Programs that provide guidance and support in resolving personal, social or psychological problems through an interactive process that encourages patients to make maximum use of their assets, strengthen effective existing defenses while eliminating those that are maladaptive, gain insight into conscious or unconscious conflicts, modify their goals and make other decisions that will help them improve their personal and interpersonal functioning and deal effectively with troubling situations in their lives.
Programs that provide immediate assistance for people who are in acute emotional distress; who are or perceive themselves to be in life-threatening situations; who are a danger to themselves or to others; or who are hysterical, frightened or otherwise unable to cope with a problem that requires immediate action. The objective of crisis intervention is to defuse the critical nature of the situation, ensure the person's safety, and return the individual to a state of equilibrium in which he or she is capable of identifying and seeking solutions to the problem.
Programs that provide screening, diagnostic and treatment planning services for people who are experiencing acute or chronic psychiatric problems. Included is a continuum of assessment services ranging from a comprehensive psychiatric or psychological evaluation to the administration of one or a combination of psychological tests to examine a particular personality variable. Services may be provided in a variety of settings including hospitals and community-based clinics.
Programs that are staffed by physicians who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional and behaviour disorders. Psychiatrists have specialized training, knowledge and skills which enable them to explore the biologic, psychological and social components of illnesses; and are licensed to prescribe medication, conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and EEGs and order brain imaging studies such as CT, CAT, MRI and PET scans as well as evaluate and treat psychological and interpersonal problems and provide continuing psychiatric care.
Programs that use guided artistic expression or recreational activities, dietary management, hypnotherapy or other specialized interventions to improve the adjustment of individuals with mental, physical or developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, chronic health conditions or other problems. Supportive therapies are frequently auxiliary types of treatment used to facilitate other forms of therapy but may be also used for diagnostic purposes and are, on occasion, primary treatment modalities whose objectives are to foster health, communication and expression; promote the integration of physical, emotional, cognitive and social functioning; enhance self-awareness; and facilitate change.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.