as no individual is the same, no individual treatment plan should be the same either. That is why we at The Phoenix Recovery Center utilize individualized treatment planning for each of our clients. Part of our mission is to treat each of our clients as people, not as symptoms or statistics.
The Importance of an Individualized Mental Health Assessment
Treating a client as an individual is critical on several levels, as it assesses their mental health needs, emotional needs, social needs, and even physical needs.
For example, if a client comes to us struggling with alcohol and substance use disorder, we need to first determine what they need to become physically stable and safe. In some instances, withdrawal (predominantly alcohol withdrawal) can even be fatal. From there, we need to determine if there are potential comorbidities present. For those struggling with alcohol and substance use disorder, it is common for other mental health issues to be present, but these also differ with the individual.
Taking the same example of substance use disorder into account, the next step is determining what treatment options may be best suited for the individual. Based on the severity of the disorder, or disorders, this may include residential treatment, day treatment (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), or a general outpatient program. From there, we also bring into consideration what post-treatment long-term recovery should look like.
Recovery Strengthened by Individuality
We feel that one of our greatest assets here at The Phoenix Recovery Center is that all of our staff have been through recovery themselves. Whether from dealing with addiction disorders or other mental health disorders, our staff is proud to be able to use their individual story to help our clients recover.
Many of our clients come into our care when they are at the end of their rope, feeling like they have nowhere else to turn. This is often because their mental health issues have caused them to lose their connection to their sense of self.
One of our goals is to get our clients to open up about their personal stories. When this happens they can then reframe that which they were once ashamed of into something that they can now feel empowered by. Our goal is not just to treat our clients in an individualized way but also to rescue their sense of individuality.
The Importance of the Personal Story
There may be no greater example of a person utilizing their personal story to help others than the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill Wilson. In his story, Bill Wilson takes that which used to feel shameful to help others struggling with alcohol use disorder relate and ultimately recover.
Why is relating so to people’s stories so important? Because when we see that individuals that have struggled with the same issues have been able to recover, it brings hope and inspiration.
This hope and inspiration is also something that can then be passed on to the next individual that is struggling. It is a continual, potentially limitless chain of once-struggling people helping those people currently struggling. It’s a beautiful thing, and it all starts with getting the right treatment.
Individualizing Mental Health Post-Treatment Care
Utilizing an individual plan does not make sense if it doesn’t go beyond the initial stages of treatment. There must be a plan set in place to help clients succeed when they re-enter the “real world.” This plan must take into account, for example, a person’s home life, therapy needs, and connection to community outreach programs.
Ultimately, the goal of personalized treatment is to remind our clients that they are seen. Often those struggling with issues of mental health are overlooked or put into a box. We want to change that pattern.
Just as a vehicle cannot run without the right fuel, a client can’t succeed without the right treatment. Our job is to determine what the right treatment is, and we do so one client at a time.
Get Started Today
While many people share similar experiences, no one’s struggles with mental health are precisely the same. Therefore, no one’s mental health journey should be the same either. An individualized approach is vital when it comes to treatment planning. By properly assessing and diagnosing (if there is something diagnosable) an individual, the potential for recovery becomes exponentially greater. At The Phoenix Recovery Center, we believe that for those struggling with issues of mental health, it is important that they feel seen and heard. We see our clients as people, not just statistics. If you suspect that you or a loved one are struggling with mental health, we can help. For more information, call The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185.