Is treatment therapy?

The difference between treatment and therapy is slight but important. The term treatment is an umbrella term for types of medical and mental interventions for helping people in different ways. 

Treatment types for mental illnesses may include: 

  • acceptance commitment therapy
  • Assertive community treatments 
  • Behavioral activation treatment 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy 
  • Family based treatments for eating disorders 

In this brief blog, we will discuss what treatment and therapy mean separately, how they are connected and the ways in which different therapies and treatments are used to deal with mental and physical illnesses. 

What is treatment and therapy?

Treatment is described by the American Psychological Association (APA) as “the administration of appropriate measures (e.g, drugs, surgery, psychotherapy) that are designed to relieve a pathological condition.”

Continually, the intervention to which some participants in an experimental design (the experimental group or treatment group) are exposed, in contrast to a control group, who do not receive the intervention. Also called treatment conditions.

On the other hand, Therapy can be understood as Psychotherapy that involves the treatment of mental health concerns and behavioral problems through communication, relationship factors, and skill building by a qualified mental health professional. 

The terms therapy and treatment in psychological settings are used interchangeably. One distinction can be found in terms of looking at the term “therapy” which is often used to mean “rehabilitation.” The term ‘treatment,’ on the other hand, is used in the sense of ‘cure.’ 

Some people also argue that therapy is intended to relieve or heal a disorder and treatment focuses on care given to a patient for an illness or injury.

However, I’m this blog, we will consider treatment as an umbrella term for types of interventions and strategies that can be employed when dealing with any illness or disorder. 

Theoretically, there are three classifications of medical treatment:

  • Curative – to cure a patient of an illness
  • Palliative – to relieve symptoms from an illness
  • Preventative – to avoid the onset of an illness

Doctor-prescribed treatments can be categorised using one or more of the following methods: Techniques that are medical, surgical, or medico. A medical therapy usually includes dietary and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, as well as pharmaceutical administration, whether injectable or not. 

Medical therapies include physical therapy, speech therapy, psychiatry, and physiotherapy. Surgical therapy is required in the case of certain diseases. Radiology, endoscopy, and phototherapy are examples of exams that fall between standard therapies and surgery.

Psychological treatment is sometimes called ‘psychotherapy’ or ‘talking therapy’.

It involves talking about your thoughts with a professional to:

  • better understand your own thinking and behavior
  • understand and resolve your problems
  • recognise symptoms of mental illness in yourself
  • reduce your symptoms
  • change your behavior
  • improve your quality of life.

Evidence shows that psychological treatments work well for emotional, mental and behavioral issues.

Acceptance and commitment therapy 

This therapy is used for both mental and physical ailments. Individuals are guided to shift their expectations from pain removal to living as well as possible with pain in this therapy. Individuals learn the futility of control-oriented methods and the benefits of acceptance-oriented strategies in response to negative internal feelings such as pain and discomfort through metaphors and experiential exercises. Individuals are encouraged to examine their personal beliefs and develop objectives that are compatible with them in order to improve their overall quality of life and functioning.

  • Clients learn to re-conceptualize avoided or feared thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations in an adaptive manner.
  • By accepting and learning to live with pain, one can limit the control it exerts over his or her life.
  • Clients are encouraged to let go of the struggle to change unwanted thoughts and emotions; instead focusing on the present moment and acting on what the client values most.
  • ACT aims to change the relationship individuals have with their own thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that are feared or avoided. This treatment has been applied to a number of conditions, including OCD.

Assertive community treatments 

Mostly used for treating schizophrenia, ACT is a multidisciplinary team approach to intense case management in which team members share a caseload, have frequent patient contact (usually once a week), have low patient-to-staff ratios, and conduct community outreach to patients. 

Psychiatrists and other mental health experts are part of ACT teams. Medication management, rehabilitation, and social assistance may all be integrated with this team approach. 

Treatment with ACT is usually continuing rather than time-limited, available 24 hours a day, and highly tailored to each client’s changing requirements. The aims of ACT are to decrease hospitalization rates and assist clients in adjusting to community life. 

Individuals who are at high risk of repeated hospitalizations and have trouble sticking with regular mental health therapy are the best candidates for ACT.

Behavioral activation treatment

People who are sad may become progressively disengaged from their daily activities and withdraw from their surroundings. This avoidance worsens depressive mood over time as individuals miss out on opportunities to be positively reinforced through pleasurable experiences, social interaction, or mastery experiences.

Behavioral Activation (BA) aims to enhance a patient’s living environment by increasing their contact with sources of reward by encouraging them to become more active. 

One variant of BA (BATD) is more condensed, concentrating on establishing values that will drive activity selection. The second version of BA focuses on identifying mechanisms that impede activation/encourage avoidance as well as training problem-solving skills, in addition to increasing activities. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy treatment that teaches people how to recognise and modify harmful or distressing thinking patterns that affect their behavior and emotions.

  • Adult ADHD cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT) teaches real skills and techniques for dealing with the primary symptoms of ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) as well as the related impairment in social, vocational, educational, and other areas. 
  • The interaction between cognitive and behavioral factors is the key mechanism involved in the perpetuation of insomnia.
  • CBT for anorexia nervosa, designed for late adolescents and adults with this disorder, is typically conducted on an individual basis over the course of one year.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for bulimia nervosa directly targets the core features of this disorder, namely binge eating, inappropriate compensatory behaviors, and excessive concern with body shape and weight.
  • CBT for OCD focuses on teaching techniques to help patients to explore, understand, and implement alternative ways of thinking and behaving. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a type of exposure therapy that is used to help patients explore alternative behaviors in response to unwanted thoughts.

Family based treatment for eating disorders 

Family-Based Treatment (FBT) for anorexia nervosa is an outpatient intervention for adolescents who are medically stable, and consists of three phases: 

  • Parents take charge of the process of nutritional rehabilitation and weight restoration with the help of the therapist.
  • Control over eating is returned to the adolescent in an age appropriate fashion.
  • Issues of psychosocial development in the absence of an eating disorder are addressed.
  • Family-Based Treatment (FBT) for bulimia nervosa is adapted from FBT for anorexia nervosa and like its predecessor, is designed for adolescents. 
  • The focus of FBT is not on what caused the bulimia nervosa, but on what can be done to resolve this serious disorder.


Algorithmic guidelines, which can be formal or informal, are widely used to guide treatment decisions. Lines of therapy, such as first-line therapy, second-line therapy, and so on, are widely used to categorize treatment options. 

The first therapy to be undertaken is first-line treatment (also known as induction therapy, main therapy, or front-line therapy). It is typically either 

(1) explicitly recommended on the basis of clinical trial data for its best-available combination of effectiveness, safety, and tolerability, or (2) selected based on the physician’s clinical expertise.

The word “therapy” is often used when describing factoring, correcting, or attempting to reduce issues with a system. In some cases, therapy has been used as an attempt to prevent issues before they occur in the first place. 

However, it’s possible that therapy can have further implications depending on the activity intended by any given instance of it. That may or may not be related directly with the subjectivity of specified programs or approaches; it is important to understand what therapy actually entails and why certain tasks require therapy over others.

Thus, in health care contexts (where its senses are always noncount), the word “Care” has a very broad definition. It is used to attribute everything done that relates to the health and well-being of our patients and the staff who work with them. 

With different words like “Attention” or “Guidance,” we can each describe how wide or narrow we want to make this idea because they each have a more specific meaning attached to themselves which helps us visualize what a person or people are trying to depict .