October 19, 2023

Personalized mental health care, explained

By embracing a personalized approach to care, clients experience a more compassionate and effective mental health care system that supports the well-being of all.

There are only a few things in life that can truly be labeled as "one-size-fits-all."

Whether it's clothing, services, or experiences that are touted as a fit for all, we often discover that just because something is widely used doesn't mean it's the best fit for each individual.

Mental healthcare is no different. Each one of us is a complex combination of unique traits and experiences. What may work as the best treatment for someone else might not necessarily be the best option for us.

When mental health care is personalized, it nurtures a flourishing therapeutic relationship. Beyond the treatment protocols, the therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist significantly influences the outcomes. Emphasizing a client-first approach, individualized mental health care fosters improved results, heightened motivation, and a deeply fulfilling experience.

Norcross and Wampold (2019) state, “As the field of psychotherapy has matured, the identical psychosocial treatment for all patients is now recognized as inappropriate and, in select cases, detrimental and perhaps unethical” (p.5).

Personalized mental healthcare considers the following:

Culture and Identity
Cultural and identity factors that can influence an individual's mental health experience are acknowledged and incorporated into treatment.

Holistic View of the Person
Beyond the person’s symptoms, factors such as physical health, social support, lifestyle, and environmental influences provide a deeper understanding of the person and their experience.

The therapist uses a collaborative approach, where the person and their mental health provider work together to develop a treatment plan that is aligned with the individual's preferences and goals. Here, the client’s input is valuable.

Flexible Approach
Providers modify the treatment to suit the current situation as the individual and their needs evolve.

By embracing this personalized approach and valuing the diverse complexities of the human experience, clients will experience a more compassionate and effective mental health care system that supports the well-being of all.

Dr. Claire Reclosado-Baclay is Director of Clinical Strategy and Operations at Therify and an adjunct professor in the Sport Psychology program at Holy Names University. She previously served as a Clinical Psychologist a Kaiser Permanente, the largest HMO in California, where she supervised post-doctoral residents. Dr. Reclosado-Baclay received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from JFK University and serves on the executive committee of the Asian American Psychological Association’s Division on Filipinx Americans.