The Role of Therapeutic Activities in Inpatient Behavioral Health
- Category: Mental Health
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Therapeutic activities play an important part in mental health treatment and are pivotal to patient recovery at Ramapo Ridge Behavioral Health (Ramapo Ridge), Christian Health’s inpatient behavioral health hospital. Our diverse educational and interactive activities help patients thrive in their journey to mental wellness.
What is Inpatient Behavioral Health Treatment?
Inpatient behavioral health treatment is a lifesaving care modality for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Inpatient behavioral health hospitals, such as Ramapo Ridge, provide a safe and therapeutic environment where patients can isolate from triggers, stabilize, and learn coping skills to use after they return to their day-to-day life outside of the hospital.
Activities Built Around Patient Needs
Therapeutic activities at Ramapo Ridge are customized for four different program levels, which are based on patient ability and needs and the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Dimensions of Wellness. “We work with the patients to determine what areas they need further assistance with, and then we program the activities according to those needs,” said Guylaine Mazure, Manager of Ramapo Ridge Therapeutic Activities. “If we see that a lot of folks are struggling with socializing, having problems interacting, or acting withdrawn, we will focus on promoting socialization. If they are experiencing high stress and anxiety levels, those are areas we’ll talk about, too.”
Therapeutic activities work by helping patients learn effective coping skills to manage stress, anxiety, and anger, improve socialization, and practice goal setting for recovery. “Whatever helps our patients learn more and understand better, that’s what we’re doing,” said Guylaine. “Everyone has a different learning style.”
The Importance of an Interactive Approach
The role of therapeutic activities lies in promoting an environment that is interactive and stimulating and encourages patients to be creative, express themselves, and actively participate in their own recovery. “We are not just sitting there and talking to the patients — we are talking with them,” said Guylaine. “We all have coping skills, but when we get caught up in a situation and we are not feeling well, it’s hard to remember and implement these skills. We help patients identify new ways to cope to reduce the chances of relapse.”
Creating an atmosphere that is nonintimidating goes a long way in promoting patient recovery as well. “Because therapeutic activities are nonthreatening, they allow our patients to be more open and honest,” said Guylaine. “They start to trust us more because we’re not just telling patients how it should be — we are guiding the patients to figure it out for themselves.”
What Types of Therapeutic Activities Are Offered?
Ramapo Ridge offers a diverse range of therapeutic activities using different types of media:
- Art Therapy: Patients express themselves creatively by participating in exercises such as drawing a gift they’d like to give themselves, creating collages that represent what they visualize for their future, and writing poetry about their feelings.
- Music Therapy: Music is a powerful tool in mental health treatment. Patients participate in song identification exercises to discuss why they are drawn to certain music, as well express their emotions by writing their own songs and playing instruments.
- Aromatherapy and Meditation: Patients practice aromatherapy exercises and meditate to relieve stress, boost mood, and increase feelings of peace and relaxation.
- Written Exercises: Interactive worksheets, such as creative writing and discussing mottos and affirmations, encourage patients to open up and share their feelings.
- Activities for Older Adults: One of the four program levels at Ramapo Ridge is focused on older adults with cognitive difficulties, such as those caused by dementia. Activities for these older adults work to promote feelings of self-worth, provide purpose, and help them relax. Snoezelen therapy, a multisensory type of therapy that uses light, aroma, and sound, helps older adults by producing calming effects.
Inpatient Mental Health Treatment at Ramapo Ridge
If you think you might benefit from a stay in an inpatient mental health treatment center, we are here to help. Ramapo Ridge is dedicated to providing loving, compassionate care to those living with a mental health issue to ensure recovery and prevent relapse.
Visit your primary care provider to a request a referral for admission to our program, or please call (201) 848-5500 to make an appointment with our team at LiveWell Counseling for an evaluation. You can also visit the mental health section of our website for more information.