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Inpatient Mental Health Treatment Vs. Counseling

Inpatient Mental Health vs. Counseling

Mental illness is increasingly becoming a common issue in society, and there are various available treatments to address the issue. Two popular choices for addressing mental health issues include inpatient treatment at a hospital or outpatient counseling with a qualified specialist. By learning more about inpatient mental health treatment vs. counseling, it can help someone decide which treatment is best for their needs. 

What Does Inpatient Mental Health Treatment Include? 

Inpatient mental health treatment is a type of care that involves 24-hour supervised living in a hospital or specialized medical facility. It typically involves both individual and group therapy, often without the presence of family, as well as medication management if needed. 

Although this approach requires temporary admittance to the medical facility, it allows for intense structure and supervision by various clinicians while also providing patients the opportunity to focus on their recovery more easily without outside distractions. 

In addition to individual and group therapy sessions, inpatient mental health treatment often includes various interventions to aid with treatment. Such interventions may include education, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and exposure-based treatments aimed at confronting problematic thoughts, behaviors, or emotions. 

Other holistic forms of intervention, such as art and music therapies, may also be used depending on the patient’s preferences and interests. These approaches can help support individuals as they transition back into everyday life while continuing to manage their symptoms.

What Does Mental Health Counseling Include?

Mental health counseling is an ongoing treatment process focused on helping the individual develop better coping skills and address negative thought patterns or behaviors. It generally involves regular weekly meetings between a patient and their therapist to discuss any troubling or unhelpful patterns, set goals, and problem-solve together in order to create positive change. 

Mental health counseling can also involve families, if necessary, since family dynamics may contribute to the issue and require additional support for successful recovery. The goal of mental health counseling is not only helping individuals better cope with various issues but also developing more effective methods of communication both internally with themselves as well as externally when interacting with others for healthy relationship building and life management.

Types of Mental Health Treatment


Outpatient mental health treatment programs provide therapy and other forms of support outside the context of a hospital or residential setting. These programs usually involve specialist visits at predetermined intervals, which can be daily or several times a week, depending on the person’s needs. They can also include group sessions with other patients, individual counseling, and medication management. 


Residential and inpatient treatment provides intensive care for severe mental illnesses in a supervised medical facility environment, consisting of individual and group therapies, art therapy, nutritional counseling, and physical exercise classes. 

Partial Hospitalization/Day Programs: 

Partial hospitalization/day programs offer clinic-based treatment similar to residential and inpatient programs. However, instead of staying overnight at the facility, the person returns home in the evenings. Additionally, patients often transition from this program to an outpatient program to continue their treatment. 

Inpatient Mental Health Treatment vs. Counseling

Inpatient mental health treatment vs. counseling has its own individual pros and cons depending on the specifics of each individual’s situation. For example, while inpatient hospitalization provides a more structured environment, which can benefit individuals’ recovery, it is also more time-consuming. It may not fit well when someone has responsibilities they must continue while seeking treatment.  

Conversely, outpatient therapy tends to be more convenient for those with outside commitments such as regular work hours or school. This approach to mental health treatment requires commitment from the patient to attend sessions regularly or risk falling back into negative behaviors and patterns. Ultimately both methods provide valuable forms of care if utilized correctly and directed according to one’s needs and goals toward better mental health and a healthier life.

Who Is Inpatient Mental Health Treatment Best For?

Inpatient mental health treatment may be best suited for those in crisis and who require an intensive level of supervision, medical attention, and the need to distance themselves from life stressors such as work or school due to their symptoms. Inpatient treatment is also better suited for someone who needs a more structured environment with fewer distractions.

Who Is Mental Health Counseling Best For?

Mental health counseling is best suited for those who may not have severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Counseling is also appropriate for people with commitments they cannot ignore, such as family, work, or school, while still being able to address any current mental health concerns within a healthy setting. 


Both inpatient mental health treatment and counseling have unique advantages and disadvantages that must be considered when choosing an appropriate treatment option for one’s needs. Inpatient hospitalization can require more financial resources and less freedom than outpatient options, yet it offers valuable support from medical staff and structure. 

On the other hand, mental health counseling is typically cheaper but does not provide the same level of intensive care as inpatient programs. However, it allows individuals to opportunity to still obtain treatment while being able to maintain their commitments. 

Mental Health Counseling in Beautiful Pompano Beach, FL 

When you need help addressing a mental health issue, DCF and Joint Commission-accredited Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL, are here to help. We offer personalized counseling programs to fit your specific needs, goals, and objectives. Contact us for further information today.

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