Collaborative Care: Psychotherapy for Primary Care – Harvard Health Blog

Like most people, you probably don't like to go to the doctor alone and get referred to a specialist in a different way. Unfortunately, fragmented care is often a reality among people with common mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. Isn't it good to have both your behavior and your health needs addressed at the same time and place?

Comprehensive health care and behavior

In medicine, mental illness is often treated in private settings, unlike the rest of health care. However, we know that there is a strong relationship between mental illnesses and medical conditions, and many, including heart disease, lung disease, prevention work, and pain. Mental illnesses can cause or worsen physical ailments, but the latter is also true: physical illnesses can cause psychological disturbance or illness on common pathways such as inflammation. Treating mental illness with basic treatment improves access to mental health care and reduces stigma. Although the burden of mental illness in primary care settings is high, some primary care physicians do not feel they are appropriate to manage these conditions on their own.

What is cooperative care?

Collaborative care is a group-based model of a combination of psychiatry and primary care that can treat mental illness on the basis of primary care. In practice, an integrated “team” of behavioral health trainings, social workers, and psychologists work together in a cohesive manner to provide patient care, and to provide recommendations to the primary care physician. Treatment is really inpatient, and clinicians often use motivational interviewing to help patients identify and achieve their behavioral health goals. This form of care is time-limited, generally six more sessions per week for 12 weeks, followed by three monthly maintenance sessions.

Collaborative care will help you reach your goals

Patients can sign up for cooperative care to receive anxiety or depression treatment, to receive treatment for substance abuse problems, or to learn skills for managing stress at work or at home. Goals may include increasing physical activity, setting a smoking cessation date, or repeating alertness to reduce anxiety. In addition to behavioral health training, the team can also link patients to resources (financial, support groups, housing) or offer medical advice. To ensure the patient's well-being during treatment, collaborative care uses clinical outcome measures to drive clinical decision-making, such as measurement of symptoms.

Collaborative care during COVID-19

The traumatic psychological harm that occurs to people with the virus and their loved ones is profound. Our center's collaborative care team is coping with this growing problem by providing extra support to patients and their families. Through training directly (by phone or video), managers have expanded the restoration to provide any special measures in the treatment of behavioral (CBT) to looga have stress anxiety related COVID-19 signs mood . Patients have access to COVID-19 workbooks, and may register for CBT-based online books that focus on managing stress or depression-related symptoms.

What else can help me during this pandemic?

Whether collaborative care is provided by your physician's practice, there are many resources available to help you and your loved ones cope in these difficult times. In addition to the resources available at, there is a free COVID Coach mobile application, a free course course during a disaster, and a free online viewing resource. at COVID-19 – all wonderful tools to support your mental health. Finally, there is a reason that behavioral health training often involves physical activity – it is still one of the best ways to quickly improve your mood, reduce stress, and enhance your overall mental health.