In psychology, ‘therapeutic interventions’ is a term used to describe actions or practices to improve an individual’s social, emotional, and mental well-being. It is the effort made by a group or an individual to help someone in need of care but is refusing it or unable to accept it for various reasons.
The intervention may be led by a professional interventionist or by family and friends. The intervention can be physical, psychological, or pharmacological. It may be like a confrontation with those who are restrained for help or who have self-destructive issues.
Not all methods are suitable for every person. There are several different therapeutic interventions, and each person and their problems may require a different approach.
Goals of Therapeutic Interventions
Therapeutic interventions are used to improve how the person thinks, feels, and acts. It emphasizes modifying self-destructive behaviors like addiction or self-harm actions like hair pulling, burning, scratching, and cutting.
Generally, a relevant professional or a team of therapists supports therapeutic interventions. Sometimes, family members or friends may play the lead role without a professional’s supervision.
Usually, the intervention is directed at a particular individual. Sometimes, a therapist may also involve the family and friends of a person needing therapy. This is for the people to understand the problem better and have ways to handle the situation.
Where Do Therapeutic Interventions Take Place?
Therapeutic interventions are usually conducted in rehabilitation centers or psychiatric institutional settings. They may also occur in a community like a home, foster care, welfare centers, and hospitals.
Interventions are used as one of the treatment methods for various problems like borderline personality disorder, addictions, eating disorders, psychological problems, or habits that can cause harm.
An intervention can help the person understand their situation and seek the necessary treatment. It also helps prevent the individual from relapsing into undesirable behavior by finding new ways to change positively.
Situations such as a suicide threat can require immediate intervention. In such a situation, Crisis Intervention is useful. There are many therapeutic interventions, and more than one type may be used to treat the problem.
How Does Therapeutic Intervention Work?
Intervention works as a non-violent, pre-planned mediation of harmful situations for positive reinforcement. An intervention may be designed specifically for a particular individual or community. For example, a community intervention can raise breast cancer awareness during a city parade or through advertisements on television.
Community intervention can also occur through different government policies, like the enforcement of drinking and driving fines by local police to make a person understand the dangers of such recklessness.
The main goal is to change negative behavior into a positive outcome through a carefully planned, non-threatening action.
Types of Therapeutic Interventions
There are several approaches to therapeutic interventions. A trained therapist may use any combination of these therapeutic approaches for treatment. Here are a few types of interventions:
1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies
1.1) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This method treats various problems, from physical and mental health issues to social issues like delinquency and other deficits in social skills. It has many applications, addresses emotion, psychology, and behavior, and improves well-being.
1.2) Behavioral Therapy
Behavioral Therapy is mainly used for appropriate behavior reinforcement in children who have problems in behavior caused due to maltreatment. This model is based on theories in psychology called Operant conditioning and Classic Conditioning. These theories are mainly used in psychosocial treatments and behavior analysis.
1.3) Modelling and Skill Training
This therapeutic process aims for individuals to find different ways to handle a situation. According to the social learning theory, what we have experienced in the past may make us act in certain situations.
If the action is negative, it may have a harsh impact. This model helps bring positive change by re-training such experiences and acting in new ways to handle situations.
1.4) Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy
The net foundation of this therapy is based on concepts of cognitive behavior therapy to target traumatic symptoms by helping gain coping skills. It helps in gaining new skills in coping, stress management, symptom management, and cognitive restructuring. This creates an appropriate account for the trauma and helps in gradual and graded exposure.
1.5) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
This model treats traumatic experiences with image exposure, bilateral stimulation, and replacing trauma beliefs. It helps in ‘desensitizing’ the traumatic experience and ‘reprocessing’ the trauma through a new point of view.
2. Relationship-Based Interventions
2.1) Attachment and Biobehavioral Catchup (ABC)
This mode of therapy is used to reduce parental behavior that may be seen as frightening and increase parental sensitivity. This helps change parental behavior that may cause dysregulation and behavior difficulties in children.
2.2) Attachment-Oriented Interventions
An infant has a strong disposition to form an attachment with their primary caregiver. Cases of emotional or physical abuse and neglect can cause several problems like poor socioeconomic development, maladaptive practices, and sleep disorders. This intervention aims to enhance parental sensitivity and improve a child’s development.
2.3) Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
PCIT is designed to help parents form a secure and nurturing relationship while enhancing social behavior in their children. This is aimed to decrease parental practices that are linked to maltreatment and attachment disorders. Inappropriate discipline, negative communication, and other corrosive behaviors are also treated with this method.
2.4) Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)
The DDP intervention method uses a child-therapist relationship to address impairments with attachment disorders and complex childhood trauma. The child learns special skills on how to engage in relationships and how to benefit from them.
2.5) Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
It is a home-based specialized training for developmental guidance based on the mother’s concerns. It is a manualized therapy with direct instruction provided for one year every week by a well-trained therapist.
This therapy is termed ‘Infant-Parent Psychotherapy for children aged below one year.’ When the children are a little older, the intervention is called ‘Toddler-Parent Psychotherapy.’
3. Systemic Interventions
3.1) Systemic Family Therapy
The systems theory suggests that individuals are mainly influenced by the number of interacting systems around them, particularly their family. There are many forms of family therapy, drawing various techniques from other forms of interventions, like cognitive therapies. (CBT).
3.2) Multisystemic Therapy
It is a therapy aimed at children and young people with severe psychosocial and behavioral problems. It is a short-term, multifaceted intervention in which the treatment focus includes a combination of multiple systems involved in the development, like family, peers, school, neighborhood, or community.
This helps identify and target the problem to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms while promoting healthy life.
4. Psychoeducational Interventions
This is a solution-focused therapy that is based on gathering information and understanding their condition. It focuses on understanding how the problems are formed and finding ways to manage them.
Education and providing information about the problem and coping strategies is the main characteristic of this therapy. Psychoeducational interventions are run as group therapy sessions to enable the modeling of social development and modifying inappropriate.
5. Activity-Based Interventions
5.1) Arts Therapy
Children who have been maltreated can find it difficult to verbalize their troubles and find the therapeutic environment difficult due to the verbalization of traumatic experiences.
In such cases, various media like paint, clay, photos, music therapy, poems, and others are useful in facilitating non-verbal and verbal expressions of their thoughts and feelings. This helps form a therapeutic alliance with children who are unwilling to talk or cannot express their experiences.
5.2) Play Activity Intervention
Depending on the age of the group, it is based on the objective of promoting healthy development. Play activity interventions, such as sports, games, or physical exercise, are an enjoyable medium of intervention for children and adolescents to develop social skills and peer relations.
It has physiological benefits while improving cognitive development, such as planning, problem-solving skills, self-regulation, and inhibition.
5.3) Animal therapy
The term refers to the use of animals to aid therapy by providing warmth, acceptance, and unconditional love in life through animal presence. The presence of animals has been shown to increase communication skills, lower anxiety or stress during therapy, and motivate the individual to participate in the therapy sessions actively.
This therapy intervention is also used to practice appropriate touch and teach boundaries in maltreated populations.
Who Benefits from Therapeutic Interventions?
Therapeutic interventions are for those unwilling or unable to seek help when they need it the most. It can help understand and treat various problems like depression, addiction, anxiety disorders, behavioral issues, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, and other mental health problems.
Therapeutic interventions treat a wide range of issues and help people find ways to deal with their problems. The treatment process is designed according to the requirement of the individual to improve their overall well-being.
The treatment may also involve the individual’s social circle, like family or friends, to keep the individual motivated for improvement or to persuade them to seek the help they need.
If you know someone in need of help, therapeutic interventions can help them seek the necessary treatment. A qualified professional or a trained therapist can help guide you through the correct treatment process through the different types of therapeutic interventions as per the problems of the individual.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Advantages Do Therapeutic Interventions Offer?
The purpose of therapeutic intervention is to start changing the client’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. As in the case of work with addiction and other self-harming behaviors, modification of self-destructive behavior patterns will frequently be a focus.
2. What Are the Four Different Sorts of Interventions?
Short-term early intervention programs, outpatient therapy, and day treatment programs are all possible options. Admission into a structured program, treatment center, or hospital may be necessary for more serious issues.
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