Two health experts told HL EXCLUSIVELY the type of treatments Britney Spears might receive during her current stay at a mental health facility.
After Britney Spears reportedly checked into a mental health facility for a 30-day stay after her father Jamie‘s serious illness took an emotional toll on her, two mental health experts talked to us about exactly what kind of facility the pop star might be attending. Dr. Ildiko Tabori, an LA-based licensed psychologist, and Dr. Neeraj Gandotra, a psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer at Delphi Behavioral Health Group, EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife about the type of care she’ll be receiving during her stay.
HL: Why would someone check into a wellness center for mental or emotional health treatment?
Dr. Gandotra: “These wellness centers are ways that people can receive both physical and mental health care that is outside the hospital. They don’t have the same stigma of being in a locked facility where it’s very clinical but they still receive the benefits of psychotherapy, group therapy, and particularly medication therapy, as well. A lot of times these facilities help people have a more ‘commercialized’ experience, rather a more gentler experience than what they would receive in the hospital.”
Dr. Tabori: “Not only do they get individual and group therapy but they are also provided with things like acupuncture, massage, and somatic treatment where it’s dealing with energy sources in the body; similar to reiki. They would have a nutritionist or dietician, a personal trainer. It’s dealing with the whole body because when one part of us starts to get in ‘trouble’ in essence, it affects all aspects of us. Our body really does hold a lot of our stressors and our mood. When people are stressed a lot of times they feel it in their shoulders and their neck. They get tightened up or they have gastrointestinal distress.”
HL: How do wellness centers help in terms of therapy with emotional issues?
Dr. Tabori: “Wellness centers tend to take a holistic or whole-body approach to treatment using multiple therapeutic techniques to address the patient’s needs, including psychological issues. It would not only include psychotherapy, but exercise, nutrition, meditation, and other treatments in order for the patient to make a lifestyle change. Emotional issues, especially high levels of stress, typically result from multiple difficult aspects of a patient’s life. While I don’t know Britney Spears, her father’s illness may have been the ‘tipping point’ in her already busy life of performing, parenting, and simply being a brand that she needs more support and to learn some (new) psychological tools to manage her emotions.”
Dr. Gandotra: “Usually the way these centers work is they will have a doctor come by once or twice a week to evaluate how the patient is doing and make any necessary adjustments of the psychiatric medications. There would also be a therapist on site daily to see the patients, as well as other counseling staff. Patients will initially come in and get a physical done to make sure there’s no medical emergencies. Then they will receive some intensive treatment with a therapist who will devise a treatment plan that may or may not include medication changes. Those medications might be adjusted, but really medications are just the bridge.
“The real work is done with gaining insight through therapy,” Dr. Gandotra adds. “It’s one opportunity where people can jump start that therapeutic experience and have a place that they can re-center themselves without the noise of the outside world. I imagine that they also have massage, acupuncture, yoga, and several other things in order to help the person achieve relaxation. So if Britney is coming in for mental health stabilization, it may include medication but it definitely is going to include cognitive behavior therapy and potentially psychodynamic therapy.”
HL: Would doctors be adjusting a patient’s psychiatric medications if needed?
Dr. Tabori: “Yes, a psychiatrist may evaluate his or her and will determine if his or her current medication regimen is still effective.”
Dr. Gandotra: “Absolutely. They certainly could if they’re providing both mental health and physical health treatments.”
HL: What type of treatments might Britney receive?
Dr. Tabori: “From psychologists, she could potentially receive individual process-oriented treatment using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness-Based Treatment, Solution-Focused Treatment, and substance abuse treatment, if needed.
“These types of treatments are often utilized to manage and decrease stress, restructure cognition, improve mood and emotional regulation. She may also participate in a process group with other clients at the center to possibly learn how to manage interactions with others and develop a peer support system within the center.
“Psychiatrists will do a medication evaluation and/or medication management. Other doctors will provide treatment within their specialties. Many times, medical conditions can present as psychological. For example, hypo- or hyperthyroidism can present as anxiety and/or depression if the thyroid is ‘out of whack.’ An endocrinologist will evaluate and prescribe medication, such as Synthroid, to treat the thyroid and return it to its appropriate functional limits.”