What Are Psychological Behavioral Health | Treatments & Benefits
The interdisciplinary behavioral medicine (BM) field uses different biomedical ideas to help patients be diagnosed and treated. Behavioral medicine goes beyond the surface level of problems and helps patients change their behavior so that they can be a part of their treatment.
All of this is based on the idea that the mind and body are connected. As a new field, behavioral medicine offers many interesting job opportunities. Let’s look at how this field is changing, what kinds of illnesses it helps to treat, and related degrees like health science.
What is Behavioral Medicine Health?
Biomedicine, behavior, and psychosocial ideas are used in behavioral medicine to help people with psychosomatic disorders. Mind-body medicine is a simple way to describe it because it looks at both the body and the mind to help diagnose and treat illnesses.
Patients of all ages can participate in behavioral medicine and benefit from it. Behavioral health techniques treat a wide range of mental health and medical problems. In the same way, these methods and techniques can be taught to people with different kinds of health backgrounds.
A Little Background
Behavioral medicine grew out of psychosomatic medicine, which began in the 1800s. This was when psychoanalytic therapists realized that many health problems are caused by or made worse by habits and patterns of behavior. In 1975, Stanford was where the first behavioral medicine research lab was set up. In the 1980s, more money was put into this field. Research and practice in this science and field are still growing today.
How Behavioural Treatment Works
Behavioral medicine specialists use different psychological interventions to help patients with physical, emotional, or mental problems. BM specialists don’t just treat the symptoms; they try to find the cause of the problem.
For example, if a patient has a migraine that worsens when upset, a BM specialist will try therapies like diaphragmatic breathing, awareness, or other ways to reduce stress. This way, a person’s actions can help ease their symptoms. As with any medicine, the treatment or action plan will depend on the patient’s needs. But with BM, you will use methods such as:
The patient writes down what makes them sensitive, and then the therapist teaches them how to relax in those situations.
By repeatedly putting patients in high-anxiety situations, they may learn that the outcomes aren’t as bad as they thought.
When patients do what is expected, they are given something good (reinforced).
A person with phobias or fears may need to be exposed to what they are afraid of for a long time so they can get over it.
The Mindfulness Therapy
Focus on meditation, which can reduce recurring episodes or raise awareness so people can have better emotional control.
Tolerance of Distress
It helps people deal with pain by giving them something else to do.
Even though there isn’t a standard way to get certified in this field, a health care professional can call themselves a behavioral medicine specialist if they meet certain requirements. Behavioral medicine specialists can have a BS, BA, MD, EdD, PsyD, Ph.D., DDS, MBA, etc., among other degrees.
A good first step into the field can also be getting a specialized behavioral health certificate. They could be a doctor, a health educator, a psychologist, a researcher, a nurse, a pharmacist, a geneticist, a social worker, or many other jobs. To become a BM specialist, they need at least two years of specialized training in BM techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), progressive relaxation, biofeedback, etc.
Research and treatment areas
There are a lot of problems that biomedical experts can help with. This is because many diseases and health problems are caused by certain behaviors or links between the mind and body. Some of these could be:
- Continual pain (TMJ, fibromyalgia, IBS, etc.)
- Skin disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, etc.)
Who can benefit from behavioral medicine?
Behavioral medicine could seem a little different from standard procedures, but it has been shown to help with many problems. Some people who could advantage from behavioral medicine and its methods are:
- Have a health problem that gets worse when you’re stressed or when other mental things happen
- Have been told they have depression or anxiety and wish to ease their symptoms
- They want to make big changes in how they act and participate in their treatment.
There are many ways to become a specialist in behavioral medicine. Since the field is still fairly new, there isn’t a clear, globally recognized way to get certified. Instead, professionals with many different types of education can learn how to use behavioral medicine techniques.
Professionals from all areas of life are starting to learn about behavioral medicine, from social workers and nurses to doctors and dentists. People are becoming more aware of how closely the mind and body are connected, and it has been shown that these kinds of stress-relieving activities can improve health and wellness in general.