The Best Mental Health Skills Charlie Health Clients Learned During Treatment
Charlie Health’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) teaches clients mental health skills that serve them long after treatment is complete. Here, 7 teens and young adults discuss the best mental health skills they learned from Charlie Health.
Clinically Reviewed By: Don Gasparini Ph.D., M.A., CASAC
August 30, 2023
Table of Contents
Trigger warning: Self-harm.
If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or think you’re in danger of harming yourself, this is a mental health emergency. In this case, you should contact The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988.
Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) lasts 9 to 12 weeks, but the skills clients learn during treatment build long-term, sustainable healing.
In traditional once-weekly therapy, a clinician may incorporate one or two kinds of treatment into sessions, but IOP is more holistic. At Charlie Health, mental health professionals incorporate skills from a range of therapies into group, individual, and family sessions. For example, one client’s personalized treatment plan may include learning art therapy and mindfulness techniques plus dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills and attachment-based theories for family therapy.
These skills can be easily integrated into day-to-day life, clients say because Charlie Health offers treatment from home. Despite struggling to readjust to her everyday life after inpatient treatment, Krista E., a young adult client, found it easy to integrate therapeutic skills from Charlie Health into her daily routine. “I could apply coping skills at work and with my family as I learned them in Charlie Health because I was still in my real world,” she said.
From guided imagery meditations and self-advocacy skills to panic-attack management techniques and deep breathing exercises, these are the best mental health skills that Charlie Health clients learned during treatment.
When Ashlyn M., a teen alum of our program, started Charlie Health she was dealing with mental health symptoms that manifested in full-body panic and was on the verge of self-harming. “I had issues finding coping skills,” she said, “but Charlie Health helped me find some.” The most helpful coping skills she acquired were mindfulness skills, a catchall for techniques that help people improve their awareness of the present moment. In Ashlyn’s case, this included mindful walks and guided imagery meditations where she imagined being in nature. “I feel more calm,” she said. “I used to hold my shoulders really tense, and I noticed they relax more now.”
Another patient, who preferred to be quoted anonymously, learned to manage anger with mindfulness breathing techniques. “Before Charlie Health I would get super angry. One time I grabbed a hard water bottle and threw it at my sister, and it almost whacked her in the face,” the 14-year-old said. “In Charlie Health, one tip I got is breathing. That helps me when I am feeling angry.”
Emotional regulation skills
As someone who dealt with traumatic childhood experiences, Demi G., a young adult client, struggled to regulate their emotional responses as a young adult. Developing emotional regulation skills, though, is something they learned for the first time during treatment at Charlie Health, which incorporates emotional regulation techniques from therapies like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). “My stressors are still there, but how I react is completely different,” Demi said. “It feels so good to have agency over my emotions. That’s something I’ve never felt before.”
Panic attack management skills
During a panic attack, the body enters a state of heightened anxiety, causing physical symptoms like an increased heart rate and difficulty breathing that can be scary and overwhelming. Before Charlie Health, teen alum Julia C. was enduring several panic attacks per week and, like many, didn’t have the skills to cope. During treatment, though, she learned panic attack management skills through therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Julia still has occasional panic attacks, but now she has the skills to cope with them. “Before Charlie Health, no one was able to help me find any solutions to my extreme panic attacks,” she said. “Now my mental health has changed for the better.”
While not strictly a mental health skill, self-advocacy can impact a person’s mental well-being. When someone can’t self-advocate, they’re less likely to have their mental health needs met, and vice versa: Self-advocacy, a skill some clients learned at Charlie Health, empowers people to ensure their mental health needs are addressed. For instance, Madeline R., a young adult Charlie Health client who uses braces for mobility, learned in treatment how to openly communicate with her medical providers. “The care provider for my braces now knows that I am more comfortable seeing him in my home,” she said. “When I need to go into his office he schedules visits at the end of the day so I do not get overstimulated.”
Another young adult, who preferred to be quoted anonymously, learned self-advocacy skills in a group, where they saw a peer standing up for their mental health needs. “That showed me it’s OK if you need something. You can stand up for yourself,” the 20-year-old said.
Reaching out for help
For years, when Krista was struggling with her mental health, she’d pull away from people—a behavior that actually made her feel worse. At Charlie Health, she learned that a different way is possible. “Having processing time in group taught me that it’s OK to reach out to people when you’re having difficult times. I got to practice that skill in a safe space,” Krista said. “Charlie Health taught me to learn your safe places and safe people and that it’s OK to reach out to them when you need help.”
Mental health support at Charlie Health
If you want to learn skills to take care of your mental health, Charlie Health can help. Our compassionate mental health professionals are here to listen to your story, understand your needs, and match you with an appropriate treatment plan. Charlie Health’s personalized virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) offers more than once-weekly mental health treatment for teens, young adults, and families dealing with various complex mental health challenges. Fill out our quick assessment to get started today.